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On Mindfulness Day, we are reminded of how being aware of the present moment can, in the words of Diwa Tharan Sanders, "create a ripple of positivity for well-being." Diwa is the author of Kaya's Heart Song, a story of mindfulness that encourages us to listen to our hearts and to find peace and joy from following the beats of our own drums. But how can we cultivate in our children the habit of mindfulness? Diwa, who teaches meditation and breathwork classes, shares some great and practical advice*
My inspiration for Kaya's Heart Song was to write about a little girl who wanted to be happy, because I felt (and still do) that we sometimes forget the importance of following our hearts by unconsciously drowning-out the voice of our hearts living our day-to-day lives the way we’re ‘supposed to’. Thinking about happy hearts, led to the idea of a heart song and it was in discovering my own heart song as I wrote the book, that the theme of mindfulness revealed itself. And so yes, Mama is right in saying, “If you have a heart song, anything is possible. Even magic!”
And it’s finding this magic that I think is the best thing about practising mindfulness. Give your child (and yourself!) space to take the time to feel and listen for the magic that’s in us all. It is found in many different forms: in new ideas, finding new emotions, expressing these emotions, in having the courage to speak up for what you want or love, in being creative and even in simply being happy and content in the moment.
Whatever makes your heart sing is mindfulness working its magic.
Here are a couple of suggestions of mindfulness practices to do with your child (thank you to my friends who willingly brainstormed some of these ideas with me):
There are many advantages of practicing mindfulness. For me, the most precious one is the love, honour and magic that we give to ourselves when we do so, because this is what then flows out into the world. Mindfulness starts inside, with us all and can be an amazing gift to unravel when we find the time to journey inward. Imagine how incredible it would feel to live amongst those who are creating and sharing magic every single day!
Diwa Tharan Sanders teaches meditation and breathwork classes in Malaysia and makes intuitively-designed mala necklaces and bracelets for healing, happiness and inspiration. Visit her website www.diwatharansanders.com