I’ve been asked many times since publishing Making Mindful Magic how I decided to write about the topic of mindfulness for children. People seem rather intrigued that I was drawn to this topic so I thought I’d elaborate.
The seed to write a children’s book was planted many moons ago when I was an early childhood teacher when I was always eager to find books that related to a child’s emotional life and wellbeing. Books on the topic were certainly thin on the ground in those days but surprisingly those types of books haven’t really flourished despite the groundswell of interest in spirituality now.
But as for the topic of mindfulness itself, I think it really found me because I reached a point in my life that allowed me to hear and accept the thoughts and ideas that were coming to me!
I’d say it began when I learnt to meditate about 10 years ago. Over time, this habit I’ve come to relish twice a day for 20 minutes per session has had a profound effect on my life. At first I just came to enjoy the peace I felt with this short period of turning off. I found it made me less reactive to situations and much more able to put space between a potentially difficult situation and myself.
That space overtime allowed me the luxury and almost demanded that I give myself quiet time to let the dreams and positive thoughts unfold. Ideas would just spring into my head – always about family life and children, always about living authentically, always about slowing life down and most importantly, about giving children the time they deserve to be children without the pressures of modern day life.
I see mindfulness as threefold. Firstly there is the pure mindful meditation time, when thoughts can dissipate, when real quiet can be found – bliss, really! Then there is the mindfulness that relates to being fully present with whatever you are doing at any particular time; not thinking about what happened in the past and not contemplating what might happen in the future. The third prong is about living a mindful life. This means to me that you are consciously making decisions about what you eat, where you buy your food, what products you choose to use in your house and on your body, the list is endless when you really begin to explore the notion of living mindfully.
As for the book and writing it I really gave myself permission to follow my intuition and to let the ideas flow and to believe in them and eventually I produced Making Mindful Magic. The book begins with a “Sit Quietly’ activity which is really a pre-meditation experience for children. Perhaps it’s not something that children or many adults think about – perhaps not even realising that it’s ok to sit and do nothing! ‘The Take As Long As You Can’ experience is something in the same vein whilst the remainder are to prompt children into engaging with the present moment – Walk Barefoot on Grass, Find Stars to name just a couple.
The next book in the series will focus more on living mindfully, ‘Shopping at Markets’, Visiting your Elders’, ‘Be Kind to Yourself’ are a few which encourage children to take the time to pay attention to how they live their lives without harbouring the point.
I do find it interesting that there are not more books for children on the topic of mindfulness, perhaps people think the idea is beyond them? In Making Mindful Magic the word ‘mindfulness’ is never mentioned outside the title but I believe given the chance they can explore the nature of mindfulness at any age if given the encouragement, some tools and the example.
If you're looking for conscious, positive gifts for children this Christmas, our children's book, Making Mindful Magic makes for the perfect gift for children of all ages - nieces, nephews, grandkids, godchildren, friends' children and your own kids!
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