December 2017 The Mindfit Children's classes and Adult Mindfulness well being classes are coming to a close for December . Classes resume Mid January !
Well-being in the workplace is becoming more common place!
I was so delighted to have been asked to give various workplace mindfulness workshops during January 2017, one being a local Kildare business Irish Dog Foods in Naas. They were having a full well being week and I was invited to give Mindfulness sessions one day and Laughter Yoga on another day. Both days and all workshops were so well received. It is wonderful that so many companies are seeing the benefits of bringing mindfulness and well being into the work place. The laughter yoga brings out the inner child in us all and the benefits of laughter Yoga for our health and well being are seen and felt instantly! We were even heard in other departments... HILARIOUS!!
Mindfulness and Meditation can help us recognise and cope with tension and stress throughout our daily lives... When we pause and find a little quiet time we definitely feel more calm and peaceful.
The feedback I heard was ‘We feel recharged!’ Surely that is great for the workplace both for employee and employer!
January went by so quickly, all the classes are full and happily we are introducing another Mindfit’ class on Tuesday for Primary age at 5pm in Punchestown AMI School. We will have further updates about our Summer Mindfit’ for children and adults during the coming weeks.
Our current Monday mindfulness course is full and the next course is starting in March at Punchestown. We enjoy all the weekly classes but getting into a work environment I can really observe the benefits for those who may be new to Meditation and Mindful breath and see how amazed they are by it within such a short time.
Mindfulness at work is certainly the way forward!
‘Catch your child being good’ is a phrase I really like and it’s a topic I like to talk about on my Positive parenting courses. ‘Allow mistakes and self discovery’ is another helpful phrase. We seem to always want to point out the negative side of things and the ‘what could go wrong aspects’ of daily life, ‘Stop jumping or you will fall ’ ‘Get down from there or you will hurt yourself ’ We often feel as adults raising children that we need to point out everything to children as it happens. ‘Mind how you carry that it might spill ‘ or ‘Look out there is a puddle there’ or ‘don’t fill it up too much’ ‘turn that around it’s better that way,’ ‘let me do that for you I will be quicker.’
The message we are sending to the child is I don’t trust you. The message we are sending is I know what is best for you. Of course we need to set up an environment suitable for the young child but when to step in is of concern. We hear so much now about risky play.... What about risky daily life? Why are young children doing less for themselves and being wrapped in cottonwood in case they may get hurt?
In a Montessori environment we carefully choose activities that encourage child development. Many activities that are in the classroom are in our daily life. Yes..... A pencil, cutlery, scissors (that actually cut), glassware ... WOW! Does that seem so outrageous!?
It is not a free for all, It is however, freedom within limits, and we set up the situation carefully we take time to show the child and then step back and observe.... We show the child how to carry a pencil, how to butter bread, how to cut paper, how to pour water.
I love you enough to show you ... I love you enough to make mistakes in order to learn ... I love you enough to give you your own space. I love you enough to have time and spend time with you.
I suppose it really is ‘I love you enough to spend the time showing you’, Ah that word time. We are often so over whelmed by getting children to simply have a bath ,eat sleep drink and get dressed , It seems so much easier to then put them in front of a screen ....However we know, children learn from doing and from being around others. Self confidence flourishes when we know we can do !
We need to raise children who will think for themselves, children that have some freedom of choice, children that are curious with some sense of outcome and that can only be achieved, little by little, from an early age. .. Obviously a child can’t be let run across a street , but they can choose what clothes to wear or maybe put shoes on the wrong feet or clean up after their spill without a parental ‘that shoe is on the wrong foot’ or ‘look what you just did!’ ...
Allow children (within limits) some freedom of choice, allow mistakes happen. Allow them to flourish and grow without being over directed. Support your child to learn for them with your quiet calm guidance. What is trivial to you may mean triumph to your child.... Encourage self discovery. It is wonderful for self esteem and further life skills. Feelings of self worth develop when the individual differences are appreciated, communication is open and the atmosphere is nurturing. Everyone makes mistakes, it is how we learn ....Allow children do more and discover for themselves.... you may even find you will catch them being good!
Laughter yoga was always something that appealed to me ...it makes total sense that laughing, being in good form and having a sunny disposition has to have positive health benefits, so when I went along to a course to train as a Laughter yoga leader I actually let all the reasons why and how go out the window and I just let myself, be in the moment and enjoy !
Wow I had a great experience!
Laughter Yoga is NOT about cracking jokes or being funny to all around you.. it’s about creating a space and allowing laughter to flow....
Our trainer was sunny and genuine and easily you could see she enjoyed her job! At the start it feels uncomfortable and seems a tad false, but when you’re with a group who are open and willing to be part of the laughter yoga class, it is actually invigorating!
A bonus is that the health benefits are great too! So I do plan to incorporate Laughter Yoga into my workshops and see how it goes! Come along and give me feedback !
My individual Mindfulness sessions are becoming popular, some children and adults prefer to have a one to one session on breath awareness in a quieter setting ... others enjoy both group class and individual session and dip in and out of both. I like to accommodate this and it seems to flow easily as at different times of our life we want and even need different experiences..
Mindfulness practice although it is portable and so accessible, can sadly be left aside usually during the times when we need it most we lose sight of its importance and tend not to have some mindfulness in our day. The more we practice it the more we want to practice it, the less we do it the less we want to..
I certainly do know, that my group sessions do not flow as well when a group member does not want to be at the workshop!
The school, club or workplace may in good faith, want to run a positive mindfulness session to bring a team change of attitude or calm, but I find when anyone is made go, they do not open up to the mindful way of life or calm breath awareness. As we all know change has to come from within, Mindfulness meditation is for all who are willing to give it a try.
Thankfully, more and more are becoming interested in mindfulness and meditation alongside other therapies. With further approaches it can truly enhance our life and allow us to flourish and even be happy !
It was a wonderful year! Full of new beginnings, laughter, love, kindness and compassion!
Lots of new children joined the class and attended the various workshops throughout the year. I visited many schools and set up some simple Mindful activities for the children to do at home and at school. The wonderful thing about Mindfulness is that it is portable and everyone can give it a go! !
We can all be Mindful each day for a few moments and truly reap the benefits.
Children young and old can practice Mindfulness... Mindfulness helps us to feel good and when we feel well we behave better we can enjoy life more. When we change a negative pattern of thought we can begin then to be kinder to ourselves and to others. It all starts with the Mindful breath and a inward smile and wellness thought of ‘I am well ..I am okay ‘.
During our ‘Let’s chat it out!’ time, I often asked the children (primary and young teens) What bothers you the most? What makes you anxious?
99% said homework, tests and exams....... (Hmmm ...)
We live in a world where from childhood we are judged and stressed by feeling we are not doing enough or feel we are not bright enough and can be only be validated by our achievements .... We are humans ‘doing’ rather than humans ‘being’.
I love seeing the children leave the Mindfulness session a little calmer, a little happier and It is delightful for me that each week they all come back to the class...
Children have chosen to miss a party or another weekly event in order to come to the mindfulness class. The more they come it seems they more they want to come!
‘Thursday is my favourite day’ said a 10 year old boy (who has become so much happier over the past year)
‘Thursday’? I queried
‘Yes , Thursday! It is the day I go to my Mindfulness class ‘
I guess that says it all!
Mindful Children Ireland
Mindful Children Ireland offers weekly class ,monthly Saturday workshops and Summer school sessions. ‘Living Mindfully’ is the adult class and runs weekly .