Being open to learning from those chaotic moments life throws us can bare delicious fruit and learning for the better if we are watchful and go with the flow.
For Brilliant Beings Tuesday mornings herald Mindfulness Breakfast Club at my local primary school. The format of our club has changed in the past as a response to the needs of the members of the group. In the early days I tried a directive approach of ‘this is what we’re doing today…’, but my head (and spirit) strong charges soon showed me that this was NOT what they needed at the start of a day that would be approached in the same vain! I spent so much time ‘trying’ to get bodies where ‘I’ wanted them which I soon realised was a waste of our time and energy, not mention that it did not result in the ‘positive-start-to-the-day’ I wished the club to promote!
We loosened things up by creating separate areas in the school hall where the children could go if and when they felt drawn. We had Creative Corner for colouring, freestyle art, building blocks and story making; Sensory Corner for the encouragement of engaging with our senses in the present moment; Relaxation Corner for silent, prone relaxation and breathing focus; Yoga Corner for, well yoga obvs 😉 and lastly a central circle of cushions for pow-wows and massage. This worked really well for a long time until one member of the group started to show anxiety at the noise and fast movement that would sometimes erupt in the large space despite our calming range of activities.
I thought, and still think, that this was ok as it gave us an opportunity to talk about how different everybody is and how we have a choice as to whether or not we modify our behaviour (if possible) to help others; also to offer the little chap some tools to help him cope with his anxiety. Then we were thrown an interesting curve ball this week which may have set us on another path to learning something new…
If anything, working in schools teaches you to expect the unexpected and go with the flow! We were asked to hold the club elsewhere as an exciting dinosaur dome was being erected in the hall for a STEM week activity. No problem, lets use the foundation classroom instead; it is light, airy, cosily carpeted…and a lot smaller than the hall…hmmm…
(Welcome to my mind); ‘Ok, so we’ll take less mats, blankets and activity equipment, that’s fine…but will they get restless and bored? Will I need to start ‘directing’ again if so? I don’t want them to feel ‘penned in’…and so on!
With disengagement from these thoughts we set up a much smaller version of our club – and it was wonderful!
There was a beautiful peace in the cosy room; everyone was comfortable, calm and still able to do a bit of yoga, massage, self-expressive art and self-directed, communal finger knitting (which they decided, btw, is excellent for de-stressing!). The foundation teacher and Head watched with smiles and commented that ‘wouldn’t it be lovely if we started every day like this?’ YESYESYES!!
So I’ve asked if we can move from the hall for now and we’ll see where that takes us…. 🙂