The following is an excerpt from the Mindfulness for Parents Online Course:
My kids like to do something when it rains that might strike the average adult as a bit odd. Maybe your kids like to do this, too.
What do they do, exactly? They play.
When it rains outside, kids don’t want to stay inside. They like to put on raincoats and boots — and purposely go out into the rain to play. They stomp in puddles. They find little streams that run down the side of the street and build dams. They turn umbrellas upside-down to see how much water they can catch. And they don’t care if they come back in soaking wet.
Now think about how we adults act when it’s raining…
Imagine you’re getting out of your car in a parking lot, it’s a 50-yard walk to the store, it’s pouring down rain — and you don’t have an umbrella. What do you do? Grab your jacket and tighten it up around yourself like a shield? Put your hand over your face, as if a 6-inch visor will keep you dry? Run as fast as you can, mentally dodging raindrops as you go?
In the end, you’re still wet.
When I teach parents about using meditation and mindfulness for themselves, we talk a lot about not judging — about how when you’re meditating and you notice that your attention has started to wander, simply bringing it back to your breath without criticizing yourself.
I also talk about how when we fight against hard or painful experiences, wishing that they weren’t there or were somehow different, we take pain and we turn it into suffering.
What all of this amounts to is the importance of learning how to change perspective.
When you are out in the rain trying to dodge every raindrop, your body is tense, your heart rate is up, and the stress-inducing part of your nervous system is turned on.
But if you stand there and recognize the fact that you are simply going to get wet — it’s freeing. You can feel the tension release, maybe even imagine it being washed away.
A tiny shift in perspective can have a huge impact on your mind, your body, and your day.
Perhaps our kids, playing out there in the pouring rain, have more to teach us than we know.
What perspective shift can you make to ease some tension in your life right now?
To learn exercises and insights to bring mindfulness into your life as a parent so that you can live as both the parent and the person that you want to be, reserve your spot in the Mindfulness for Parents Online Course by clicking here now.
Originally published at medium.com