Boy Group | Mindfulness Mini-Series | Wk 1
Sunday was our first session of Boy Group's Mindfulness Mini-Series and our small group both struggled and sometimes succeeded in finding stillness. The Boys spent the afternoon working on skills to better understand and deal with worries and anxieties using mindfulness practices, bringing calmness and perspective to chaotic emotions.
The Boys had a chance to express their personal worries - from school to family to friendships - and to understand that we don’t have to be controlled by our thoughts. The Boys also had a chance to express their concerns and worries in a supportive environment to see that they are not alone. We all struggle!
It was a real challenge for the Boys to sit in stillness. And it was challenging leading them through quiet meditation. We talked about what it means when we can't quiet our bodies or minds? What can we do to help make that happen? We introduced some basic mindfulness meditation and practices of soothing the body that can be used when interacting and confronting challenging circumstances.
One of the relaxation practices we worked on is called "The Boat on the Stream".
- Get your body comfortable and gently close your eyes.
- Slowly take three deep breaths, in through your nose and our through your mouth.
- Spend a moment or two, relaxing your feet and legs. Letting go of any tightness and letting them become heavy and relaxed. Imagine that your worries are slipping away.
- Now relax your tummy, chest, and shoulders. Imagine your worries are slipping away.
- Pay attention to your arms and fingers. Open your hands and let your worries fall through your fingers. Feel how relaxed you are.
- Imagine you are standing by a stream. This stream is moving past you. The water is clear, however always in motion.
- This stream is your stream. The water travels over the rocks and through fallen branches.
- Imagine this stream. Can you hear it? What is the temperature of the water? What grows along the banks?
- Can you see it?
- There is a paper boat on the bank of the stream. Pick it up. Place your thoughts, good or bad, in the boat.
- Place the boat on the water. Watch the boat and your thoughts float down stream and out of sight.
- Take a deep breath and try this again. There is another boat. Place another thought in the boat and release it to the water. Watch it float downstream and out of sight.
- The bank of the stream is a place that you can go any time you would like to feel more peaceful and calm. Know that your stream is available to you any time you would like. You can visit here whenever you would like.
- Now take a deep breath and imagine yourself walking away from the stream, down the path back to this space. Gently bring your attention back to the room.
- Rub your hands together to make them warm. Gently place them over your eyes.
- You can open your eyes whenever you are ready.
Although we struggled at times, sitting in stillness and silence is not something that comes easily for any of us. It is something that we must practice again and again ... and again. Our goal is to provide an anchor of stability in the often messy and chaotic reality of adolescence and a mindfulness practice can be that anchor.
Join us next Sunday, July 15th for week 2 in our Mindfulness Mini-Series as we continue to work on meditation in practice, this time using taste and smell. Details below. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
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