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We are officially back to school, and I’m happy to report that the first two weeks of school have been a success. To help with this important transition, my boys and I created a morning and evening routine together, and built in time for a morning meditation everyday. The benefits of meditation are well known and becoming even more popular, in fact, I just saw Meditation on the cover of Time Magazine.
I firmly believe that the earlier you build good habits, the more these positive habits permanently become a part of your life, and children are such eager learners. The meditations I’m doing with my boys are short (approximately one to three minutes), and don’t involve any major props or environmental requirements. In fact, my goal is to make meditation portable, a mindset and tool that they can built into their arsenal of skills for self regulation. There are some fantastic apps and downloads you can use for a guided meditation, and after trying and enjoying many, I’ve created my own simple routine to use with my boys in the morning so we are even less dependent on props.
Here are the 5 basic steps of our morning meditation. I guide us through the meditation by speaking slowly, quietly, and calmly with little inflection in my voice.
1. Sit in a comfortable position, for us this is criss-cross applesauce (as the kids call it). We sit facing each other in a small circle and enjoy feeling each other close, often holding hands, but some people and kids like to have more space. Find what works for you!
2. Take three HUGE cleansing breaths. It’s all about the breath, and these three first breaths will get you all in the mindset. Breathe in until you can’t anymore, hold it, and breathe out all of your with an open mouth and purposeful breath. Try to make each inhale and exhale bigger than the one before. My words here are along the lines of breathe in for one, two, three, four and hold. Now exhale with all your might.
3. Visualize. For our next breaths, we use some simple visualizations that kids can easily relate to, such as a balloon inflating or a flower opening and closing. My narrative is: With each breath, imagine you are inflating a balloon. Think about the color of the balloon and how it looks when it is completely inflated. Now, slowly deflate the balloon by letting out all your air. Repeat a minimum of 3 up to 10 times, depending on the amount of time you have.
4. Use aromatherapy. The scent of an essential oil is a wonderful addition we use during our morning meditation as a centering aid. The woody and minty scent of Nature’s Truth Essential Oils Focus Oil encourages concentration and clarity and is perfect before a long day of elementary school. The roll-on container makes it easy to use when I apply it to my wrists and temples, and is a clean and mess-free way for the boys to inhale directly from the container with no risk of spillage! We take turns passing the Focus Oil from person to person, each holding and inhaling the scent of the for one full visualization.
5. Set our intentions for the day. I gently guide us back to our bodies, and we each make a silent intention for the day in our own minds.
In the busy rush of getting out the door in the morning (Where are your shoes?! Brush your teeth!), taking these few minutes provides a meaningful connection and a sense of purpose. Our morning meditation actually helps us get out the door on time.
In addition to using essential oils as a meditation aid, there are many different Nature’s Truth Essential Oils that can be incorporated into other creative DIY projects around the home, including some of my favorites like in the mini diffuser as an air freshener and home remedies. I’m a big fan of the Lavender Oil. The scent of lavender is soothing at night, so makes a perfect meditation aid, either inhaling from the roll-on formula, or adding a few drops to the Mini Air Diffuser.
Nature’s Truth Essential Oils are available in the vitamin aisle – here is the exact spot where I found the display at my local Walgreens, which is conveniently located near my children’s school, making it the perfect place to stop in whenever I need a refill. Right now, you can download your own Stimulate The Senses $1.00 Coupon and try the essential oils out for yourself.
Have you tried meditation? What about with your children? I’d love to hear your point of view – leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite tips!
Author: Candace Thomas