Meditation for a Busy Mind

"Mom, can I meditate with you in the mornings?" I tried to keep my composure and not look as stunned as I was when I calmly said, "of course."

But I was jumping up and down inside!!

To my surprise, as I put my coat on to meditate at 8am the next morning, my oldest followed me out the door too.

My oldest, who was about to turn 14 at the time, had definitely been resistant to meditation during that time. When his little ADHD butt sat down next to me, he said, "Ok, ma, what do I do?"

I asked him to bring in the senses: What are three things I hear? What are three things I see? What are three things I smell - and so forth. This can take five minutes or three hours. This kind of meditation is great for kids or any adult (that tells me they can't meditate because their mind doesn't stop wandering...which is normal by the way - your brain will never stop) - it keeps the mind moving but the body still reaps the benefits. Breathing, connecting with nature, bringing in the senses - this is a great cocktail to get yourself out of fight or flight. It puts you in the present moment which shuts down the oldest part of your brain called the Limbic (or Chimp Brain). It's a valuable for anyone to practice because the ultimate goal is to be able to do this anywhere. For example, this would be useful for my oldest if he finds himself in a heated moment at school or has a few minutes on the bench during a basketball game, etc. he can bring in the senses and calm down. No one will even suspect he is doing anything but sitting on the bench or sitting at his desk.

As a kid, I had a lot of anxiety about getting on the bus in the morning and starting school. This would have been a helpful tool for me because I could have redirected that anxious energy to engage my nervous system in a positive way.

During a meditation when you bring in the senses, it's easy to experience gratitude for the beautiful sky or the smell of grass, etc. This unknowingly piggybacks another angle to your meditation, which is raising the vibration in your body. Gratitude, laughter, smiling, singing, oms, chanting, humming - these activities are confirmed by science that when you do it, it sends a biochemical message to your nervous system that it is safe to relax the fight, flight or freeze response. My son and I did this entire meditation in less than 15 minutes. And if he wanted to leave after 5 minutes it still would have been an effective practice.

In the larger scheme of things it's not a lot of time to invest in and worth it if you can handle heated or stressful situations in the manner that you wish you to or simply handle them that reduces stress in your body.

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