Some days sitting in meditation can feel like really hard work, letting go of tension can feel like really hard work, not engaging with thought can feel like really hard work… and I feel it’s important for us as adults to understand and experience this deeply if we are wishing the children we care for, in whatever capacity, to engage with mindful and mediative practice; in this way we can hold an empathic and none-judgmental space for them when they are finding it hard to relax and focus.
This morning my mind and body were excruciatingly fidgety (an actual, almost unbearable physical sensation in my torso), still whirling after a hectic afternoon yesterday and full of tension and pressure around wanting to get my finances straight in my head for the coming months. I felt mentally unclear and I knew, from experience, that the best way for me to get clarity was to meditate, let it all go and allow the uncomfortable sensations to be fully experienced so that they could move through my system.
Often these days I choose to meditate without any noise, just to sit in stillness and silence with the sensations of my breath and body, noticing thought and emotion as it comes… and goes. Today I felt so agitated that I decided to listen to Palouse Mindfulness’ body scan as I knew the voice would act as an anchor for me. It was a good decision because even with this anchor I still felt like my attention was a wild horse that desperately wanted to bolt taking my body with it!
But I stuck with it patiently, pulling on the reins gently each time that horse made to leap away from what I was hearing. That took a lot of discipline and I applaud myself for not reacting with movement in these moments, for letting the energy of the impulse to move flow through me with my breath, as ‘itchy’ or as ‘crackly’ as it felt. It was really difficult… but I did it… and by the time the script was leading me to awareness of my upper torso (it starts with the feet), I was starting to experience less agitation…and by the end I felt more relaxed… my mind chilled out significantly; the urgency behind the finance thing completely dissipated!
So when the children I work with struggle to settle and relax, I get it! I understand that they may be feeling some really uncomfortable sensations and experiencing some very strong impulses that they are simply not practiced, or developed, enough to tame, and bless them, that really is ok, they are only ever doing their best, as are we given our complicated human make up and busy lives! Lets give ourselves and others a break for a moment and appreciate how well we are all doing 🙂