Summer Solstice with Your Child
Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, is a time to relish the sun, the light, and the warmth of summer. It is also a time for renewal. It's a time to shake off all that is holding us back, and embrace our fullest potential. So, how do we celebrate this truth with our children? Here are some ideas:
CLEAN OUT OLD TOYS
With your child, go through old toys and set aside ones that they no longer play with. Have them give them away to a charitable cause, or sell them to get a new toy that they really want. This "letting go" is a great (albeit sometimes tough) lesson for children (toddlers +) to learn. As they clean out the toys, explain to them that this offers more physical space for them to enjoy what they have, and maybe even relate that to letting go of whatever is holding them back in their lives.
DO AN EMBOLDENING GUIDED MEDITATION TOGETHER
Create a comfortable space for you and your child to relax and close your eyes, then practice this "imagination journey" together.
(From Meditations for Mini’s by Debbie Wildi):
Place yourself in a comfy, cozy position. Close your eyes and take a long slow deep breath. As you breathe out relax your body.
Imagine that you are standing on a beach. See the beach in your mind. Think about a beach that you may have visited, or you could use an imaginary beach if you like.
You can feel the sand beneath your toes and the sun is warm on your face. Look around you. In front of you is a huge ocean. It looks a silvery-blue color and the sunlight sparkles like tiny stars dancing on the surface.
You look at the ground and in front of you in the sand is the most glorious shell you have ever seen. You pick it up. It feels warm. Notice how smooth the shell is. Feel it with your fingers. This is your magic shell. You can tell it your secrets and it will keep them.
You can also tell your shell any worries that you may have. Tell it about any problems that may be troubling you at the moment. No matter how big or how small they are. The shell wants to hear them.
Whenever you have worried feelings you can tell your shell about them and it will magically take those horrid feelings and turn them into good ones.
Now see yourself holding the shell close to your mouth. In your mind silently tell it whatever you wish. No one else will know what you say. Only you and your shell! As you say your words they go right into the middle of the shell so that it can take them away for you. Tell your shell your worries right now….
Now you do not have to feel yucky feelings anymore. The shell has made them disappear. Just like magic!
They are gone!
As you hold your shell close all you feel is calm and happiness. You feel peaceful all the way from the tips of your toes, to the tip of your nose. Feel it right now. Notice how it feels.
It is important for you to know that you can imagine your shell whenever you wish to make yucky thoughts and feelings disappear, whenever you wish to feel calm. Your shell will always be there waiting in your imagination.
Of course, if you visit the seaside you can always look for your own real magic shell. How will you know it is magic? Just choose the shell that feels right for you, this will be the magic one. You can also use a magic stone if you like.
Find one of these in your garden, or in the street.
Here is an idea! Keep your magic shell or stone under your pillow to take away bad dreams and always bring you a peaceful sleep.
DO A, KID-FRIENDLY, EMPOWERING YOGA PRACTICE
With your child, do a short sequence to help them feel empowered, using the image to the left as your guide. Once you go through the sequence a couple of times, ask them how they feel. Discuss any fears or burdens that they may be experiencing, and encourage them that they are strong, and can face whatever comes to them by coming back to these empowering poses, where ever they are. By tapping into their inner-strength, they embrace independence and feel a sense of lightness as they head into this new season!
MAKE A VISION BOARD
This is a great activity, especially for older kids. Get old magazines (I personally like Yoga Journal, Real Simple, Mindfulness Magazine, etc.) Take time to go through the magazines together and cut out any quotes, images, or words that are inspiring. Then, create a collage on a large sheet of poster board. Place this board on your wall to put your vision out into the world and remind yourself of your strength and potential.
By doing these fun activities together, you can discuss the importance of "shaking off" what is holding us back so that we can live in our truth and our fullest potential. Share your additional ideas of how you celebrate the solstice in your family in the comments below!