November’s Monthly Mindful Moment

This is the time of year the days start flying by: time changes, darkness comes quickly, and pre-holiday madness is already swelling. When life feels hectic and busy, that’s the perfect time to Take Five! This simple mindfulness practice involves one hand and your five fingers. Using belly breaths (aka Flower Breaths), use the index finger of one hand to trace the outline of the other hand. Starting at the base of the thumb, breathe in as you trace your finger up, and breathe out as you trace down the other side. Repeating this for each finger leads to five slow, deep breaths. When we teach kids to Take Five, they have an always-accessible tool to remind them of one way to calm down. Kids love to “do it by myself,” and this practice helps them have a little independence in trying to self-calm. Give it a try yourself, and you might find you feel a little less stressed and in control of your day, too. Taking Five is a great practice for all of us!

Jillian & the Peace of Mind Team 

Have you heard about Peace of Mind’s first ever Mini-Conference on Budding Brains? Tickets and more information can be found here!

Your Monthly Mindful Moment

Happy October! The first week of the month is when we will always feature a new mindfulness practice (if you missed last month’s Heartfulness practice, check it out here!)

We started out this month in an exciting way –  with Linda featured on today’s WUSA 9’s morning show, Great Day Washington! She spoke about the benefits of teaching mindfulness to children and the big impact this can have on school climate and culture. Linda appeared along with Harriet Sanders, President and CEO of the National Education Association Foundation (NEAF). On Friday, Linda will be opening the NEAF symposium Keeping the Promise of Public Education with a short talk on mindfulness. She’ll be joined by other speakers such as noted author  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Kind Bar founder Daniel Lubetzky. You can tune in to this exciting event by signing up for the livestream here. 

Today’s mindful moment practice conveys the most basic acts of mindfulness meditation – deep belly breathing. To teach this skill to children, we call it taking “Flower Breaths.” First, we use our finger as an imaginary flower. Inhaling deeply, we “smell the flower” for several seconds. Once our bellies are full, we exhale by gently “blowing the petals” on our flower for as long as possible. Then we do it again! Children can easily grasp the basic actions of belly breathing – in through the nose, out through the mouth – with Flower Breaths.

 You might try putting your hands on your belly while you breathe in, and notice how it fills with air. As you breathe out, the belly becomes soft again. Try it with your own child and see how easy it is to have a mindful moment with Flower Breaths.  We hope this simple practice brings you and your children peace – and a little fun, too!

.Jillian & the Peace of Mind Team – Follow us on Twitter @peaceofmindorg