Saturday 16th April, BRLSI in Bath. A gathering of parents, teachers and children met and spent the afternoon investigating how mindfulness could help the relationship between children-parents-teachers and learning.
In sharing and teaching mindfulness there is a distinct need of a difference of approach for the three major age groups. Children Under 12---Teenagers-----Adults
1. Children under 12 are progressively, as the age diminishes,naturally closer to a mindfulness attitude. They find it easy to reconnect with the quiet inner self. As Rory, 11, said after listening to the Chime, " it made me really peaceful and quiet" . A natural affinity to sitting in the moment!
2.The teenage brain, as we are all beginning to learn, is in a state of change and major realignment from 13-19yrs.The Executive function of the PFNC (Pre Frontal Neo Cortex) really does start to go on the blink. The Limbic system, Amygdale and Hippocampus in particular, block the logic and control of the PFNC. Thus creating the confused and insular and emotional turmoil, which is often witnessed.
3.With adults, well here we have just the plain old 'damaged goods syndrome'. We find we are in our 40+s and everything becomes more anxious, worrying and tiring. Where we spend our whole day thinking, thinking, thinking. And the more we think the more we worry.... and we also believe that we can think our way out of the situation,then with a bit more thinking and then a bit of fixing. hmmmm really?
Three distinct ages of the brain! Three distinct approaches needed to influence, enhance and embed Mindfulness into the system. The challenge is to reconfigure the neuroplasticity of the brain.
The Glittery Sparkling Bottle (the Blue Peter of Mindfulness)
How to gently relax and clear the mind .....mindfully
It was an interesting fact that by making a glittery sparkling bottle everybody young and old enjoyed themselves, and learnt a little about how bringing the focus of attention back into the moment can clear the mind, relax the mind an make us just a little happier.
This is a simple way to show how the brain especially the limbic system, can become all jumbled up and spinning every which way. However, if you just allow everything to calm down then clarity returns and we all feel better.
You can use it when anyone is feeling emotional and upset. Pick up your sparkling glitter bottle give it a shake then watch it as it all settles out.......Mindfulness in action.
Take a 500ml bottle of water and a tube of glitter
Pour in the mindfulness glitter
Taping the lid on in case anyone tries to drink it!
Make it all mixed up
A Spinning whirl of Mindlessness
The calm returns the clarity settles