My goal for the summer is to worry less about academics, and focus more on making this world a better place—starting with the little people in my home! I hope to create simple, but meaningful activities to teach my children the importance of intentionally being kind and serving others.
The idea is to make the activities as low-key and stress-free as possible (i.e., bring soup to a sick neighbor, donate old dish towels to the Humane Society, bring sunscreen to the lifeguards at the pool…)
The point is to teach my kids that small acts of being purposefully kind can make a big difference!
What’s “kindfulness” you ask? It’s “a daily practice using volunteering, intentional acts of kindness, and gratitude to bring awareness to the impact you make on others and the positive mental state created by serving others.” (created by Buddhist monk Ajahn Brahm)
The Five Pillars of Kindfulness are: volunteering, intentional acts of kindness, connection, reflection and inspiration.
1. No stress. This is not meant to be “one more thing” you *have* to mark off your checklist this summer. Do as much or as little as you can and what works for your family. It’s not meant to be “perfect”. We’re all learning & growing here! Even one day of consciously being kind is better than no days at all.
2. Make it age appropriate. But there’s no limit on age. You can teach a one year-old to give a hug or clean up blocks. A 100 year-old can spread wisdom to others. Try to incorporate mindfulness and self-awareness activities whenever you see opportunities throughout your day.
3. Do your best to casually instill mindful habits. For instance, for my family that may look like reading one page in the book “Breathe Like a Bear,” teaching my kids to notice their breath and calm their bodies when they feel frustrated. Again, the point is to make it simple and doable, and not become overwhelmed with doing it Perfectly.
4. Spread the good! Tag me on Instagram @katievanbrunt with the hashtag: #CampKindfulness so I can see the progress (not perfection!) you’re creating.
Next post… Ideas to do for Camp Kindfulness
“Kindfulness” by Ajahn Brahm
“It’s Not Mindfulness Without Kindness”
“Breathe Like a Bear” book
“The Conscious Parent” book
“Sitting Still Like a Frog” book