Emotions are running high, both in our children who may be overexcited about winter break, presents, and treats, and in many of us who are amped up about the election, civil rights, and issues of power.
Acting out these emotions isn't helpful! But we can help ourselves and our children by spending some time every single day grounding in the present moment. Because yes, the next few weeks will bring exciting and wonderful things, and they may bring challenging and scary things, too. If we want to be present to enjoy the wonder, we need to slow down and be here. And if we want to be present to stand up for our beliefs, we need to be centered and grounded (rather than reactive and freaking out).
So stop now. Breathe in and feel your feet. Notice whatever you can feel--the pressure as they rest on the floor, the sensation of your socks, the way they feel on the inside. Breathing out, imagine a root extending down from your feet into the earth, connecting you. Breathing in, imagine inhaling grounded, calm energy from the earth up into your entire body. Breathing out, imagine exhaling extra energy, static, ungrounded energy down through your feet and into the earth.
Can you feel your connection to the earth? Stay with the breathing for a bit. Let yourself stop and be. Invite your child to do it, too. Imagine that you are a tree, rooted in the earth. Imagine the roots extending and intertwining with your child, your friends and family and neighbors, even with people you aren't that fond of, because we are all rooted in the same earth.
Remember as you ground, that we are all in this together. There is no 'other.' Join me in imagining all human beings grounded in the earth, connected, loving, and wise. When the next crazy news story, intense email, or 'I can't find my shoes' freakout happens, remember your feet and ground.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness has changed my life, helping me to make peace with myself as I truly am and to appreciate my family, life, and the world as they actually are.