In the UK yesterday there was a mental health awareness day to help us understand and talk about mental health.
As someone who teaches meditation and mindfulness, this is a key part of the work I do. It’s why I set up Connected Kids as I have witnessed, many times, how teaching kids, teens and adults meditation helps improve their mental health.
But mental health isn’t the whole picture. We have emotional and physical health to consider and these are inextricably linked to our mental health. Continue reading →
There’s a whole story behind the name ‘connected kids’.
Originally we had called our programme after the first book ‘Calm Kids – help children relax with mindful activities‘. However the name didn’t sit comfortably with me. I felt a bit ‘icky’ with the idea of adults trying to ‘calm kids’ down. Meditation isn’t about this. It is so much more.
Yes, ultimately we want kids to feel centered, grounded, ‘calm’ and peaceful. But many adults (especially parents) can’t imagine their kids being calm… when they are so… full of life!
Plus, some adults approach the whole idea of teaching meditation as ‘being in control’ and have a fixed idea of what kids (and teens) meditation should look like. Not so.Continue reading →
In the last 12 months, I’ve witnessed a huge increase in the interest we have in teaching children mindfulness.
Compared to how this was 12 years ago when I first had a hunch we should be doing this… well it is simply astounding.
I was never formally taught mindfulness. My meditation teacher, the late Kim McManus, taught meditation groups to help with spiritual development. However the by-products of this were improved self esteem, energy levels and an amazing sense of trust in our heart-felt intuition. But she didn’t call it mindfulness – she called it meditation.
I didn’t think there was a difference until I was on a forum in the USA discussing the subject with someone who quickly corrected me when I used the word ‘meditation’; it was ‘mindfulness’ we were teaching, not ‘meditation’. The latter was seen as being religious whereas mindfulness was not – I found this fascinating that such a difference existed!
So what is mindfulness and how does it differ to meditation?