We started out our next lesson reflecting on this image:
I asked the students to look at the picture and decide what the difference between mind full and mindful was.
One student responded: “Being mindful means you are only thinking about what is happening around you”.
Another student added: “Mindful means being aware”.
Wow, nice descriptions.
Another student raised their hand: “Being mindful means not worrying about anything else and being able to enjoy the moment”.
These are grade 4 students…my heart was melting.
We went on to discuss that yes indeed, being mindful if about be aware and present in the moment. The students instantly connected this to our previous lesson on our brains and said that if we are being mindful, our amygdalae are calm and we are able to thinking clearly and make good decisions.
Being mindful is also about paying attention to all the details and gathering facts before we form opinions. We do this so we don’t make unmindful judgements about situations or others. When we are tuned in to what’s happening around us we can be reflective in our thoughts and actions rather than letting our emotions rule our reactions.
Students quickly connected this to their day and thought of times they made both mindful and unmindful choices. We talked about that when we make unmindful choices it doesn’t mean that we are ‘bad’, it just means that we were not able to make a good decision in that moment.
So now the question is, how can we be more mindful?