Children could be considered mini professors on life.
There is so much to learn from their ability to be in the moment. They pay attention to the tiny details and remember every little thing. Like if I give a bunch of kids a different colored cup to drink from, they always know who gets which cup when they come back for their beverage hours later.
One of the most impressive demonstrations of this involves a set of identical twins, GL’s friends. None of the adults can tell the difference between these two (I always figure I’ve got a 50 / 50 chance and just go for it). But the kids know exactly who is who. Once we were crossing the street, and one of the twins was a half block away, (with her back facing us!) waiting for the bus. GL called her name to say hi. She got it right.
Paying attention means living more in the moment. Here are 4 tips to help.
1. Focus On One Thing
Kids are masters at this. Obviously they don’t have the same to-do lists we have, but they usually show up with 100% presence. So for us this means when it’s story time, read (or listen to) the story. Concentrate only on what’s happening within the book. Leave the laundry list out of the equation.
2. Practice Whole Body Listening
I learned this term when M was in Kindergarten, then got a refresher course when G went into that class. Here’s a detailed description, but basically to practice whole body listening
You put your hands down
You keep your body still
Your eyes look at the person talking
And your brain thinks about what they are saying.
Easier said than done, right?
3. Put Your Phone Away
You can’t do #1 and #2 with your phone around. And I know I’m not noticing much when I can’t even hear my kids say STOP WORKING ON YOUR PHONE, MOM!
4. Tidy Up
We have a rule over here — the kids have to clean up their mess before they can move on to the next fun (messy) activity. Put simply, a clean space contributes to more mindfulness. It’s a purification; the act of cleaning clears the mind.
How do you click into the moment to notice more?
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Beautiful girls! 🙂
And love your tips Elysha! I am always inspired by your “being in the moment” posts. I think I am going to print this one out!
Spot on, Elysha. Wise you are to be learning from your kids, while modeling for them, and us, how to live compassionately, mindfully and fully. xoxo
Marci, these girls are beautiful. And so sweet! I love when they come around for play dates 🙂
ST, your comment makes me smile. Thank you for this, and for all of it — your support, friendship and wise insights. x x
Great timely use of the word “CLICK” into the moment! I love observing and learning from kids. They start with a blank slate……there is no static background stuff. I will study your 4 tips and try with all my might to incorporate them into my day.
Love it. Wisdom in its simplicity. Tidying up CLEARS my brain like nothing else. The girls are aDOrable.
GGW, I had never thought of kids as a blank slate, but that’s a perfect way to describe them — so fresh! I feel so lucky to have such amazing kids in my life to learn from.
Thanks, D. These girls are adorable, and no matter how hard I stare, I still can’t tell the difference between the two!
lol They’re gonna go thru life having a whole lotta fun.
I do all of those things…and I do all of the not paying attention things too :). You know this, but it’s all yoga, isn’t it? That, and coming back into the present moment ala Tolle – breathing and feeling the inner energy system of the body does it for me.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. But #4 is the funniest. You should see my house sometimes. Like today, I was working on cleaning three cabinets and had dishes and rags and things all over the place. I would walk in one room and start one thing then walk into the other to put it in the cabinet and remember I couldn’t do that until I had the other item washed and dried. Sometimes I start a project upstairs and go downstairs for one thing, the hours later find myself upstairs saying, “Oh yeah! Shoot!”
Haha — I think they’ve already started!
Sara, it is all yoga…but rather than stay with Triangle pose, it’s staying with the bedtime story, or the conversation…whatever it is that’s in front of us. Tolle has a great approach for being more mindful by bringing the body into it. Thanks for reminding me of this!
Terre, Sometimes I use the cleaning as a procrastination. If I’m about to do yoga, I’ll put my mat down on the living room floor, and then I’ll notice the huge dust bunnies under the sofa… so I’ll go underneath the couch to clean the dust bunnies instead of doing yoga!
Elysha – That is why – sometimes – it is difficult for me to do a workout at home. I have a blog post written on that. I used to have a cat . . . she was a distraction . . . . there are dust bunnies and cobwebs . . . . there are squirrels and birds. Gotta enter into “workout mode” like practicing #1 on your list. Sometimes – when I am following a (workout) DVD, I close my eyes when my gaze is intended for somewhere other than the TV. If I don’t see the dust bunny or cobweb, it’s not there. Ha, ok, it’s there, but I don’t “HAVE” to get it right that second. 🙂
Terre, I completely understand! Some of my best cleaning gets done right before yoga!
Thanks for your inspiration! I love the premise for your blog that style isn’t only for the outside, but starts from within. I have always followed that idea. It’s not about that “Hollywood” ideal at all. And thanks for the follow. May we meet again on these pages.