Life has taken many unexpected twists and turns so far in this year of 2020. Those of us in Northern Ca. are once again in the midst of major fires, smoky skies and poor air quality. The news is full of signs that nature is experiencing the effects of global warming, the magnitude of political divide in our country and the ongoing debate of when will it be safe for our children to return to the classroom.
In speaking with some parents and students, I hear the stress in their voices. The "when will this be over" plea or the "I just want to be back in the classroom with my friends". Stories of children saying "I hate being on Zoom" or "It makes me sad to see all the people I can't be with right now."
If you are anything like me, there are days when I want to stay in bed, pull the covers over my head and have someone wake me up when it's all over. Of course that's not the most effective way of coping. The reality is, I would much rather be part of the solution than to mill about in the murkiness of stagnation.
Maintaining a spiritual practice has been one of the pillars of our teaching that has helped me stay grounded during these uncertain times. While it is great to start the day with a meditation, often I find that I need mini breaks during the day to help keep me centered. That's where mindfulness practices come in handy.
Recently a friend shared a link with me full of information and resources from an organization called Mindful Arts San Francisco. They can be found by clicking this link Mindful Arts SF . There is a great deal of information on the site, but the gem for me was found in the resource tab. Within it are links to videos, webinars, trainings, short videos and a few purchase options, like breathing cards, story books and a mindfulness teaching guide.
The breathing cards are a wonderful tool. If your family doesn't yet engage in mindfulness practices, this could be a fun way to introduce it. There are 50 cards in a pack that are very colorful and easy to follow. What I love about them is, they are simple and can be used anytime to help refocus the body and calm the mind. This can be especially helpful as the school year starts back up and students get back into study habits. We may not all have a cool hammock, like the one pictured above, yet we all have the ability to add in a few moments of stillness in our day. And here's the best news... it's not just for kids. We adults can benefit from them too.
I call that Mindfulness for the Win!