Children & Youth

Looking for the Good

By Patti Ward, M.Ed. “Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.” —Rick Hanson Last night was our 7th class for Mindfulness & Tai Chi for Middle School. We delved into the idea of “soaking in the good.” We talked about how our minds are highly conditioned to recognize patterns, particularly patterns that suggest something around us is threatening. Noticing a stick on a path and thinking it was a snake kept us safe. Whether it was a snake or not, our initial response, “jump and run,” was necessary for survival. Scientists call this the …

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How to Feel Your Feelings

“The fastest way to freedom is to feel your feelings.” —Gita Bellin I love this quote because it truly blows my mind! What does that mean? How do I feel my feelings? How does that lead to freedom? Although my mind doesn’t entirely understand, my heart feels an immediate sense of relief. Oh. I just have to feel. I don’t have to fight or resist or push anything away. Just feel. I start to breathe a little easier. Naming Basic Emotions It is important to get both heart and mind on board together when learning new things. And so I …

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How I Teach My Kids Mindfulness

“How do you teach your kids to practice mindfulness meditation?” This is one of the most common questions I am asked when people find out that I teach mindfulness meditation for a living. I am often met with a look of confusion when I answer, “I don’t teach my kids how to practice meditation.” Let me explain. But before I do, what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the simple practice of training your attention to focus in the present moment with full acceptance. Why wouldn’t I teach my children this simple tool when it has been shown to support mental, physical …

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Mindful Parents Know How to Do One Thing

What does it mean to be a mindful parent? Is a mindful parent unusually kind? Is a mindful parent unusually happy? Is a mindful parent unusually patient? A mindful parent may be some of these things some of the time, but they are also something more. Rather, they practice something more. This practice will help you become a wiser and more discerning parent. It will help you become a calmer and less reactive parent. It will help you let go of always trying to be perfect. A mindful parent knows how to do one thing. A mindful parent knows how …

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