I recently took a trip with my kiddos to visit their great grandparents in Tennessee. We traveled to a small town, a stereotypical small country town where everyone knows everyone and life is really simple. I had a lot of time for mindfulness sitting on the porch in front of their home.
During this time, I engaged in mindful observation, just noticing what is happening around me, in a nonjudgemental way. I observed the changing colors of the leaves, the cool wind, and the wind chimes. In this time, I began to take a look at what is important and necessary in my life. I was able to quiet my mind and really focus on appreciating the little things more, feeling calmer and focusing on gratitude.
I have said times before that I wanted to commit to mindfulness but seemed to get distracted by daily activities such as work, Netflix, soccer for the children, karate for the children, etc. After spending four days of mindful observation, I decided to start incorporating more mindfulness into our daily lives.
I started with a Spiderman mindfulness activity for my boys, focusing on sitting quietly and experiencing every “spider sense”. (Now they think they are Spiderman) “Spider sense” is Spiderman’s hyper-focused awareness to his surroundings and amplifies all of his senses.
In the comics, this helps Spiderman tune into his surroundings to protect him from danger. In this mindfulness activity, it helps us become more aware of what is happening within and around us. Both boys, ages 9 and 6, loved it and have asked to do it every day. We will end our day with a mindfulness activity before bed and this has helped with the boys falling asleep quicker and fewer sibling arguments during the bedtime routine.
If you are interested in mindfulness, you can start by a simple breathing exercise and this can be done anywhere. In order to do this, all you have to do is focus on your breathing for 1 minute. If other thoughts pop up in your mind, just notice them and focus back on your breathing.
Afterwards, you should feel better and more centered. If you are interested in other mindfulness activities, there are a ton of apps on phones that can be used throughout the day.
This post was written by Minon Maier – LMFT