Anticipating the tsunami effects of the pandemic reaching American soil, Coronavirus arrived earlier than anticipated this past Monday. The Head of my daughter’s school canceled school for the rest of the week, Tuesday through Friday. Our world instantly flipped around. I remove the calendar and countdown chart to visit my parents from the wall thinking: I have no idea if we are still going to be able to visit them this Sunday. Routine and structure is out the window. With much juggling meetings are moved, and child’s play takes over our lives.
Somehow, the first day of the new Pandemic routine is met with gratitude and no meltdowns.
Exhausted, my whirling almost four year old is in full effect with no naps and all play. It isn’t until the next day after lunch I notice our child craving the same routine I set out for her the day before.
We add billowing pillows into the window and create our own new cozy nest atop our perch. We watch time change. I begin to teach how long we will do activities or when the next exciting event begins by the location of the minute hand on the face of the Clock. I introduce meditation. My little one now shows me her understanding with a silent pose and smile and I reward her knowing with joyful praise, then lead her into the repetition of Om. She giggles, cuddling into my lap and asks to play a card game “creating stories”. At such a young age her meditation practice feels like seconds of time, though for her the new experience may seem like hours. Joyful and relaxing neurotransmission signals through my mind-body.
Slowing down for several minutes daily will certainly have more benefit than doing no form of meditation process daily.
The truth is minutes of daily meditation appears highly beneficial. Incorporate what you can enjoy, and do what works for your routine.
“It seems neurons are also hooked together in a mechanical network, like the cogs in a finely tuned clock.” Anil Ananthaswamy states in the poignant Discover article Heal yourself by harnessing your mind by Jo Marchant. With this science in mind, know that it is always a good time to attune to the mechanics of your mind-body and reset your Clock.
This is a bizarre moment in time when many of us must redefine how we manage the minutes of each hour in our working days, So make time for meditation/relaxation practice- and let it be that PRACTICE. Invite your children/family/friends to join you. In teaching my daughter meditation by incorporating creative story telling, I fall deeper in love with this process. I want my child to practice learning this method.
Meditation comes in many forms and benefits many ailments,
For Persons Parenting:
Your child is home due to the Pandemic:
- Construct a new routine for your child that somewhat reflects the order of their day at school and complements learning from you or whichever guardian will be with your child.
- Allow this to be an introspective time for connectivity.
- Define new rituals.
- Find a cozy space and welcome comfort with your children/family. Name this space together and encourage them to go to that space when they want to feel safe and balanced/calm.
- Use language that brings comfort.
For Anxious feelings, to increase self awareness and positive outlook:
- Recite a simple mantra. Let your mind-body focus on any conglomeration. Choose what feels the best. Start small, and begin inward. Welcome the words as you internalize them.
“I am calm, I am secure, I trust I am okay. I am content, I am safe, I am at ease.”
- “The butterfly hug” or body tapping practice – Try this one as you read- The beloved butterfly hug is essentially a self hug, this time tickle your upper arms with your fingertips.
- Try tapping on either side of each upper leg continuously.
- Tapping any part of the body can induce a meditative state as one focuses on the mind-body sensations. The top of the brain, incredibly elating!
- This can be done anywhere, waiting, sitting in a meeting, and most importantly an aid to stopping yourself from touching your face.
For Introspection, and Mind-Body expansion:
- Time for an Inward eye meditation process: A protective guide.
- Find a comfortable space and position.
- Allow the in breath to be shorter than every out breath.
- Become aware of your own rhythm
- Ask yourself for a protective guide, and visualize
- Connect and accept the internal imagery – whatever form of protective guide(s) appear
- Let go of self judgements, as your thinking self interrupts – acknowledge this and return to your inward eye process – the protective guide
- After a few minutes (or longer) give gratitude for the imagery that arose and return to the real moment.
- If you want to take your experience deeper create Art, Music, etc.
- Share your experience with a loved one or friend(s) #protectiveguide #inwardeye
For stress reduction, and brain exercise:
- Bilateral scribbling – or double handed scribbling.
- Tape paper to a surface, or use a chalk board, notebook, a stable drawing surface
- Allow yourself to freely move scribbling with both hands
- Do this for several minutes
- Be playful and have fun
- For greater self awareness look for imagery or symbolism in your scribbles
These processes are to practice mini-meditations or “Brain exercises” for a small amount of time daily. Ease in, exercise your mind-body one day at a time.