60 eyes are closed around the room showing respect for self and others. Deep breaths inhaled and as the exhale is released so is a bit of stress from earlier in the morning. Thoughts of love fill the room, a complete shift. Peace. All agitations from earlier are washed away, opening up my core to receiving that love as well. The innocent are shifting my energy as I stroll among them.
As a teacher we wear many hats. On any given day they may vary from guardian to guide, cheerleader to caregiver, nurse to counselor, and comedian to disciplinarian. On those days that I tend to need just a moment, a chance to feel human- all hats are required on deck.
It is 9:00 am-Students and parents alike fill my hemisphere with questions and callings of “Ms. Carolyn” ring in the air just as my computer screen breaks. 5 minutes and counting before 30 students will grace my presences ready to learn about mindfulness and the practice of meditation, and I am the opposite of zen. My ears are ringing with words that at that moment sound of simple noise, my mind is cluttered with how am I going to get the music to play, and my body is racing out the door to meet the students who patiently wait in the hall. My stressfilled smile invites them in and ask that they sit nicely as I run to find another computer… and take the 30 seconds needed to clear my mind.
An open-heart conversation began our practice. Discussing the past, present, and future- using visuals to show how much we miss in life if we are constantly in the past (at Spanish class) or in the future (at snack). We talked about when we are constantly in the present we always get to the future without missing anything along the way. As we talked my own feelings of frustration and “overwelmedness” began to wither away.
Meditation: the act of calming the mind and connecting to the true Self.
Magic: Thirty 1st and 2nd graders sitting quietly fully connecting to self.
The breath, our vital connection to life. Seeing the rainbow rise from the grown to the top of their head and releasing through the front of their body back into the ground. Imagining their balloon filing with air and very slowly deflating as they release all worry from their bodies.
Our last minutes were spent on “Love”. Feeling, thinking, imagining and filling the room with this healing force. That is when it shifted. My hats were removed. All of them. Accept the one of passion where everything I adore and believe came rushing into the space. Where my best practices and most proud teaching came into play and I felt alive.
A circle: the shape of connectivity-oneness. Hands stacked on top of each other, words of gratitude feel the air, shared compliments to our friends and self while feeling the community build in the room- our closing to a mindful practice.
A closing to the feeling of frustration that welled up within me throughout the morning. An opening to receiving the love that filled the classroom and came from near and far.
And now we entered the new present, and they are off to snack time…