Wholehearted (adjective) whole·heart·ed: completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic
Heartfulness (noun) heart·ful·ness: a beneficial state of positive qualities-like kindness, gratitude, and generosity-leading to greater well-being.
Heartfulness is a key support of mindfulness practice. In my opinion, this is where we can begin effective mindfulness practice with our youngest ones. Asking a two year old to practice “intentional sitting” can be tricky all in itself. They will likely just take off in the opposite direction on you -at least that is what my twins do! But that’s where we call in our creative side. Tap into our personal interests and the interests of our child(ren). I’m not suggesting that you have to go all out with this creativity, but rather just use things that you already have around the house. Keep it simple. ;-)
Creating the Space: Imagine creating space in our week to explore all of the people that we love. We can do this in a special seated location, such as on a pillow, blanket or cushion that is made especially for our little one. To keep the toddler hands occupied, add in an object that is special to the child; a toy, stuffed animal, crystal rock, plant or picture. Join your child in the same fashion as you share a few intimate minutes together in this unique, special space made just for you.
We will likely need to model the first few times, but once the habit is rolling, we may just find that it becomes the best part of the week as we savor the sweetness of a child’s heart. Listing the many people that we love, sending happy thoughts to someone that we miss, giving all of the reasons why we love someone on our list... these are the moments that can make our hearts FULL and get us through the more challenging ones.
Ever wonder about the scientific side of things? Emotional regulation is a key benefit of mindfulness. By creating this space in your week for heartfulness practice, you are strengthening the developing amygdala part of the brain that is responsible for emotional responses, as well as the prefrontal cortex that is responsible for making decisions in response to emotions. SOOOO, we are essentially training our child’s brain to pause after getting stepped on by a sibling and swinging back in response. Stimulus-Pause-Response. That’s a win in this house!!
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~Derek, Father of 2 and Elementary School Principal
Just a girl with a dream to collectively build a healthy mind space for children, while creating a healthier mind space for ourselves.
Copyright Healthy Mind Space 2019