Pippi was apprehensive about going to school on Monday morning. No reason. She’s had a few bad school days (friends not acting like friends and refusing to let her join in a game). But most often, she has great school days. She loves her teacher and has many friends.
Pippi said that her tummy hurt and she felt nervous about Monday. I had a great solution for her nervousness. I had her read over her pebble meditation sheet that she created in CLub Zen on the previous day (Sunday). I teach Club Zen (mindfulness for children and teens). We completed a work sheet based on the pebble meditation as taught by Thich Nhat Hahn (of Plum Village, France).
The sheet contains four sections for the child to write and draw about activities that make them feel: joyous and playful, strong and confident, calm and quiet, and free and relaxed. I encourage the children to take them home and refer to the sheets whenever they are not feeling very happy. The sheet will remind them of things that make them feel good.
We had a mere 5 extra minutes before school bus time. We recreated all of the activities on her sheet (in record time) and then I asked her if they helped ease her worries. “Yes, I feel a little bit better,” she said.
As you can see in her sheet above, we had to be creative. Her meeting a new friend became introducing her to her Dad’s alter ego named Schwendener. Her trying a new thing became cutting her school lunch sandwich in half herself instead of me doing it for her. Her calm “go to bed” became a quick trip to lie on her bed and get right up again. Her final free and relaxed itemwas easy: she just had to think of mom. As you can well imagine, the last bit warms this mom’s heart to the brim 🙂
I highly recommend each and every adult reading this give the exercise a try. I filled out a sheet as well and so did my sister. My sister, who spends her work days as a scientist/professor, found the activity very liberating. I even learned a few things about myself. I jotted down whatever popped into my head that seemed reasonable. I had no idea that the activities I mentioned actually made me feel certain ways. Take a moment and create your own sheet. Whenever you feel blue or anxious–just do whatever it is you know brings you joy.