Mindfulness for the Inner Child – Mindfulness and play
On August Bank Holiday, Mindful Therapies ran our first ‘Mindfulness and Play’ workshop. This was originally a joke in which I (Rachel) suggested it would be fun if we built dens to meditate, reminiscent of those I used to build as a child from sheets and clothes driers. Turns out it was a popular idea so we ran it as a bit of an experiment. The following account is from Julia, one of our group members and volunteers:
Julia’s view from the den
‘What a fantastic way to spend Bank Holiday Saturday this August. Fun from start to finish with like minded and very lovely people. Space to reflect and grow with Mindful practice whilst also providing the opportunity to relive some situations and feelings from childhood – in my experience both good and bad.
From the initial discussion with Rachel on how amazing it would be to have a mindful day creating a den, playing with such things as play doh and lego, colouring in and playing with bubbles the excitement was paramount. This excitement and accompanying laughter was there throughout the day, to the grand finale when our mindful dog Maple made an entrance and headed straight for our mindful den wagging her den along the way.
Shared lunch consisted of all sorts of nostalgic party food including: party rings, space raiders, scampi fries, triangular sandwiches with no crusts and jelly sweets. Most people chose to take their lunch and eat it in the den along with a cup of tea 😊.
Doing a body scan in the den was a wonderful experience despite hitting my head climbing under the table which formed part of the den! Ha ha! It really was magical though meditating under tied blankets and pieces of old office furniture in an office block on a very sunny Saturday in the middle of Newcastle. I wondered how many other adults would be devoting their day to their inner child? Not nearly enough I expect. 😊
Mindfully blowing bubbles was a moving experience. I didn’t realise just how many beautiful colours you could notice and then see disappear as the bubbles caught the light. It made me reflect on the beauty of nature and the world through the senses. The bubbles disappearing quickly before my eyes. Wanting to capture them and capture the moment forever. Realising that life is like a series of bubbles – a series of beautiful moments that can all too quickly pass by if we don’t take some time out, just be and use our senses mindfully.
When the time came to play with the play doh for 15 minutes I rushed over to the table, grabbed a chair and couldn’t wait to open the various play doh containers. These included 3 lots of gorgeous homemade ‘play-doh’. One was orange with a gorgeous orange smell, the second was yellow with glitter and a gorgeous lemon citrus smell and the third was green with sparkly glitter!! There were so many cut out shapes and gadgets to create the most wonderful objects. The highlight for me when playing mindfully in silence was the gorgeous feel of the ‘play doh which was cool and smooth, the amazing smells and the beautiful sparkly glitter. I could have stayed and mindfully played with it for the rest of the day! I was fortunate however to take some home to continue having fun with play doh there.
Thank you Rachel for such a magical and very memorable day. Can’t wait for the next one…. maybe building a spooky den in October or a Christmas grotto in December…?’