As I adventure further and further into Mindfulness for children, teens and young adults, I only become increasingly convinced as to how effective it can be for everyone. In my work with parents, school children and individuals through Mindful coaching, the following meditation has proven itself to be one of the most difficult, but also the most rewarding.
This meditation is aimed at children from 5+, but it has the potential to give comfort to absolutely anyone. If you’re trying this with a young child, try this for just a minute each day. Depending on age and concentration span, you can attempt this for longer. For an adult who is new to mindfulness, I’d recommend 4 or 5 minutes to begin with. If you wish, you might like to record your thoughts in this handy log.
You can learn a lot about the recurring weather patterns in your mind, after only a week of recording thoughts in logs like this…
You might also start to notice just how these recurring weather patterns effect your daily habits, behaviours, social interactions and core beliefs. You may realise, as you take a step back from the inner-chatter, that things that you never even questioned to be untrue, suddenly seem like fake news.
Once you’ve put in a little time here, you’ll hopefully find yourself pulling back from your thoughts automatically. This detachment from your thoughts and the realisation that you are you, not whatever is passing through your head at any moment, is just invaluable. It feeds into everything that you are and everything that you do.
Enjoy this child-friendly ‘Thought-Cloud’ Meditation:
- Sit down comfortably and allow your eyes to close gently. Your brain should know what your body is awake.
- Take a few moments to notice your breath and any sensations happening in your body. Notice how your body feels where it touches the chair or floor.
- Just continue to breathe and notice with curiosity – no need to control or fix anything. We’re just looking in at what’s happening today, and noticing.
- Have you ever laid on the grass and watched clouds go by? This is what we’re going to try now, but we’re going to watch thoughts go by today, instead of clouds. Take some time here to let thoughts come into your mind. Is there anything that you’re excited about? Worried about? Happy about? Unsure about? Let a thought float around in your head like a cloud, just letting it be there.
- As you watch these thoughts, as if they’re clouds, you might like to imagine that you are lying outside on grass, on a sunny day, watching these clouds. It might help you to notice the different shapes and colours of these clouds.
- As you watch these thoughts, realise that they’re just thoughts. Just like clouds in the sky, they come in different shapes, sizes and colours, but they all pass by. As you watch, notice how they pass by.
- If you notice that your mind has wandered, and feel that you’re inside of the cloud rather than watching it, congratulate yourself for realising this. This is brilliant for strengthening your attention muscles! Now go back to watching your thoughts from a distance, remembering that you are not your thoughts. They are just thoughts and float through your sky.
- After a few moments, return your attention to your breathe and notice the sensations in your body. Now gently open your eyes and bring your attention back to the room, stretching if you wish.
Enjoy the clouds! xx