This morning, Airabella and family awoke before dawn to catch the magical lunar eclipse + blue moon + super moon. They were initially frustrated because, like many others in our little valley, from their home they couldn't see the moon, which had already descended behind the mountains. Airabella and family were persistent, determined, tenacious, and committed, however! They groggily climbed into the car and followed the roads that led up, until they had climbed out of our little valley and caught the moon before she slid behind the sea. This drawing is Airabella's story of her morning with the moon.
(first and second graders sit and meditate)
The first and second graders have been meditating and practicing mindfulness every day since the school year started. Now that the classroom expansion is completed, it is no surprise that we are starting to really see and feel the benefits.
Those of us that couldn't help but break dance to the soothing sounds of Carlos Nakai's Native American flute, or Tibetan singing bowls in the old class space, are now able to root down for an entire TWENTY MINUTES!
We have also been keeping "Mindfulness Journals" where we keep track of our feelings for the day. We practice naming our emotions and talking about how "talking about it" is extremely important for our mental and physical well being as the social creatures that humans are.
The children are encouraged to use their journals for their dreams, feelings, or anything that they feel like they want to be mindful of for each day.
Finally, we end our "Morning Mindfulness Meeting" with guided stretching, sometimes student lead. One of our students is very familiar with yoga and hand "mudras" and regularly shares their wisdom with the class to everyone's delight.
Research shows that mindfulness and meditation can help with impulse control, emotional awareness, and interpersonal skills, as well as increasing focus. We are clearly seeing these benefits reflected in the students.
The benefits have been so stellar that teachers are now discussing bringing the elementary classes together at least once a week to practice meditation and mindfulness as one big happy family.
This morning we spent our Morning Meeting watching the TED Talk by Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, a Colorado teenager who first became concerned about global warming at age 6. He has since become an internationally known activist who has spoken before the United Nations assembly, sued the government on behalf of youth, and calls on children to reconnect with nature, turn off their devices, and speak up for the earth. He also sings hip hop! This video is too good not to share:
In a world filled with expectations of perfection, it’s the imperfections that make us beautiful. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes helps us to foster self love.