Reflection #2: Meet our characters “Bunch” & “Crunch”
Mindfulness as a calming agent:
Being in a state of awareness without being judgmental about one’s own feelings and experiences is being “mindful”. Being mindful allows us to refocus deeply on the present moment – the here and the now. Mindfulness allows us to practically implement what our heart recommends. It is a state of mind that allows us to think positive and stay on the journey of positivity. Whether having a “full mind” or being “mindful” is also a state of self-awareness. Many say that mindfulness is a meditative practice that trains us to bring attention to our experience, as it arises in the present moment. Tune in your thoughts to think what’s good and needed for the present moment than rehashing the past or imaging and re-imaging the future. This will settle in the moment-by-moment awareness and you will find your own self as a super-powerful “calming agent”.
It’s certainly not a child’s play:
If this is a concept that’s not completely well-understood by adults, how do we ensure our children understand what’s needed to keep them “thriving”, to keep them with “what and who they think and feel they are”? Educating children to grow into mindfulness is an art by itself. We become our own parents when we educate and share the gift of “mindfulness” with the young adults at home. We become the voice in tour children’s heads. How we portray an image of us in their heads (read: imagination) can be beyond the realm of what science and technology and/or spirituality can ingrain in us.
Teaching and learning mindfulness should be a subject in itself that kids get to learn at varying levels starting at elementary to their standards higher up the ladder. Though this is like any other art form – that can be taught and learned in all honesty; however, it requires a deep sense of compassion and empathy to teach and be taught – all at once!
To be aware – Meet “Fondue”:
Being mindful is certainly an art. An art that will lead to knowing oneself.
Meet our 1st character “Fondue” who as a kid excelled being calm, compassionate, enthusiastic, happier, healthier and above all “mindful”. We will see in the episodes to come from where she learned those qualities and how she is able to put them to practice – yes you read it right “put them to practice”.. seems like a million dollar question already answered.. right ?!
Showcase patience and creativity:
When you think of digressing from a core topic to help your children understand, showcase patience and creativity. The following pencil carving flower became one such creation this morning when I was trying to put together my imaginary characters for a sequel, and when my daughter wanted to talk about her Harry Potter experience. I wanted to share with her that interrupting one’s work will not be welcomed by anyone, including herself (irrespective of the age factor!). At the same time, I did realize the sheer sense of satisfaction that her gleaming eyes expressed. I worked on sharpening my pencils and helped her come up with this carving that she posted on to her HP 4th edition. We concluded this by a little lesson learning of how the time spent was time away from her reading, and my writing/thought process. In the end, her lesson share with me was: “well, I did understand what you had shared and will follow. But, mommy, we do have a beautiful carving coming out of that creative-interruption”!
Well, she nailed that point harder in me – patience and creativity not just leads to empathizing with one self and other around, it brings in the best form of ourselves – only if we have the time to sit and reflect. Have you ever reflected on your patience and creativity quotients yet? What did those bring to you?
Meet our heroes – “Bunch & Crunch”:
Bunch is our “mind-full me” character that “eyes-in on the self”
Crunch is our “mindful me” counter part that “attempts to relish every step”
Our heroes will continue to show up in their best forms for us to learn who they are and what they have to teach us in the episodes to come.
Now you get to decide WHO you are based on the initial glimpse of our heroes as sketched below. Whom do you associate your character with?!
In addition, I challenge you to sit with your children to assess who they are and whom they reflect with at the very first look.
Remember to strike this conversation with ONLY with these ingredients – patience, creativity and empathy!
Research study & journey back to the belonging:
In a research study conducted in 2018 (published in Springer Link on 05 March 2018), 219 participants aged 22-75. 57.53% of participants undertook mindfulness practice for 25+ days. They all undertook intervention assessments of perceived stress, positive and negative effect, mindfulness, flourishing, and self-compassion. Results seemed to have increased mindfulness with predicted improvements in positive affect.
Have you wondered about a journey back to the belonging? A place where everyone and everything functions positively. A world that is free of polluted thoughts and criticism. How do you visualize such a world? What would be your vision/mission statement or art work portraying such a “classic paradise”? Share your mindful thoughts in the comments below. And, pass it on to the kids that you know to showcase what they feel about being mindful. Please share them with us here. Those entries am certain would win our hearts and expand our horizons!
Stay tuned for our episode-2…