Friday, 18 December 2015

The Shoe Box

This is a personal post based on some mindfulness activities with my children, earlier this week. I had a text from school reminding parents to bring in the Christmas shoe boxes by the following day, which I had of course forgotten about!
So my children and I went around town trying to get to the shops before they closed for the evening, to gather items to put in to the boxes. It was led by my children, who chose on the basis of visualising what a child of the age and gender they had chosen would be overjoyed to receive. Interestingly they were most mindful and engaged in choosing soaps, flannels and toothbrushes, although there were some requests for me to buy them some colouring pens (for themselves), at which point I reminded them of the felt-tip pen mountain we have at home.
When we got home, my daughter covered the shoe boxes in wrapping paper.Growth mindset work came into play as she became frustrated with her efforts to cover the boxes to her perceived perfection, so lots of allowing this to come up and release. Then she carefully placed the items in the box, feeling into the visualisation of how her child will open the box and explore the contents. Finally, I asked her to write a little note that came from her heart and again asked her to be the child she was sending the box to. I was amazed by her strength of simple, whole love and her desire to bring pleasure without anything in return. My son, who is younger, was struggling a little with tiredness and less of a conscious understanding of what he needed to do, until we watched some clips of children opening their Christmas shoe boxes and seeing the excitement, joy and gratitude from the gestures of others to make a difference. I had a good cry when we saw the children’s reactions, to release my sadness and joy on a number of levels…
The point of my post is purely to say that mindfulness can sneak in to so many situations, and by being heart-centred with it can be incredibly rewarding, love-provoking and joyful in many guises and forms! In amongst the frustration, tears, questions and reflections, I was following a recipe for chicken broth and noodles, mindfully accepting that I was not going to follow it to perfection, nor that it would be perfect. However, it tasted warming and delicious; this morning, as we took our shoeboxes to school, both children said they were so happy about what they’d done, and how they wished they could see their boxes being opened and see the children playing with their items.
Perfection comes not through being perfect, but by expressing our authenticity from the heart.

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