Finding Your Power: A Guided Meditation for Kids
Most adults have heard about the benefits of meditation. We know that it’s recommended for heart health and to help alleviate the impact of stress. But we often overlook how powerful it can be for our children. The common thought is that kids have so much energy that the little jumping beans could never be still enough to meditate. But as a mother and a yoga teacher, I have seen this disproven again and again.
Just like grown-ups, kids need to clear their minds and process the stress they feel in their lives.
They may not be worried about paying bills or meeting deadlines, but their concerns are just as real. Recently, my 11-year-old son played in a soccer tournament. The boys on the team felt real pressure to perform well, to please their coach, and to think quickly on the field.
The first game didn’t go so well, leaving the boys slumping with disappointment, their postures signaling not only a defeated team, but defeated spirits. Kids can carry this wounded energy with them and relive their losses over and over, impacting their self-confidence and self-worth.
When we teach kids the tool of meditation, with a bit of yoga and breathing included, they start to learn that they can wipe the slate clean. They can get out of their heads and start fresh. Here is a meditation that will help your kids find their self-confident glow. And let’s face it: confidence leads to action, no matter what age you are.
FINDING POWER MEDITATION
Have them take deep breaths that fill their bellies and lungs. This breathing will start to shift them away from their troubles and disappointments. If your child is an athlete like mine, you may find it useful to mention the fact that athletes they admire, including Olympic stars, use a meditation practice similar to this. You can also add in simple yoga movements with core-firing motions, like rhythmic seated twists or sun breaths, to prep the body for stillness. Then guide them through the following visualizations and affirmations:
With eyes open and a soft gaze forward, sit with your ankles crossed and place the back of your left hand to your thigh while your other hand circles up overhead. As you slowly draw the hand in a straight line down (thumb side of the hand facing your face) the center of the forehead to the heart center, mentally say, “I am strong.”
Circle your arm back overhead slowly and as the hand draws a straight line down, mentally say “I am powerful.” Circle your arm back overhead slowly and as the hand comes down, mentally say “I am unafraid”.
Then, close your eyes and lie down. Resting the palms on the space right above the belly button, visualize that you have a bright light in the belly, and with each breath, the flame grows brighter like the sun. As you continue to breathe, imagine that sunlight starting to shine out to the limbs of your arms, the limbs of your legs, the space of the heart, and then the space of your mind. When you open your eyes, you will be clear and ready for whatever the day has in store for you. Take a deep breath in, and then exhale through the mouth, “Haaaah.” Eyes open and you are on your way.
There will be times when the Finding Power meditation is what your kids need, and other times when a visualization of the beach offers the relaxation they need to shift their mindset and clear stress.
With technology so readily available, kids often opt for quiet time in front of the TV or a video screen. If you can give them another option for quiet, you are giving them a tool that will help them achieve happiness throughout their entire life. Kids of all ages love peace and quiet; they just need a bit of guidance.
How 'The Boy with the Broken Brain' Became A World Leader in Learning
After an incident in kindergarten, Jim Kwik had countless learning difficulties that led him to being labeled “the boy with the broken brain.” This label left a long-lasting imprint on his self-worth, his identity, and beliefs in himself. Learning became his greatest mountain that he saw as an impossible climb.
Having made it into university after years of struggle, Jim found himself at the same place he’d always been – incapable of scholarly success. Ready to succumb to the doubts within himself, Jim planned to quit school.
It was in this time that Jim met someone who challenged the way he perceived his potential and changed his life forever. Firstly, he asked Jim to write down his aspirations on a piece of paper pulled from a journal that he had in his pocket. He then gave Jim the task to read one book per week about any great man or woman throughout history, plus personal development books – all while he was still completing his university. With the fear of failure taking over, Jim said, “I can’t do it.” This man immediately took the folded piece of paper from Jim’s hands and read his goals aloud.
“Something about hearing your dreams come from a stranger’s voice… it shook my heart, it shook my spirit, my soul, something fierce” – those goals became the motivation he needed to push himself and to finally believe in himself.