“Pay attention!” – I heard this thousands of times at school. Did anyone actually teach me how to pay attention? No. I did my best with whatever my understanding was.
Mindfulness seems to be the buzzword these days. And rightly so. It is about paying attention to what is. However, without ‘heartfulness’ it is incomplete. Not just ‘attention’ but ‘kind attention’. The softening of the heart is important.
The purpose of teaching mindfulness in schools is not mainly to achieve better focus and concentration in lessons but learning to recognise and express ones feelings and be respectful and considerate of other’s feelings. It is about using all our senses with intention and noticing the subtleties of our surroundings and ourselves. I learnt a new word and technique today – FOFBOC – Feet on Floor, Bum on Chair – a technique to anchor the ‘monkey mind’.
In school we were taught to get us to a point where we could make a living but we were not taught how to live. Now, children as young as 5 are being taught mindfulness and I think it is a life enhancing skill which will have a definite role in prevention and early recognition of mental ill health.
Sitting still for a few minutes is an activity and a precious one.
Mindfulness is being alive and knowing it.
Mindfulness in schools Project: https://mindfulnessinschools.org/
He often watched ‘How it’s made’ on TV. He was fascinated with the process. Be it guitars, dream cars, ballistic missiles or bubble gum, he was intrigued with how things were made. In school he studied Design and Technology (D&T). As a project he had to design and make something in his last year at school.
Together we came up with the idea of a jewellery stand. We discussed the desired features, materials, shape and size and over time he refined the idea with the help of his teachers. A few months later he brought home this beautiful piece of work. He had managed to add a mirror, adjustable fittings and decorations to it. I was immensely proud. Another one of his many gifts! May be his finger prints are still on it, intermingled with mine.
(Saagar, slightly blurred, in the background in his school D&T lab)
Two hundred and thirty one children in the UK died of suicide before finishing school in 2015. Nearly 100 children aged 10 to 14 killed themselves in the UK in the last decade, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The more I look into it, the more my heart breaks. I am sorry if my writing has the same effect on you. It is such a waste! We are loosing our future to suicide!
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela