Inspiration & Ideas

I recently came across this wonderful mind map… Lots of inspiration and ideas. Too often we take for granted the simple things… ¬†Hopefully you’ll be inspired to practice some of these , or make a mind map of your own ūüôā

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Intention…

If you attend a regular yoga class, you may be asked to set an intention at the beginning of the class – something simple, just for you, something personal, or general, always up to you. If you have a daily mindfulness practice, you may also set an intention for your day, your work, your next hour … ¬†As a parent and teacher I believe it’s important to set an intention, but not get too “stuck” to it. That is, setting an intention is good, it’s healthy, helps me focus, but it can also lead me to so many other wonderful thoughts and places throughout my day. Intention are great reminders of why we need to “be here now,” and ensure our heart and mind are always in the same place.

Teaching our children and students about setting intentions is a healthy habit…. This activity below is a great one for kids, and adults. After a nature hike, find some sticks and wrap them in fibers and beads. You can also paint and write on them with Sharpies. Students can keep these intention sticks at their desks, or, at home, as a reminder. You can also do this activity with a pencil, if a nature walk isn’t on the list. Younger children may need more help wrapping, while older kids may want more variety to select from to create their own intention stick, learning that they are all unique. This activity can be part of a class lesson, or something you simply do as a “learning experience” in the classroom.¬†b69796b2aefb66ecbd2aa4b38832b3da-1

thanks to Artwell Art Therapy for this wonderful photo! 

 

 

 

 

Glitter…

 

As a teacher, and mom, glitter simply scares me – unless it’s inside of a ball or wand – then, well then I LOVE glitter. Well, glitter on a t-shirt or jeans can be kind of fun too… Otherwise, keep it in those cute little jars SEALED tight. Don’t get me wrong, I love what it looks like and I do love a good glitter glue too ¬†– but keep it contained ūüôā

For mindfulness activities, glitter is awesome! Glitter wands and balls are a wonderful tool for kids – and adults. Even those fun little glitter shakers with holiday scenes are perfect for this too – shake them up, show them to your children/students and ask that they see… Then remind them that every day they have anywhere from 50-80THOUSAND thoughts! Just like all of those TINY little flecks of glitter , one fleck = one thought =TONS. TOO many in fact. Teaching mindfulness can help settle their glitter, and keep it “contained” – in a safe and more enjoyable way….

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Colors of Summer

The hottest of summer days can make it tough for kids to enjoy a nice day outside… Some water play, time at the pool or even being near the waves can be difficult when it’s simple THAT hot. Time to break out the paints! For kids , and adults, ¬†a good old finger painting session can be fun, and even relaxing. The texture of the paints, the combination of beautiful colors… No need to worry about doing it “right” – because there is no “right” when it comes to finger paints!¬†¬†Make blobs, funny figures and shapes, or , no shapes! Get the feel of the colors in your fingers, toss the brushes – or use them for parts of your new, messy , creation! Get a little paint on your shirt or bare feet! You can wash it off – it’s just paint. And when your creations are ready – hang them proudly in your home!

It’s almost summer time…

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Summer is just around the corner… check out this GREAT post from wildsister.com“25 Summer Self-Love Ideas” – so many awesome thoughts and inspirational ideas… ¬†#s 10, 12 and 20 are a must!

 

Artful Findings

I came across this wonderful piece today on how to make a personalized mandala… If you enjoy working off some stress or just finding some breathing space with coloring and art, this is ¬†wonderful inspiration from an artist at Soul Flower (great clothing too !) to get you creating your own patterns and designs from simple things around your home.

 

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Visit the link here for the full article and ideas.

Set in Stone…

There’s something about rocks and stones that has always fascinated me… I’ve had little collections of river rocks , sea glass and stone gems since I was a kid. I have rocks in almost every part of my home these days – and while most of them are decorative, I know where everyone of them is from. Just by touching them I’m reminded of the day and place where I found my stone treasures. They bring me a sense of tranquility, always (maybe that’s why I had lots of worry stones in school too!). Of course there are also some fun ways to incorporate rocks into your home, room, office, etc. The next time you’re out for a nature hike, look ¬†for some stones or rocks that catch your eye. Make a “peace rock” with your stone findings… or, create a little stone piece of art for yourself, a friend or family member. You can even make your own worry stones out of clay – for extra creativity! Keep your rock reminders near by, where they can easily be found¬†and picked up.

Find more ideas on Pinterest here…or here.¬†in my resources….

 

 

Bits & Pieces

Prepping for some upcoming workshops and finding bits and pieces of “left over” ideas ¬†and materials…. I have a love for visuals, and seemingly, so do most of the people I meet with for mindfulness workshops. Need more inspiration? Take a look here for LOTS¬†of ideas on how to incorporate mindfulness into your life…….2c25bf9fdbd831dfddad4be81bb23dc8.jpge875335303329a3c999354c068e156aa.jpg08a61e0f149daf8f144f66c82c6c8aa2.jpg8-art-therapy-ideas.jpg6-art-therapy-ideas.jpg

Brain Talk!

It all starts with our brain… and realizing just how powerful that brain is can be vital when looking at ourselves, our stresses, fears and joys. Feeding ourselves a good, clear, clean,¬†breath throughout the day, can help reset our brains and render¬†a healthy, focused, stress-less person. ¬†We can start by educating ourselves, and our kids, about the importance of our brain and our breathing.

 

Visit Ellen McHenry’s>¬†here for¬†a great brain learning template! For a better understanding of how the brain works – for the “non med student” – visit Geeks with Juniors,¬† a site for parents and kids.

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The Mind Up! series, from Scholastic and Goldie Hawn, is another great teaching resource for kids and adults learning more about the brain , breathing and mindfulness.

 

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Add a little color…

It seems as if no matter where I am these days, I tend to see “coloring books” everywhere. They used to be something for bookstores or toy stores only but now they show up as I check out at the food store or even a local coffee shop! The “zentangle” ¬†and mandala mania has definitely grown in popularity, and most likely, for the better.

Our home is filled with coloring books, and more so now, zentangle-like books. These books range in difficulty and patterns – and you can find them in just about every theme possible. My daughter loves the animal themes, I tend to go for floral, trees and botanicals. Plus, these books come in ALL sizes too now – mini ones for long car rides or travel, and GIANT versions for the whole family to get involved in – which, by the way, is a GREAT idea!

While tiny boxes and lines may not be your thing, the art of simply coloring is quite meditative and you there are LOTS of resources out there to choose from. ¬†Next time you’re feeling a bit edgy or anxious, give this a try:

If you’re an artist and want to try your own design, then color it in, give it a whirl.

If, however, you would prefer not to draw, pick up a zentangle or “meditative” coloring book of your preference.

Have lots of your favorite colors ready to go! Markers, crayons, pencils or paints can be used for any of these.

Color away! Don’t think of anything else except for the beautiful colors or shades that you are blending, mixing and creating. There is NO right or wrong, all you have to do is color.

Here are just a few examples of zentangle and meditative coloring ideas:

 

You can find LOTS more of these ideas via Pinterest or my Pinterest Mindful Board here

Check Amazon and local book stores too  Рthey have some wonderful collections too!