“Going with the flow is responding to cues from the universe. When you go with the flow, you’re surfing life force. It’s about wakeful trust and total collaboration with what’s showing up for you.” Danielle LaPorte
One of the most undeniable examples of being in flow on my mindfulness journey was the ease of introducing mindfulness to the classrooms of both of my daughters. I recall pausing with dread as I faced the parent sign-up sheet for my oldest daughter’s 3rd grade classroom. The prior year I had assisted with classroom projects and associated crafts – something that left a bad taste in my mouth as I had never been fond of crafts. Fortunately, I was struck with the courage to offer my newfound training in mindfulness to the teacher. I can still see the look on her face as her eyes lit up and she smiled invitingly. As it turned out this teacher had a regular yoga practice and had been seeking to learn more about meditation. My other daughter’s teacher also enthusiastically embraced mindfulness into her Kindergarten classroom.
The students and teachers readily took in the practices I shared with them and as word spread I began teaching in some of the other classrooms. When my daughters advanced to their next grade levels I was welcomed to continue teaching in their new classrooms. I shared a lesson once a week, spending 15-20 minutes per lesson. Eventually, my oldest daughter, Tristen, began to convey to me that her peers did not enjoy my lessons, and that in fact I was not funny enough and they really didn’t like me. At first I felt sad but then when I walked into her classroom and was greeted with hugs and glee I knew her message wasn’t about how the other students felt but rather about how she felt. Accordingly, I invited her teacher to allow her to go help in other classrooms for the duration of the lessons that year, which she did. Practicing mindfulness cannot be forced, only modeled.
Sometime in 5th grade, Tristen began to ask me to tuck her into bed every night with mindfulness, which I did. Typically, we would talk about something that happened that day and I would integrate mindfulness throughout our discussion. These discussions didn’t come across as lessons because mindfulness is a way of life and so I was just sharing ways for her to handle things. Always, I was learning as much from her, if not more, than she was learning from me.
Right before the beginning of 9th grade Tristen was exposed to a tick and diagnosed with Lyme’s disease. She missed a lot of school, however her struggles offered her an opportunity to learn and grow in new ways. In addition to teaching herself all of the subjects she was enrolled in, with minimal outside help, she began a daily meditation practice to manage the stress that would cause her symptoms to materialize.
Now in 10th grade, Tristen continues and deepens her meditation practice, using apps for guided meditations, involvement in study classes such as Into the Magic Shop, which was held at Vibe Well this past summer, and teaching friends the science and practice of meditation.
Watching how Tristen handles the challenges of her life is truly a reward well worth the tears I shed the day she told me no one in her 4th grade class liked me. : )