Mindfulness, put simply, is being fully present in the moment by paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and experiencing the world around us with all of our senses. It is noticing and acknowledging our thoughts and feelings and choosing to let them go. Mindfulness is being fully aware of the now.
1) Be mindful OF your child.
Remember mindfulness isn’t something you practice crossed legged on a pillow in the morning (although it also can be). It is something you take with you. A new attentive, nonjudgmental perspective through which to experience life.
Notice when your thoughts wander and bring your attention back to the present moment of being fully attuned to your child. Celebrate and acknowledge your present moment awareness by including all of your senses to truly tune in.
2) Be mindful WITH your child.
Watching the earth shift gently from the movements of a mole, feeling the breeze on your skin, listening to the buzz of bees in the park. Tune into your senses in the moment and invite your child to do the same. Experiencing life together in full awareness of the moment is a powerful thing.
3) LET GO.
One of the beautiful things about mindfulness is how you can simply notice things without judgement and then let them go. You can notice your worries, frustrations, fears, and perceived failures, acknowledge them, and choose to let them go, brining yourself back to the present. It allows us to accept ourselves and others fully as we are right now.
4) “Offer” instead of “control”
Often we approach children with a sense of controlling. A desire to fix, correct, to make children comply and be the way we want or perceive they should be. Through mindfulness, we can simply notice these desires, let them go, and approach children with a sense of “offering” or “inviting” instead. We can offer them the knowledge, skills, and perspectives that may have helped us and then recognize how much more loving and genuine it is to offer and invite than it is to control and fix. This allows us to celebrate children as they are while also offering them opportunities for learning and growth.
Children know when we are present. They know when we are attuned to them and attuned to life with them. Mindfulness helps us celebrate what is already here including the wonderful children in our lives, who after all, could probably give us a lesson or two in being mindful. 😉