Late one night not long ago, my son was engaged with me in an epic battle to avoid going to bed. Every excuse and delay tactic he could throw my way got tossed. Eventually, he settled hard on the old “monsters” routine and we were at a stand off. I was tired and depleted from trying to talk some reason in to a five-year-old. Then, I blurted out an unusual solution. “I have super powers, and I put up a forcefield around our house. No monsters can get in. They can’t even see us.” After a few follow up questions regarding the strength and coverage of this forcefield, my son smiled and finally laid down to go sleep.
My son felt safe thanks to my “super powers,” and I got to go to bed. The following weeks, however, my son started asking more questions about my powers and what I could and could not do with them. I started to feel guilty about lying to him…
Enter my completely unintentional start to walking the path of mindfulness.
Yes I know, it’s another freaking article about mindfulness! Don’t run away just yet, and yes I will probably bust out the other M-word before this blog is over. I have never been “good” with or consistent at meditating, and the word mindfulness was an interchangeable synonym in my brain’s thesaurus. I was surprised to find out that they are not.
I started my mindfulness journey sitting at my temp-job desk, a cubicle no bigger than an elementary school desk, listening to Audible. I’m late to the audiobook scene. As an English major in undergrad, I maintained my love of good old-fashioned paper and ink books with entitlement. But, when faced with 40 hours a week of mind numbing drudgery to pay the bills, I finally caved and signed up. I had no idea what I was missing.
I have been absorbing so much from self-development books such as Happy is the New Health by David Romanelli, The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner, The Craving Mind by Judson Brewer, Healthy as F*ck by Oonagh Duncan, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, The Five Keys to Mindful Communication by Susan Gills Chapman, The Mindful Day by Laurie J. Cameron, and Peace in Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh among others. Mindfulness is a topic touched on in all these wonderful works, and I have had some seriously wonderful success applying mindfulness practices in my own life.
Back to my super powers. I do now believe I have started to develop a real super power, and that is mindfulness. I saw the opportunity to change my lie to my son to something wonderful. After a few weeks of intentionally applying mindfulness practices in my life, my son and I have bonded and connected on a new, deeper level. When we spend time together, I live together with my son in that moment and have observed just how much he loves being around me and doing things together.
I asked my son one morning if he would like to start Super Power Training with be in the morning before leave for work. He was all for it. After a quick YouTube search for Mindfulness Meditations for kids, I was happy to find a whole range of options. For the past two weeks we have spent anywhere from 4 to 8 minutes sitting, breathing, and meditating together. My son has a hard time sitting still, but we make a point to begin and end our time together sitting up straight and taking deep breaths. He has slowly been getting better at it, and so have I!
Making Super Power Training part of the morning routine keeps me accountable to my meditation practice every day, added precious quality time with my son to my day, and sets both our days up for success from the start. I am amazed and grateful for just how big of an impact living mindfully has already had in my life, and I am excited to see just how much things will change.
Instead of getting told about the F-bomb my son dropped on the playground, I get to hear about how he spontaneously gave his teacher a hug for the first time. That is some seriously good shit!