As avid gardeners, spring is a time of renewed enthusiasm and commitment to the garden for my partner and me. We enthuse daily about the progress of tender seedlings and dormant foliage bursting back to life.
Along with countless others, my life’s journey has included periods of both mental and physical illness. I have felt a profound sense of gratitude and awe as my body and mind have responded to therapy and care. It is a privilege to witness this innate ability to heal and ‘spring back’ amongst the children and people that I work with.
One of my favourite resources is Dr Norman Doidge’s book: ‘The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity’. Throughout the book, Doidge reminds us that the brain’s way of healing is via the body. It is wonderful to remember the ‘well of healing’ within our bodies. There are so many ways to tap in and draw from this source. Doidge even refers to the tongue as the ‘royal road to the brain’!
Doidge’s book provides a totally fascinating journey of discovery of case studies from around the world. These include stories of people who have successfully overcome chronic pain, used exercise to allay degenerative disorders and defer dementia, rewire the brain with light, heal brain trauma and developmental delays through Mindful awareness of movement, overcome blindness with various Buddhist and neuroplastic methods and used sound to overcome dyslexia, ASD and sensory processing disorders. Riveting stuff!
Initially my Mindfulness journey began with a ‘top down approach’, using concentration and will to be aware, manage and attempt to regulate my wayward mind. Over the span of many years, my foundation of the ‘inner Art teacher’ began to bubble upwards! Practices began to soften, broaden and become more holistic and creative.
The ‘Mindful Palette’ is full of possibilities. These practices ultimately became the template for my work with children. It is liberating to realize that there is no ‘one way’ to be Mindful. Doidge’s book provides evidence of the many creative ways to shift energy, rebalance and heal the body/ mind.
Children thrive with a holistic approach to Mindful practices. It is not a case of ‘one size fits all’! The great advantage of sharing a variety of practices with children is that they can discover practices that they can personally connect to, bringing a sense of purpose, meaning and joy.
With mindful blessings,