Mindfulness for kids :)

People are always asking me to teach mindfulness to their kids. I am actually qualified to do this. I trained with the Mindfulness in Schools Project to teach their programme for teens ‘.b’ (in 2010) and also teach primary age kids ‘Paws.be’ (in 2016). This the training I recommend to anyone who is interested in teaching mindfulness to kids and I would recommend you send your kids on these programs if you can find them
The thing is, the way my business goes is that I like to ‘go with the flow’ and so far the flow leads me to teach adults in organisations, companies and in private classes… I just don’t seem to have the space to dedicate to teach youngsters (the picture above is me teaching my gorgeous niece and nephew Daisy in Ollie in Australia last year…). Though I am intending to be part of the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness MYRIAD programme next year. http://oxfordmindfulness.org/projec…
So to sign-post the people who ask me if I can teach mindfulness to their kids I have complied this rough list of local people who are actually out there doing it now! I include mindful movement as part of mindfulness so there are some Tai Chi and Yoga teachers listed…
However an important point I usually tell my students (who are often the ones asking me to teach their kids) is ‘mindful kids begins with you’. Ultimately are the person who will teach your kids how to respond and behave mindfully – even if their school is teaching them how to relax… I like what Orlaith, Dublin-based mindfulness teacher says on the subject: https://www.orlaithosullivan.com/bl…
When I put the call out for teachers an american friend, Judith Toy also offered this for kids to say before meals: Five Contemplations for Kids: This food is the gift of the whole universe–the earth, the sky, the rain and the sun. We thank the people who have made this food, especially the farmers, the people at the market and the cooks. We only put on our plate as much food as we can eat. We want to chew the food slowly so that we can enjoy it. We want to eat in a way that nurtures our compassion, protects other species and the environment and reverses global warming. This food gives us energy to practice love and understanding. We it in order to be healthy and happy, and to love each other as a family.”
I have section on my Immeasurable Minds website too with more resources and links: http://www.immeasurableminds.co.uk/…
I have not personally checked or verified the qualifications or experience of any of these teachers, please do that for yourself. If you know anyone who should be on this list tell them to message me and I’ll up date it. If you’re a teacher and you want to be listed on this note, send me a message and I’ll up date it asap. I’ve organised the teachers in alphabetical order by location.
* This blog post was originally created by me as Facebook note so it will be held there and updated… see this link.
1. Oonagh Nelson Linden, Bangor
Children’s mindful art and yoga classes.Venue: live. Love yoga Bangor
Please contact: Gayle Keenan @ live. Love yoga ( yoga centre owner) info@liveloveyoga.co phone number 07977291799 or Oonagh linden ( Yoga teacher) 07974654475
We offer weekly term time classes and summer camps.
2. Sinead McGoldrick, Belfast
Relax Kids
3. Veronica Ellis, Belfast and North Down.
Mindfulness and resilience building .b 1:1 mindfulness coaching. also teaching mindfulness to children and young adults with severe learning difficulties
My facebook page is @mindfulnessconnectedlearning and my website is www.mindfulnessconnectedlearningco….
email mindfulnessconnect@gmail.com
4. Julieanne Reel, Sliverbridge, Crossmaglen
Paws.b Mindfulness Teacher, Mindful Kids Ireland, Northern Ireland & Southern Ireland – North/North East Regions.
Tel: 00353-876209212
5. Paul Fitz, Down Arts Centre or one on one
Tai chi for adults and kids
call: 07798813700
6. Ita Manderson, Hillsborough
yoga4kids at hillsborough village center , attached to downshire primary school
7. Joanne Callen, Newry
Relaxkids.com – we have coaches other coaches in Newry and also in Belfast, Derry, Omagh, Fermanagh, Antrim and other parts of Co-Down also.
I am a relax kids coach but also their trainer for ireland and we have coaches running classes both North and South there are also lots of free downloads and resources that can be purchased our website
8. Liz Kavanagh, East-Coast, Wicklow, Dublin, Ireland
working with teens 7 yrs now, in schools and out. Happy to travel for workshops 😊

Give yourself a Self-Compassion Break

One of the most popular things I teach is called ‘mindful self-compassion’. We give ourselves compassion not to feel better but because we suffer. If you’re having a bad day, if your felling sad, overwhelmed or stressed-out this is the moment to you’re your wee self some compassion.

Self-compassion is not selfish, it’s wise because its only when we are feeling ok with ourselves that we can really help others.  If we’re feeling out of sorts we’re not going to be much use to our colleagues, friends or family.

The practice is really simple but it does take a lot of courage to give it a try – when you do you will be amazed an our effective and profound the results can be.  There are 3 steps in the self-compassion break.

This exercise was devised by Kristen Neff from the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion.

Step 1. Awareness of Suffering

When you are aware (mindful) of difficulty or suffering in your life you recognise and acknowledge it by saying to yourself something like: ‘This is a moment of suffering or ‘this hurts’, ‘ouch’, ‘this is stressful’.

Step 2. Common Humanity

Realise that suffering is part of life, that everyone suffers and other people have also or are also at this moment feeling how you are feeling.  This is called ‘common humanity’.  You can say something like: “I am not alone”, “We all struggle in our lives. This is how it feels when people struggle in this way.”

Step 3. Being kind to self.

Now put your hand over your heart saying to yourself: “May I be kind to myself” or “May I accept myself as I am”, “May I forgive myself”, “May I be safe”, “May I be strong.” Whatever words you need to hear that you find soothing and comforting.  If you find it difficult to come up with the right words imagine what you would say to a friend who was suffering in the way you currently are.

I’d love to know how you get on with this practice.