Guiding our children to shine their inner LIGHT by being our absolute best!

Posts tagged ‘meditation’

Why Can’t These Kids Listen?

I have always prided myself on my ability to see the world through the eyes of a child and create a peaceful, warm, loving environment within my classroom. A few years ago I earned the title of ‘The Mindful Teacher’ because I work so hard to stay in the present moment and I actually teach a mindfulness practice in my classroom for at least 20 minutes a day every day after lunch and recess-

Yet, Friday was truly a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day because my 1st graders just wouldn’t listen to a word I said.

This behavior had been building from about the middle of the week but on Friday I literally stood there at the front of my classroom wondering if I was stuck in a Charlie Brown cartoon because as I gazed at my students it appeared that they were simply hearing ‘wha wha wha wha wha’ (just like the cartoon) instead of the actual words I was saying. At one point I actually raised my voice (which never happens in my room) in order to get their attention. I was then quickly heart broken as I noticed that this was the only way that the kids respond to adults-when their voice is loud and they know they’ve crossed the line. That was the worst feeling ever and certainly not how Mrs. Savini’s classroom runs on a daily basis!

I decided to take a step back, ask some questions to my audience and go within. And here’s what I found-

Step 1: I asked this question on my facebook page, ‘Why do you think children are not good listeners in today’s society?’

And here are some responses:

‘Technology and chemicals in food have negatively changed the physiology and essentially rewired our brains.’ -Nicole

‘Too much technology not enough out doors and simply playing learning and exploring.’ -Cheryl

‘Because the world is so rushed and no one teaches them to stop and listen, to quiet their mind and hear what is being said before responding. Many children and adults are so busy forming their response in their head that the don’t listen well.’ -Teri

Probably because adults are poor examples – at least its one reason.’ -Elizabeth

Step 2: I closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths and asked for answers from my higher self.

Dear Higher Self, 

What the hell is going on? Have I lost my magical touch? Is it a full moon?’

The answers came…

No it’s not a full moon and no you haven’t lost your magic touch. The truth is our kids are growing up in a hectic, busy society where everyone is a bit disconnected. Yes, the chemicals in the foods and environment are a factor and yes too much technology adds to their brains going astray, but the most important factor is YOU.

Hmmmmm. Well that’s certainly something to think about isn’t it?!

Have you ever gone out to dinner with your family and noticed the tables where parents are scrolling through their smartphones and kids are on electronics while waiting for their meals to come? I’m sure you’ve stood and watched people texting back and forth while they are sitting in the same room as well.

I remember a time when I was waiting to board a plane in a major airport. I noticed that many people were on electronics, busying their minds until their time was up. Then I turned and noticed a family of four sitting at a table; Mom was on her laptop, dad was on a kindle, the teen boy was also on a laptop and the youngest child (likely 8-9 years old) was on his iPod. They were not looking at each other, nor were they talking to one another. They were sitting in the same space, at the same table as a family, yet they were totally disconnected. Their flight was called and everyone packed up and walked away together, still not interacting. I had tears in my eyes as I watched this because it reminded me just how precious childhood is and that we are wasting it away by not connecting with the kids.

Where’s the connection nowadays (omg…did I just say that? I’ve turned into my mother…lol)? When do we look into each others eyes and share a moment of tenderness? When do we stop and truly listen to what the other person is saying? We need to get this back-we need to CONNECT and if we want our children to be better  listeners, then we need to listen better and model better.

After all of this pondering about the problem, the solution finally hit me-

My students need more mindfulness training than 20 minutes a day and I need to be more mindful to model this behavior for them!

The truth is, our kids have difficulty listening and are seemingly careless about life because they are growing up in a disconnected society where everyone is on the run and our minds are never in one place. We are running to a meeting, running to a practice, running to the grocery store, running-away.

We all need to STOP, BREATHE and just BE.

Here’s my new plan for Monday;

Instead of just practicing Mindfulness for 20 minutes or so after lunch and recess, I will practice throughout the day. I, myself will stay in the moment and serve as a strong model for my students. Each and every day moving forward, I will remind myself that the gift of life is the present moment. I will do this by posting this simple sign in my home, my car and of course, my classroom.

breathe.

 

Why breathe? Because when we take a deep breath, we are brought back to the present moment.

My students aren’t deliberating ignoring me and we aren’t deliberately ignoring the children, but we are all disconnecting in some way, shape or form. It’s time to connect again. It’s time to breathe!

 

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Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

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Creating Calm to Prevent a Storm

I try hard not to watch too much TV, because let’s face it, we can get drawn in easily and end up spending countless hours on the couch.  However, last night, I felt like I just needed a break from reality.

As I was scrolling through the trusty ‘ol guide, I discovered that the 2004 movie titled, “The Day After Tomorrow,” starring Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Emmy Rossum was airing.  I vaguely remembered the movie, but I recalled liking the movie, so I tuned in.

If you’ve never seen this movie, I’ll give you the gist of it… ‘A climatologist tries to figure out a way to save the world from abrupt global warming. He must get to his young son in New York, which is being taken over by a new ice age’ (Yep…intense, but thought provoking).

The movie was on until 12 pm and there was no way mama was making it ’til 12, so I DVR’d it to watch in the morning before the rest of the clan woke up.

There I was at 6:30 am watching the remainder of this very intense movie, glued to the screen.  As I viewed the storm unfold on the screen, my inner storm was coming to a head.

The past few months have been extremely intense for me.  If you remember my last blog article about being mindful, I think you’ll understand where my head has been.  Lots of ‘stuff‘ going on, both good and bad (just like everyone else on this planet), and very little time spent being mindful, but

That’s all about to change! 

Perhaps that movie shifted something inside of me.  Maybe it was a way for me to see the storm that was brewing within myself and make a shift before it was too late.

I went about my day, running errands and dropping my son off for a play-date, and then I felt it…that awful piercing pain that I get in my neck when I am so stressed out that I can’t even think straight.  Shortly after, I felt a heaviness in my chest and breathing became a chore.  My mind began to race.  I knew I wasn’t having a heart attack and that there was no immediate danger, but my body wasn’t quite getting that and it was going into fight or flight mode!  So, what did I do?

I took a deep breath…nothing.  I took another deep breath…still nothing.  I took a third deep breath and then the flood came.  Tears rolled down my face like a down pour from the clouds on a hot summer’s day.  I let it all out.  I randomly spewed my thoughts like a hurricane ripping through a remote town to my husband (who was actually very good this time and didn’t try to fix it in typical ‘male mode’, instead, he just listened while boarding up the windows! Thanks Hunnie)  When the tears stopped and the sniffles were gone (the downpour and outrageous wind), I wiped my eyes, took a deep breath and said to myself, “Girl, you’ve got to dump this stuff out of your FULL mind and get to a mindful place before your child comes home!”

And that’s exactly what I’m going to do.  Today, I am attending a workshop with John Welshons in Albany at 1 pm.  I didn’t intend on it, but when I went to my computer to see what I could do to straighten myself out (while my son was at his friends house enjoying life) and give myself some ‘me time,’ there sat the email in my inbox with an answer.

We take on a great deal of stress every day.  Some of our stresses may include; financial stress, relationship stress, career stress, time management stress, etc.  The list is different for everyone, but the result is quite the same.  While we are taking on all of that stress and not doing anything to relieve it, we are brewing a massive storm destined to destroy everything in its path.

Now, if you live in a remote area on the top of some mountain far away from civilization where there is you, and only you, and no one depends on you, then you are good to go, keep adding fuel to that fire, if you so choose.  However, if you are a human being who interacts with other human beings daily, especially children, then perhaps you may want to create calm in your life in order to prevent this storm.  These storms created by stress can be lethal.  They can destroy a person’s well being in a matter of moments and our children are the most vulnerable to these conditions.

I’m not saying that a meditation workshop for 3 hours is the thing for you.  Maybe it’s a round of golf or a day at the spa.  Perhaps, it’s a walk in nature for 15 minutes or closing your eyes for 5 minutes and focusing on your breath.  It doesn’t matter what you do to get yourself to focus on the present moment and leave the past in the past and the future to the future.  What matters is that you take the preventive measures necessary to avoid a storm.  We get so caught up in where we are going and where we have been that we miss the gift in front of us…the present moment.

Unfortunately, time doesn’t stop ticking.  One moment you’re holding your new born baby in your arms, and the next moment your handing them the keys to the car.  In order to stay in the moment, be mindful.

Don’t let it get to the point when you feel pain in your neck or heaviness in your chest.  The moment your mind starts to spin, take a deep breath and just listen to that breath.  Imagine what it looks like going into your body and leaving your body.  Feel what that breath feels like.  This is a sure way to get yourself back to the present moment when you are jumping ahead to the future or stuck in the past.  Mindfulness isn’t a religion or even a philosophy.  It’s simply,

Paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.” 

Jon Kabat-Zinn

I am truly thankful that I watched that movie last night.  May the shift begin!

I hope that my tiny storm will help you to prevent storms of your own, so that together, we can be the best parents, the best teachers, the best models for our children, today…tomorrow…and always!

Much love and sunshine to you!

Vicki

To continue this journey with me, please like my Facebook page.

Also, a GREAT book, written by Congressman Tim Ryan titled, “A Mindful Nation,” just might be worth your time.