• Jane McGrade

Is your mind like a 4 year old child?


This is Mother's Day weekend, so I want to begin by wishing a happy Mother's Day to all mothers everywhere and to the 3 most amazing women in my life who have graced the world with my nine amazing grandchildren.  My inspirations for sharing mindfulness.  

When my first grandchild was four years old, he's 21 now, he would become so distressed when his mom would leave him to go to some appointment or errand that he would cry and cry. I'm talking really loud crying. There was no consoling him. Believe me I tried and my husband, his loving grandfather tried. No consoling, nope, not at all. But, Grampy, the wise grandfather took our basketball and bounced the ball up and down the hall in our house and outside so our little crying angel could hear. And so the crying stopped! A distraction. Something to catch our little grandsons attention. I'm quite sure he was tired of crying and carrying on with his misery but, I'm also sure he would have carried on with his chosen behavior to let everyone know within earshot how unhappy he was that he didn't have what he wanted or what he thought he needed. But, Grampy with a bouncing basketball provided the perfect solution.

Now, to my question. Is your mind like a four year old child? Your mind with its 60,000 plus thoughts a day? Thoughts that tell you how unhappy you are, and how bored you are, and if only you had some amazing new anything you would be so happy. Or your mind that replays events from the past that are upsetting or some event that is coming up that just thinking about it causes you great anxiety. Yes, the mind is a very busy tormentor, even a bully telling you that you are dumb, or fat, or lazy and more.

So now you sit to meditate thinking that your mind will leave you alone only to find the mind thinks this is an opportunity to continue showing you how its not happy just like my four year old grandson.

But, you are like wise Grampy. You are practicing a mindfulness breath meditation where you give the mind something else you want it to pay attention to. First, you acknowledge the mind and notice where or what it wants you to pay attention to and then you gently with kindness escort the mind back to what you want it to pay attention to, the breath. And again and again the mind continues trying to grab your attention because observing the breath is not exciting. There's no drama or emotional upheaval to observing the breath and like a child the mind wants what it wants. But you are wise and you know if you persist in patiently guiding the mind back to the task of observing the breath you will have a moment or two or maybe more of peace and quiet. Your breath will become deeper and longer, your body will relax, and your mind will calm.

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