It's Just Beginning!
Mindfulness is Not...
We have loved getting to know you, building community, and sharing stories about our personal mindfulness journeys.
To end our month together, we thought it would be fitting to compile your valuable stories, feedback, and resources to share them with everyone.
Mindful Mopping: Transforming Chores into Mindful Moments
All month, we have learned about what mindfulness is and how to apply it to life. I hope that you have gleaned some moments of mindfulness this month to help begin or continue your journey to a more present life through our community’s stories.
As we approach the end of our journey together (or, I should say, at the beginning,) it is important to note some common misconceptions about mindfulness.
Have Faith In What Will Be
By Sarah Horton-Campbell, MDiv, MSW, YT-200
Before I had my daughter, I practiced meditation and yoga almost daily. When I felt anxious, I found 10 minutes to do a guided relaxation meditation from the app on my phone. At the time, I didn’t think it was easy to make the time for separate mindfulness activities, but I could usually find the time….
Family Activity: Laughter Yoga
I have spent a lot of time worrying in my life. I worried about getting my work done. I worried about what my kids were doing. I worried about disappointing my friends. I worried a lot...
Laughter Yoga is a body mind exercise. It began in India in the early 90s and has since spread around the world and become more common as a mindful practice. Laughter has many proven benefits, such as strengthening the immune system and reducing pain and stress.
Calm Your Kids with Breath
How many of you ate your lunch today while scrolling your phone or reading your emails? I am guilty of eating so quickly that I sometimes don’t even taste the food I am shoveling down. With kids, it gets even worse. I find myself standing up, shoving whatever I can into my mouth while doing a million different “important” things around the house. Afterwards, I feel over-full and unsatisfied.
So, how do we reclaim mealtimes?
We are all connected.
Anyone who can breathe, can be mindful. These are fun and easy exercises that kids (and parents!) can do to calm their nervous system and prevent the “fight or flight” response we often feel in stressful situations.
Relish the Ride
Mindfulness, while it is a practice that can help us turn inward, can also lead us to turn outward. The more we connect, let ourselves be vulnerable, and have empathy towards our neighbors, the more we bring peace to the world and our everyday life.
Family Activity: Nature Walk
“We're all traveling through time together, every day of our lives. All we can do is do our best to relish this remarkable ride.”
Nature is an amazing tool for mindfulness. It is a chance for us to connect deeply with elements that give us life, breath, and sustenance. In fact, more and more doctors are prescribing nature for health and well being.
Mindfulness does not mean that there won’t be craziness. It does mean, however, that we are able to cope with the craziness a bit more effectively, most of the time. And, those times when we don’t cope like we had hoped, we can offer ourselves grace to try again better next time.
Start Your Week with Courage
Have you ever gone somewhere and barely remember how you got there? Maybe you were thinking about work, the kids, or your to-do list for the day. Maybe you were listening to a podcast or chatting on the phone. Sometimes, regardless of our intentions, our bodies are one place and our minds are another.
If we slow down and practice paying attention on purpose, without judgement or labels (aka mindfulness) we have the ability to unlock the beauty of our journey.
Family Activity: Mindfulness Jars
“Courage” is one of my favorite one-word intentions. It evokes the image of superheroes, dragon slayers, and mountain climbers. Everyday courage isn’t always as large or glamorous as that, but it can have just as big of an impact on your life.
Mindfulness Jars are a great way to talk about mindfulness with your family. The glitter in the jar represents the thoughts in our mind. As you shake the jar, the glitter swirls around and looks chaotic. However, as you stop shaking it and let it sit, the glitter begins to settle and calm.
Three Tips to Parenting Mindfully
At the end of my MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) training a few years ago, the entire class took an all-day retreat to Camp New Hope. The day was spent reviewing what we learned to take it into our prospective careers (and lives), as well as practicing mindfulness activities and spending a significant amount of time in silence working on paying attention.
Set Intentions First
When we think about parenting mindfully and what that looks like, we imagine kids that are calm all the time, a partner with whom we never argue, and a household that is full of hugs and smiles.
In reality, mindfulness does not equal perfection. It does, however, lead to a shift in perspective that can be transformative.
Mantras for The Whole Family
Have you ever started a Monday feeling frazzled, like your day was controlling you and you were just along for the roller coaster ride? By waking up and setting an intention everyday, you can stop this cycle and change your life.
Busy? You can be mindful too
While in graduate school, I had the opportunity to teach elementary school kids about mindfulness and yoga. One of my favorite classes for them was about mantras. The kids had a lot of fun coming up with them! This is a quick and easy mindfulness activity you can do with your family.
Are we too busy for mindfulness? Our schedules are packed, our children are in need of attention, and we have things that must get done on our to-do list. We don’t need another “thing.”