Feeling Squirrelly? We all do, sometimes. Squirrels are hard workers, they are committed and diligent, but they are also somewhat scattered and they do not appear to think with clarity, focus, or presence. Did you know that squirrels, who put tremendous effort into collecting nuts and storing them for winter preserves, can only remember where they hid one in ten nuts?
When we feel squirrelly we are feeling scattered; we are pulled in many different directions. And, although we may be putting a lot of effort into whatever it is that we are attempting to accomplish, we are often stuck on one task or one way of doing that task, we move without much thought and end up making mistakes and need to repeat our work, and we feel overwhelmed easily, sometimes by instances that have little to do with our current situation.
At The Farm Playschool, when we are feeling squirrelly, we ring our squirrell bell. The bell is rung and those that choose to practice may close their eyes and focus inward, perhaps take a few deep breathes, and listen for when the bell stops its ring. Anyone can ring the squirrell bell and anyone can practice being mindful.
Mindfulness, as a practice, has been around for thousands of years. Lately, in education, childcare, parenting, as well as the corporate world, mindfulness has become more sought-after and sometimes even employed for reasons outside of its original purpose.
At The Farm Playschool, we are mindful about mindfulness. We model it and we do not insist that children imitate it. What we do is tell stories that bring mindfulness into the consciousness of children; whether they choose to engage is influenced by their own needs. We cannot control the lesson for the others around us, we cannot control the weather either, but be can plant the seeds.