My topic today is about the new buzzword going around, “Mindfulness”. Mindfulness, the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something (n).
Have you ever had a conversation with someone not really listening to a word of what they were saying? Arrived at a destination not knowing how you got there? Many of us live our lives on autopilot mode. We go through our daily routines and worry about an argument we had yesterday, or how to get our children into the advanced math class. We have forgotten how to live in the present, how to focus on what truly matters, how to appreciate the moment that is NOW. NOW is all we actually have.
After experiencing this myself, my thoughts wandered towards children. Do they encounter the same state of being? Over the last couple of weeks, I observed a few preschoolers during playtime and noticed how engrossed they were with their activities. A young boy riding his bike, a group of children playing with sand, a little girl brushing her dolls hair. They were living in the moment and couldn’t be distracted by anything around them. Children often pay more attention to the present moment than adults do. However, as they get older they drift into the same autopilot mode as adults do.
We can teach our children to be mindful starting as early as the preschool years, all the way to adulthood.
For the little ones, an exercise as simple as a walk in the park creates mindfulness. Walk for one minute in silence with your child and ask him to observe all the sights and sounds around you. The amount of things that you would not have recognized but he did will amaze you.
What works with my teenage son, thanks to the unlimited opportunities technology provides us with, is an app called Smiling Minds. This is my favourite time with him and it truly is blissful to live in that moment.