I was getting ready to give a mindfulness presentation at a middle school “Parent University” night. On a whim, I asked my fifteen-year old son what he had learned from mindfulness.
Although I teach mindfulness to students at several Seattle schools, grades 6-12, I haven’t formally taught my son, Parker. However, I do share mindfulness with him by modeling and sharing small things that he can do to be more mindful in his life.
I went into our office where he was playing Minecraft – he had already finished his homework for the day. “I was thinking I’d like to share something about what you have learned about mindfulness at my presentation tonight,” I said. The mouse was clicking furiously. He didn’t look at me but just kept clicking.
“Parker, I’m about to leave and want to share anything that you might have noticed about your own mindful life. What you’ve learned so far – can you pause and think of something that I can share?” Still no response, mouse furiously clicking.
Then he paused. “I think I just have more time.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know … I feel like I have more time in my day,” he said.
I walked away and thought about what that meant. AHA! Parker seems to be not so caught up in thought and emotion. New habits of mindfulness allow him to experience his day: more aware of the moment to moment changes in his mood, ideas coming and going. He has mental and emotional space, i.e., more time in his day.
This is true for all of us who practice mindfulness: practicing non-judgmental awareness does, in fact, give us the gift of time.
I love sharing Parker’s insight. It reminds me of how precious time is and I am so proud that he’s found this gift at such a young age.
Linette Bixby works at Mindful Paths LLC and is currently in the Mindful Schools Year-Long Mindfulness Certification Program. She teaches mindfulness to grades 6-12 in several school districts in Washington state. Connect with Linette here.
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