Have a Mindful Summer

June 28th, 2016 by Dr. Elaine in Blog Comments Off on Have a Mindful Summer
A day at the beach with  Ms. Ruby

A day at the beach with
Ms. Ruby

Education should touch the whole child. Scientific research has shown that when a child is in a quiet alert state, learning occurs most readily. How do you bring that stillness to your family? or to a child in your care? During the summer months, being outdoors is a perfect way to manifest calm.

At the beach, you can watch sand filling up a container, or watch the waves coming to shore and back out again. You can “dig to China” like I do with my grandson, or you can also just lie on your back, with your child by your side (or grandchild, grand niece, or grand nephew) and spend time gazing up at the sky and watching the clouds moving by. Have you ever seen a cloud and was mesmerized by its shape, its form, its movement, that you couldn’t help yourself but to say outlaid, “Oh my, that looks like Dory the Fish!”, or “Oh, that looks like a Dinosaur”, or “I can’t believe it, I’m seeing a Dragon”, or “Oh my, look at that Angel.”  Some of my fondest memories as a child, were to sit on the bench in front of my house, and look up at the sky and name the clouds overhead with some of my best friends, Gail, Susan BG, Susan SB, Ruth, and my brother, Neil. I can even remember doing this with my daughter when she was young.

I didn’t know it then, that what I was doing was a mindfulness practice. (My newest Amazon #1 Best-Selling eBook, (also available in hard copy),  “7  Strategies for Raising Calm, Inspired, & Successful Children,” devotes one chapter to mindfulness, as one of the seven strategies, and includes several activities and more evidence based practice to support the value of mindfulness.)

In this state of watching the clouds, I was relaxed and calm and being an observer of nature…no worries…no other thoughts than the clouds, the blue sky, and just naming the image of the cloud. Little did I know then what I know now, that –

  • Mindfulness is an effective way of building resiliency in children and promoting positive habits of mind and body
  • Mindfulness provides exceptional lifelong skills for well-being and happiness that calm, refocus energy, and increase attention, enhancing concentration, memory, and learning, as well as facilitating a more productive and relaxed, less anxious, and stressful environment
  • Mindfulness allows the mind to observe thoughts, feelings, sensations, and perceptions, without judgment, and without reaction while being in the present moment.

Everyone can try being in the moment, and observe clouds floating by, when you make the time for yourself. So, if you have never performed a “Sky Cloud Watch” before, or if you have “Sky Cloud Watched” before when you were young, and haven’t done it recently, then take the hand of your own child, grandchild,  grand niece,  grand nephew, or the neighbor’s children, and lay a blanket over a grassy area, or sandy beach. Take the time to look up towards the sky and observe the clouds passing by. You will experience being in the moment… side by side with someone you care about, sharing these remarkable, calming moments, together.

7 Strategies for Raising Calm, Inspired, & Successful Children” will give you many more Instant Insights and activities to enjoy now and throughout the year. Have a great summer!!!



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