In years past I have always spoken of our veterans with great respect and honor, but it isn’t until this year that I really appreciated the human experience of our veterans and their loved ones. This appreciation goes beyond our political views, our religious views, our differences; it is about understanding the humanness of what a veteran may have gone through in the hopes of protecting some of the greatest freedoms we have in this country. Read more
Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach mindfulness to about sixty students at a local private school. The students ranged from the 5th through the 8th grade. We focused on the theme of gratitude. To kick us off, we played a Mindful Littles version of the popular ice-breaker game, Toss the Beach Ball. The idea is that whoever catches the ball has to answer a question on the ball and then tosses the ball to another person. For our version, I wrote down four gratitude questions on a Silly Face emoji beach ball l got from a friend. Read more
Earlier this week my girls and I played a short game called “life is good” that I discovered in Susan Kaiser Greenland’s book, Mindful Games. The game is played by sitting in a circle with a ball. Each person names one thing that is bothering them then adds “…and life is good” before rolling the ball to another person in the circle. As we played the game, we highlighted small things that bothered us during the day. I mentioned things like “a messy house” or “feeling cranky because I was tired.” My older daughter’s list included the fact that “she doesn’t love the bees in the backyard.” My 2-year old also chimed in with:
“I ruv my friends, but sometimes I don’t ruv my friends, but I ruv my friends…and rife is good.” Read more
Gratitude was the theme of this weekend’s Mindful Littles community service event. Yesterday we got together with several families from our community to give a big Valentine’s Thank You gift to our local Moraga-Orinda Fire Department (MOFD) to thank them for their service.
During our event we heard from two local firefighters, got to tour a fire engine and learn about the different equipment they use. In addition to explaining the types of calls they get and some fire safety tips, the firemen also explained to the kids how they deal with their own fears when fighting fires by relying on their training and camaraderie. Read more
This mindfulness activity that we did, a Mindful Scavenger Hunt, was one of the coolest ways to reinforce some mindfulness tips with my 5-year old, while having some fun together. Yesterday I set up a simple scavenger hunt around the house using 10 clues. My daughter would find a clue in a designated spot in the house, which would lead to the next clue. Once she found all 10 clues, she found a small surprise at the end of the scavenger hunt. For each of the clues and riddles, I deliberately focused on two things to reinforce a few key learnings. Read more
There are countless benefits to having a disciplined gratitude practice- a few of which I have referenced in this blog post before. Gratitude can also have positive effects on group dynamics and social settings. As this article from Fast Company cites for instance, teams who express gratitude together show more reciprocity and are more sensitive toward one another. So for this week’s kindness project, we did a Gratitude Sharing Circle. This is a very simple activity, where we joined together as a family to first write about and then share our appreciation for one another. I got the inspiration from this classroom activity listed in this article here. Read more