Ideally, everyone would have the space and the time every day to sit alone in perfect silence for ten minutes. But we’ve got jobs. We’ve got family, friends, pets, and TV shows. I get it.
Luckily, the point of meditation is not to add another thing to your list. The point is to be intentional with your thoughts, and to do what brings joy and balance to your life. Your day-to-day life really can include mindfulness and meditation.
Try letting them in on the experience. Research shows kids as young as three can benefit from their own form of meditation practice. Children are social learners, which means they learn best when they mimic what they see.
A good first step is simply to meditate in the room with them. Let them see what you’re doing. And if they show some interest, invite them to mimic your posture. Explain what you’re doing and why. It may even give your own practice new clarity and focus.
Kids may find it easier if there is a designated meditation spot in the house. The quiet part may be especially difficult for them, so try playing some peaceful music in the background. One day your child may be really into it, and another day they won’t. Don’t worry about it! Show consistency, discipline, and flexibility in your own practice. And who knows? They might join in again tomorrow.
Will this be the most focused and intense meditation of your practice? Probably not. But don’t let yourself or your child feel like anyone is doing anything wrong. Appreciate the special brand of joy, curiosity, and mischief kids bring to your meditation practice.
Animals are praised for lowering stress in their owners. It makes sense they’d be great additions to a meditation practice. More than likely they’ll want to join in. Let it be a bonding time with your animal, and don’t worry about disturbing your posture or thought process. Embrace what makes this specific experience of meditating with your animal special and valuable. And don’t judge yourself.
Stillness and the Real World
What if your circumstances didn’t dictate your inner stillness? What if you could practice mindfulness and access your inner voice even in the most chaotic moments of your day? While real stillness and quiet are definitely valuable and worth carving out in your day, every once and awhile, try embracing the chaos! Meditating in uncontrollable environments might even allow for a more centered mind once you get back to your daily life.