I wanted to start the month doing so many things...but only one activity stayed on my mind as I think about the world's suffering right now: collective compassion.
By this I mean that we can curate a safe space to have compassion towards our own feelings, share this compassion to others suffering, and teach our younger generation how compassion can have a huge ripple effect throughout the world.
I have shared on my social channels that we have so much power as parent's to shift the perspective of the next generation by focusing on mindfulness in the home. It is my firm belief that inner peace, mindful practices and self-compassion skills will change the next generation from thinking in terms of fear, doubt, hate and war, and have them reaching for forgiveness and love instead. It's also how we teach the true meaning of kindness, beyond the act. It's an inside job, first.
So I want to offer you and your children a collective compassion tool to try this week.
If your child is of appropriate age, you could begin this mindful practice by having a conversation about what is happening in the world. You could help them navigate through any questions, feelings and thoughts. There are many resources online that can help you start this conversation.
Here are a couple IG feeds that offer some helpful talking points:
Sharon Says So (older kids)
As a collective, we can teach the next generation to show mindfulness to others by sharing our loving thoughts and energy. A simple breathing exercise will help our children feel like they are offering an appropriate emotional response to the situation, for themselves and towards others, and it will teach them that compassion can help you feel supported and safe.
View the breathing/meditative exercise below.
When you are done, discuss how it felt to connect to yourself and to another from this mindful compassionate space. You can ask questions like:
What feelings came up for you?
Do you want to write down the word, phrase or feeling that you gave yourself on the in breath?
How did it feel to connect to someone else on the out breath?
Do you want to do anything else right now to further support this connected and compassionate space, either for yourself or for the other person/people?
Use this as a jumping-off point to talk emotions, feelings, thoughts and body sensations with your kids. All of this mindful awareness should bring on empowering forms of action - the knowing that we can calm and support ourselves with compassion at times of struggle, as well as send compassion naturally to others at any time from any where. Your kids may even hear their heart talk and they may choose to take further action to support the world right now.
This collective energy and mindful exercise will also naturally teach empathy, towards themselves and others.
And remember there is collective power in trying this out: if we all do this, we all win.
Sending my love and compassion to you all,