by Chay Tanchanco, LMFT
When I used to work with kids at schools, I used to watch a lot of videos on GoNoodle.com.
If you have kids or work with kids, it is a wonderful resource for videos on exercise/movement, education in reading and math, and mindfulness.
It is my hope that all kids in the world are learning more and more about mindfulness--but just because we are adults doesn't mean that we are lost causes. Many of the resources available are applicable, no matter how young or old we are. And in light of the heaviness that comes with confronting difficult emotions during a pandemic and a revolution, it is important to find peace within oneself.
One of my favorite mindfulness activities to do with the kids (and I am absolutely certain adults benefit from it as well) is called: Weather the Storm.
It's only 3 minutes long, so it is easy to do at any time of day. It is a guided mindfulness activity. In it, you focus your attention on a little tree on a hill. You imagine yourself as that little tree. The wind picks up, then the rain, then the dark. We acknowledge the shaking in the branches, the falling twigs; we also acknowledge the strength in our trunk and in the roots. We persist to the breaking point of the storm and imagining a clearing in the clouds into the sunlight. By practicing this in even a few minutes, we exercise our ability to tolerate discomfort, surges in energy, and slow reactionary behavior.
I often talk about mindfulness taking many forms. For some of us, sitting quietly and imagining a tree is not what works for us. Many active minds need motion in order to stay present. There are plenty of ways to move in meditation, whether walking or running or dancing or singing. Being present is the key. Pay attention to your breath, the feeling of the air on your skin, the sensations within your body, notice your surroundings: the colors, the shapes, the sights, the sounds, the smells.
Here at Foresight, we are working towards supporting a continuous movement of inner reflection that translates into outer action. In order to be sustainable for the marathon of dismantling oppression, we must renew our energy daily.
A group of our providers has come together to provide a series called, "Mindfulness Practices for Difficult Times" which is available on our website. I've included the first video here below for your convenience. With practice, we will be more and more able to tackle the difficulties and problems within our society with understanding, compassion, and willingness to change.