Kin + Mind
Kin & Mind - The Art of Mindfulness at Home with your Children
The other day I was in the park with my kids and I found myself sitting on a low table watching them run around. I’ve had a virus and was knackered and thought I’d lie down and look up at the trees. The sun was high, it was warm and there was so much beautiful light filtering down.
As I stared up, I became more aware of the sounds around me. I could hear my kids squealing and shouting for each other. As I was watching the leaves gently move, and enjoying the warmth, I began to feel really calm. And I sort of got it. I got mindfulness. I got that I could actually be still and re-charge. That I could re-centre myself. I wasn’t thinking about laundry, or shopping lists, or making three lunches the next day, I was just me. Me as me. Not me as wife, mother, business owner, friend, volunteer, cranky-pants or other. It was amazing to let my mind rest while I was still awake and aware.
I reckon the sense of peace lasted maybe a minute, maybe 90 seconds before...
“Muuuuuuuuuuu-uuuuum… maaaaaahhhmeeeeeeee”. You know it. We all do. But I just got up and motioned to my 5 year old to come and lie next to me and look at the trees. And then of course my 3 year old wanted to get in on the action and then the big boy 8 year old. So there we were on this bench all looking up at the trees. Of course there was no silence. Someone was touching someone’s foot, someone else was complaining about said foot contact and the other one was sniffing in my ear. But it was lovely. We all stopped and enjoyed the nature and time together. We probably only had another couple of minutes before someone needed water (because clearly the park was like being in the Sahara and it had been 10 WHOLE minutes since the last drop touched their mouth). But it was heaven.
There are so many ways to quietly and easily connect with ourselves and our kids.
I have since enjoyed mindful trips staring at the crashing waves; or just sitting with my 3 year old being really present as we both drink hot chocolates – describing the sweetness of the marshmallow and the heat of the warm milk. I even found a mini-mindful moment while stringing little letter beads with the kids (while desperately trying not to notice the pings of little bits falling on the floor). I’m trying. I’m still really rubbish at letting go when I know I’ve got a to-do list as long as my arm (and yours) but I’m trying. And for now I’ll happily go to the park, leave my phone at home and look up, listen and feel.