A Mindful Day for Mothers

What is the first thought that comes to your mind before even leaving the bed? If you’re a parent, it’s centered on the whole day of your child. Getting him ready for school, making breakfast, packing lunch, ensuring he boards the bus on time and you’re on a spiral already. Once you put your plans to action, your child is watching you rushing from one corner to another to get things done. He is absorbing it all. He is learning that to get things done you have to hustle and multitask. This isn’t ideally any parent would want to exhibit but this is unfortunately the story of many parents.

Our mission to inculcate emotional wellbeing, character & compassion among children needs parents to be equal stakeholders.

We shared the idea of happy parents, happy teachers leading to happy children with Gems International School’s Principal Ms. Roopa Gosain. It made sense to her and we decided to let the mothers spend a Mindful day at the school. All the mothers were sent an invitation to spend this day with our team followed by a formal tea session. The school sits on a decent size land with a nicely built modern infrastructure boasting innovative classrooms says a lot about its mission. Before beginning the session we had a quick chat with the school teachers and some parents. It’s interesting to learn that everyone including the parents and teachers feels the need for a Mindful mind in their respective lives. We structured our day, to begin with, Mindful breathing, Gratitude, and Compassion practices.

Mindful Breathing

Think of breathing as a bridge between our mind and body that keeps them in tandem with every inhale. All psychological and physiological activities originate from the mind. Mindful breathing enforces the idea of paying attention to every breath that brings our mind home to the present moment, disconnecting us from all the worries of tomorrow and blues from the past.

A few minutes of Mindful breathing brings our awareness centered to the thoughts
of now making it easier to calm a handful of thoughts about everything that is happening in this very moment. Practicing Mindful breathing disconnects the cycle of emotions and brings the awareness back to the present moment where life is happening. A few minutes of practicing Mindful breathing can make a tremendous amount of difference in our daily life.

Practicing is easy: Find a comfortable sitting position (can be a lotus or on a chair with a straight spine)
Close your eyes gently and exhale deeply. Start with a deep inhale, let your brain feel the splash of oxygen. Think of the fresh Air as your awareness traveling from your nostrils to your brain and eventually down to your stomach. Notice how your stomach rises with deep inhale, there is no worry from the past, no anxiety of the future, it’s only you with your awareness in this present moment. It’s alright if you find your mind struggling to get rid of the unwanted thoughts. Let it wander, just keep your focus on breathing. While exhaling imagine your unwanted thoughts and feeling being released as your stomach falls.

Try not to look for happy and positive feelings, the goal is to only focus on breathing. The goal is to learn to disconnect from everything and focus on life. Think of Mindful breathing as a reminder of life. To live the happy moment, to put a bridge between your thoughts and actions, or to simply live, after all the most important thing in life is to live.

Practicing Gratitude

Sit in a comfortable position on the floor or a chair, close your eyes gently.
After a few deep inhales, bring your awareness to your body. Feel the fresh air you inhales touching your nostrils.

Bring awareness to the most loved person in your life. Can be your family, children, parents, spouse, etc. Imagine how that person makes you feel. Do you feel the warmth in your heart? Feel the light behind your eyes when you think of that person?

With an exhale send your gratitude & love to this person. Imagine the bright golden rays of light reaching this person’s heart.

Direct your awareness to the most important thing in your life, your house, your job, your health, all the privilege you have. Express gratitude for everything that you are fortunate to have in your life. Imagine how your life would be without this thing in your life? Do you feel blessed and fortunate? Continue the practice a few times.

For the next few minutes, find anything you’re grateful to have in your life. Send the warmth from your heart and express gratitude for everything that you can think of.

Practicing Compassion

Sit down in a comfortable position, preferably lotus on the floor.
Inhale shallow, let your brain get enough oxygen. Take a few more deep breaths and exhale. Notice with each inhales your stomach rises with the fresh air and with each exhale you are letting go of anything that’s holding you. With your next inhale, think of all the love you get from the people around you, your pets, your grandparents, from the environment, rivers, all the minerals, etc. Notice how everything is working together to make your life possible. You’re breathing the sky above you, walking the land beneath you, how lots of people that you never met worked to get food on your table today.

Think of how everything is compassionately working for you. It’s your turn to express compassion for other people that we don’t know. Someone who might need a warm blanket, someone who might need some food, a sick dog on the street, an old man who needs someone to speak with. Imagine how would it feel to make a difference in this person’s life. Feel the love coming back to you. Imagine your heart is filled with love and compassion for yourself and other people. Do you feel good about yourself? Do you feel loved? Great, Practice compassion whenever you can. Give back to the people and it comes back to you through unimaginable ways.

Tea Session

During our conversation with parents and teachers after the session, we got overwhelmed by the positivity we could see on everyone’s face. Parents came forward to express their gratitude for conducting the session. Every parent and teacher found the sessions helpful but they realized something more than that. How important it is for their children to learn to breathe when they are in the middle of a troubling thought, or finding themselves surrounded by worrisome emotions, the anxiety of their exams, peer pressure, expectations from their teachers, growing competition. One teacher even invited us to her school and conduct the session in her school too.
Indeed it was a Mindful Day and did we mention the tea was great too! The Principal Ms. Gosain and her staff offered us very warm hospitality that we’re grateful to have.

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