On Mindfulness, Justice, and Tracks for Kids
I freaking love this GIF.
Let's face it, attempting to practice mindfulness these days, when you just might be walking around on the verge of slapping people most of the time, can be challenging. Or maybe I've revealed too much.
2020 has been kind to few of us, and if there's one thing that needs to be made clear about mindfulness, it's that it's not about being more comfortable with your oppression or with the injustices that plague you or with . . . the people you'd like to slap. You can't help anyone--yourself included--if you're not resourced-up. You can't fight for rights, your community, your country, or the planet if your nervous system is in a constant state of dysregulation (it means what you think it means) and you don't have tools to do something about that.
It seems we're at peak mindfulness, and as a result I'm not quite sure what people even mean when they talk about mindfulness anymore. But here's what I do know:
Kids need to learn the basics of focus and attention for obvious reasons. Meanwhile, their attention (not to mention their self-esteem) is being degraded by social media, and they have no idea this is happening.
There is hope for social media addiction in kids and parents through Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Kids need to learn about their emotions, as much of what we say and do comes from our emotions, but we often aren't aware of this because it happens so quickly.
There is hope, as emotion identification and regulation can be achieved through MBSR.
Kids and parents need to learn about their own automatic, habitual stress reactivity--the patterns they have in speech and behavior that are a result of reactions to their stress response.
There is hope, as the mindfulness-mediated stress response can be cultivated by both kids and parents.
Only when your mind and body are in a state of alert wakefulness and not under the spell of rumination or hyper-vigilance can you help yourself and others. We cannot develop and implement ways of combatting injustice, take back what has been taken, and move forward in a sustainable, smart way if we are constantly reactive and exhausted.
Getting Kids Resourced
Whether your kids are going to school or still distance-learning, they are probably still experiencing loss and even trauma.
There's no time like the present to introduce them to the idea of mindfulness so they can experience the confidence that comes with the realization that they have the power to direct their attention. It's one small step, but it's the first one to being able to combat your social media or other addiction or change your behavioral patterns.
I started going into schools to share mindfulness nearly a decade ago (I'm Mindful Schools-Certified), and I have seen what it takes to introduce it in a way that's helpful to them.
This page has s a five-minute track for kids under10 (but you decide), as well as one for kids over 10. I hope you find them helpful. Share with whoever might need them!