Being more Toddler with Mindfulness and the Alexander Technique
April 6, 2018
I’m still so often amazed at how ‘In the moment’ my daughter is and how ‘Not in the moment’ I am!
Being just 2, she still grapples with the concept of the future. If I explain all the things we will do through the day she can’t process it, and won’t understand the order of things. She’ll be upset that we haven’t gone to the supermarket, which I had explained would be later in the afternoon. Mind you, you’d be upset too if you were promised your regular supermarket banana and it hadn’t turned up immediately.
So I’m careful to only talk about the next thing we are going to do. I find it a useful tactic to prepare her for what she might need to do to achieve the next stage in the day eg. Get dressed, or get in the car.
But even that isn’t being in the moment is it?
As far as she is concerned, the thing she is doing right now is the only thing in the world. She doesn’t see why she needs to do anything else. There is so much to learn in that moment whether it be a new task or something she’s done before. Through her eyes, I see that something as mundane as brushing your teeth can be slightly different each time, and therefore something new and exciting.
Noticing this in her has made me realise how very busy my mind is thinking about the past, the future, anything but the current moment.
For instance, I have noticed that I can be playing with her but not really be playing with her. I can be sitting with her, but I am thinking about all the things I need to do later on. She is happy doing what she’s doing but I’m not fully engaging with her. This makes me sad so I want to work on changing that.
I’ve been trying out short mindfulness meditation sessions to help me out with this and found it interesting so far. I’m slowly becoming more aware of when my thoughts are running out of control and can then bring myself back to the present.
The practice goes hand in hand with Alexander Technique. Alexander Technique lessons provide similar insights with the added bonus of finding out how your emotional habits have an affect on your postural habits.
The mind and body really are all one system and it’s fascinating to explore the effects on each other. See this blog post I wrote when I seriously injured my back. It was very much down to my emotions at the time. So we should never discount the effect our emotions have on our body. It's Alexander Technique that helped me through that period, being conscious of my movements as well as my thoughts.