One of the troubles with trying to carve out new habits is the notorious life that tries to get in the way. Today was Sunday and full of church-related activities. This meant that I was preparing food for potluck in between services and it also meant that my kids would likely drag their feet about anything related to getting ready on time. Rushing around doesn't exactly feel very mindful to me, but I did feel relatively calm despite the hurry-up mode we were in.
We didn't find the time for our mindfulness activity until after dinner tonight, but it worked well just the same. Everyone got their journals out and we copied down Philippians 4:6-7.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It was a lot of words that they had to double and triple check for spelling help and it ended up taking them a long time. Honestly, though, I didn't feel bad or mind it taking so long. For my kids, just taking that time focusing on one thing until it is completed is a mindfulness exercise all by itself. After it was finished, we talked a little bit about the verse and then about finding ways to calm ourselves when there is life around us is upsetting or overwhelming. In addition to prayer, we practiced slow breathing and listening to our breathing. It made me feel better, but I kind of wondered if it made any kind of impression at all on the kids.
As the kids were getting in bed, miss Z was starting to get really excited about getting to sleep in J's room and without skipping a beat J says, "Remember Zoey, calm down. Practice your breathing. Like this." She immediately stops, saying "Oh, yeah!" and proceeds to breathe a few calmer breaths and jump in bed. It was amazing.
To be honest sometimes I feel compelled to concoct really big gestures when really small ones might work even better. Tonight was a great example of that!
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