What my children have taught me about mindfulness…

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If you want to witness true mindfulness at play just observe children; they really know how to live in the moment and we can learn such a lot from them.

I have certainly learnt a lot from my boys, for example:

  • when they are really enjoying their food, nothing else matters. They devour it with all their senses, fully taking in all the smells, the colours and the feel.

I had to smile the other day when I watched my 4 year old eating an ice cream as he was clearly in ecstasy and feasting on that delight was the only thing that mattered to him at that very moment. Of course,  the same goes for when they don’t like a particular food and the reaction is often quite candid (and perhaps even embarrassing if you are in public) but, in some ways, it is quite nice to see such brutal honesty when we grown-ups are all dancing around each other and often hiding our true feelings.

  • when I watch them fully absorbed in play it is truly a thing of beauty; their imaginations run wild and their is no limit to what they can do and see. It’s a pity that the same can’t be said of us adults, with all the daily chores and deadlines. When do we stop playing and start getting so serious about everything?
  • they say what they feel, truly and openly. Ok, so having my oldest son announce that “his bum was itchy” while over at a friend’s house the other day was slightly cringey but it was also very funny and, again, I admired his openness. He is teaching me to be less embarrassed and to give less importance to what other people think (…not that I plan to start making such announcements any time soon!).
  • they view the world with such excitement and without the judgement that older people do. Everything offers the possibility of a new adventure or experience and they fully embrace that with openness and positivity.
  • they don’t hold on to feelings. One moment they can be in the midst of a full melt-down and the next very happily playing again. They truly show us that each day offers the chance of a brand new start.

For me,  William Blake captures the purity and enthusiasm of childhood perfectly in the opening of his poem Auguries of Innocence

To see a World in a grain of sand.

And Heaven in a wild flower.

Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand.

And Eternity in an hour.

– William Blake –

One thought on “What my children have taught me about mindfulness…

  1. Really like this post and how it draws our attention to our children’s mindful eating and authentic ‘moment-to-moment’ living. Pleased to have found your blog as we have such similar twitter handles so it’s good to connect! x

    Like

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