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

Posts tagged ‘stress reduction’

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!

 

Mindfulness in Action: If you like what I have to say and want to stay in touch go on over to my webpage and sign up for the FREE newsletter. You’ll get all of my blog posts, newsletters and upcoming events/classes.

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

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The Power of the Present

hereandnow

Hello everyone!

I am sorry that it has been so long since my last post.  It seems like life sped up for a bit and I got stuck in my head instead of my heart!  So, here I am today with a raging headache and feeling inspired to write…who knew?

I am one of those people who believes that when your physical body is manifesting ailments, it simply means that you are not listening to your body and so it turns up the volume a bit so that you will take care of yourself.

Of late, I have been getting these terrible headaches that knock me for a loop and make it difficult to focus.  I almost always feel dizzy when they are present and I feel quite sick to my stomach.  Well, a doctor might say quite a few things about this.  Perhaps it’s a sinus thing or dehydration from not drinking enough water.  Of course, it could be stress or a reaction of some sort from allergies.  Instead of seeing the medical doctor today, I went to my chiropractor, Dr. Nancy Cappiello (that’s my usual route when I’m out of balance).

With a throbbing headache and worry in my eyes I asked her to ‘fix me’ and tell me what I could do to better support my body.  She looked at me with a smile and said, “Are you taking your D3?  You know that D3 supports your immune system?” My response, “Um, well, I have the bottle on the kitchen counter, but no, I haven’t taken it in a good month or so.”  My chiropractor continues, “What about exercise? How much exercise have you been doing?”  At this point she just got a grunt from me because I haven’t exercised in such a long time that I am embarrassed to answer this.  Finally she says, “Stress? Got any of that Vick?”  Um, hello, yes, I am a wife, mother, teacher, business owner, life coach, author (who is currently in the middle of writing a 70,000 word book) head of a gazillion committees at school, organizing a HUGE Christmas extravaganza for the kids at my house on Christmas Eve morning, and the list goes on.  Yeah, I’d say I’ve got some stress!

She stretched my neck out with this amazing cranial thing she does and I left feeling a little bit better.  As I was driving home I felt the tears well up in my eyes and all I wanted to do was go home and snuggle in a blankie.

You see, this morning, I woke up with this terrible headache and I was in slow motion from the get go.  I arrived at my classroom later than usual and just couldn’t get my butt in gear.  I wasn’t fully prepared for my kids as they were walking through the door.  The stress level builds.  I check my email and there are a million things I need to respond to or take some type of action on.  The kids are saying good morning and coming to my desk to ask questions or tell me a story, but I couldn’t even turn to look directly at them because I had to finish the email in front of me.  I continue with my day and my head begins to really throb.  The slightest thing that the kids do now really sets me off.  A tiny little interruption, a tap on my shoulder (the ones who can reach) or following me around the classroom.  My responses to them were a bit curt and totally unlike who I truly am with them and who I always want them to see.  I realize this and try to slow down a bit so I don’t take it out on my innocent little bystanders.  Then they are off to specials, lunch and recess, yet I feel so bad that I wasn’t my best self with them.

I was tearing up as I was driving home because I was replaying this whole morning over and over in my head and realizing that the main issue was that I was not present in the moment.  I started the day behind the eight ball and just couldn’t get ahead of the game.  If I only took the time to center myself before the kids walked in the door and let go of all of the thoughts and worries that were crashing through my brain.

When I arrived home from the chiropractor, I took my earrings and hot mama boots off to lay on the couch with the dog.  I closed my eyes and asked for guidance.  A few hours later, I woke up and reached for my iPhone so that I could look up what headaches mean in Louise Hay’s book, Heal Your Body.  I looked up headaches and what did I see?

headache

Well, that certainly explains it for me!  I asked for guidance and I got it.  Yes, my headache is actually here.  It was throbbing immensely and making me feel sick to my stomach. However, once I was able to realize that I was causing this headache because I was not taking care of myself and most importantly, not in the present moment, I was able to shift my belief and the headache is alleviated.

There is great power in the present moment.  If I was present, I wouldn’t have been carrying my thoughts, insecurities and worries deep inside of me.  If I was present, I wouldn’t have caused myself to have this very unpleasant headache.  Most importantly, if I was present, my students would have felt the love that they normally feel from me when they walk into the room.  I hope that they will forgive my grumpiness today.  I am human.  I’ve learned my lesson; I will take my D3, reignite my yoga practice and drink lots of water. I set the intent to be present in the moment from this day forward. Want to join me?

Five quick steps to getting yourself into the present moment: (Take Five)

1) Sit in a comfortable position.

2) Close your eyes.

3) Breathe deeply, in through your nose and slowly release that breath out through your mouth.

4) Repeat several times just listening to your breath and feeling your breath until you feel your heart rate slow and the mind ease up.

5) Recite this mantra, “I am fully present in this moment and all is well.”

If you start to get ahead of yourself again or you find your thoughts shifting to worry and fear, take 5 once again!

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki