Let's be honest there are some days when the school run gives us the fear and we hate it. Today was not one of those days. As I was walked my son to school this morning I noticed what a good mood he was in and how responsive he was to me and the idea of going to school. This doesn't happen every morning. The novelty of having his own rucksack had played a large part in his positivity, so I took advantage of it. I saw an opportunity to practice some mindfulness with him and I took it.
As we walked I asked him what noises he could hear and he answered, ‘The birds. The cars’ and I said, ‘I hear the wind in the trees and the leaves rustling under my feet, can you hear those too?’ He agreed and shuffled his feet through them.
Then I asked ‘What can you smell?’ he answered, ‘Cream on toast with jam’ (his version of a cream tea) and smiled. I said, ‘Can you smell the leaves? They smell wet and soggy to me?’ He replied ‘I can smell the air’. I said ‘Can you feel the air on your skin’ and so we went on. Asking, noticing and describing all the things we could see, hear, smell and feel.
He told me he could feel his heart beating in his chest and he made me put my hand on his chest to feel it beat. I told him to, ‘Take three deep breaths in the nose and out the mouth while you feel your heart beat’. So he did and he carried on a bit longer. Then I asked, ‘How do you feel now?’ and he replied, ‘My face feels relaxed’.
Then he saw a pal up the road and told me to run, so we did, for a little way. When we stopped I said to him again, ‘Feel your chest now’ and he told me with great delight that his heart was beating faster and he felt warmer. Then we talked about how working the body creates heat and how the heart has to work harder to move the blood around. He liked that idea. After we’d walked a way more I said, 'Doesn’t it feel nice to slow down now after running’. He said ‘I like going slow’.
Life is in the detail.
Thanks Joe. I loved that walk.