Tuesday, June 2, 2015

How Kids Can Use Meditation to Create a Rock Solid Emotional Foundation for Adulthood

By Helena Bianchi

This post originally appeared on Sivana Nation

Meditation is for Everyone

One of my goals as a parent is to instill deeply inside my kids a meditation identity.

I would like for them to incorporate meditation as a part of who they are-so much so that it will be second nature to them to wake up and meditate, just as it is to wake up and eat breakfast.

I want them to see themselves as people who take care of their minds, not just their bodies.

I love James Clear’s insight about creating better habits in life, where he beautifully explains how you can only truly solidify a certain habit when it becomes who you are:
“The root of behavior change and building better habits is your identity.” James Clear

For the first time in my life, I have been able to establish a meditation habit for myself for an entire year now, and have seen and felt first hand the amazing beneficial effects it has had in my life and in the life of my family.  

Throughout this entire year, I have meditated mostly everyday and have consistently read, learned, about and applied meditation to my daily life as much as possible.

Included in this routine is talking to my kids about the importance of meditation any chance I get, and letting them see me prioritizing it everyday.

This has caused them to really want to try it.

And so we have started taking baby-steps towards a lifelong meditation habit for them, starting with a 1-minute meditation session per day and going incrementally up: we are now at 5 minutes per day for each boy.

Meditation will, little by little, create for our kids a rock solid emotional foundation for adulthood and for the rest of their lives-a solid emotional foundation that nobody can ever take away from them.

Meditation will wire their brain in such a way as to help them deal better with everything they come across in life.

But it will also allow kids to create the life of their dreams from the very beginning; the one they truly want for themselves.

It will save kids years and years of their lives from bouncing around different pursuits because others said so, and instead will put them right on the road to their own soul so that they can contribute their greatest gift to our world.

As a consequence, they will likely bipass depression, anxiety, aggression, etc…..because they will be living *THEIR* life and not someone else’s. 

1. Meditating kids will solidify their self-awareness

Meditation will create and solidify a strong habit of self-awareness in a child: A self-awareness of who they really are and what they really want.

They will be better able to distinguish between their true desires vs what others want for them.

Having deep self-awareness will allow kids to peacefully and confidently make decisions that come from their heart and then stick to those decisions in the face of peers pressuring them otherwise.

Out of all the amazing benefits that meditation has to offer, self-awareness [is] the most important one.

By solidifying their self-awareness via a daily meditation habit, kids will acquire a solid understanding of who they really are and will most likely NOT need meditation to specifically calm down.

A person who is self-aware and knows deep inside what they like, don’t like, their dreams, goals, fears, and neurosis will, in general, be better able to cope with life challenges once they come up.

Most adults only begin to become truly self aware in their 40s and beyond!

And some never get there until their very last breath.

A lack of self-awareness prevents a person from living the life that will make them truly shine and feel deeply content.

It took me years to become more self-aware and realize that there were things I was doing that I did not care for; because everybody else was or because people told me was the best thing to do.

It also took me years to realize that every one of my desires was and is a guide to the best life for myself.

Looking back, this was the main reason I was a deeply sad person for many years.

Paulo Coelho, one of my favourite authors, explains this very well in the following quote:

“Why are people sad? That’s simple. They are the prisoners of their personal history. Everyone believes that the main aim in life is to follow a plan. They never ask if that plan is theirs or if it was created by another person. They accumulate experiences, memories, things, other people’s ideas, and it is more than they can possibly cope with. And that is why they forget their dreams.”

By helping your kids to create a meditation habit AS SOON AS POSSIBLE you will be giving them the precious and crucial gift of SELF-AWARENESS that will stick with them, and help them for the rest of their lives.

2. Meditating kids will ACCEPT who they really are and will become genuinely confident.

As kids become more and more self-aware by practicing daily meditation, they will begin to understand that who they are right now is already enough.

This is at the core of what meditation actually is: right now, in this moment, I am enough and have everything I need.

They will accept who they REALLY are, be it their loves, likes, dislikes, wants, desires, pet peeves, annoyances, body shape, body look, hair type, love preference.

With time, they will be prompted each day to act upon those things.

This is a deeply internal change that happens naturally with meditation and will transform your child into a genuinely self-confident human being.

As their brain gets rewired and their minds begin to shift into a higher frequency vibration, they will be prompted by their own being each day to act upon the things that really matter to them and prioritize their own joy and ‘feel goodness’ — THIS is at the core of true happiness.

In addition, accepting who they really are will make them strong when it comes to societal pressures, especially peer pressure, which will encourage them to try and erase feelings of pain and disappointment and emptiness with things such as food, alcohol, and other recreational drugs.

Meditation will get them face-to-face with their patterns of thought ‘right now’ and they will, with consistent practice, begin throwing out those thought-patterns that do not serve to create a joy-filled life for them.

They will learn that their thoughts are not who they really are: their thoughts are ‘there,’ but ‘WHO THEY REALLY ARE’ is ‘here’ and they can pick: choose to get emotionally involved in useless thoughts or completely ignore them.

3. Meditating kids will acquire an intrinsic trust in themselves

As kids discover who they really are, accept who they really are, and then begin taking actions on those things, they will acquire a very deep trust in themselves.

They will correlate their ‘who I am’ with ‘I love who I am and it is okay to be who I am’ with ’my actions make me feel good’ with ‘Wow.

When I follow my intuition, life is better all around.’

They will begin to feel like this:

This is who I truly am at the core. I can trust myself. I can trust my intuition. I must fulfill my desires of what I want to do and what I want to be so that I can be happy and contribute to this world. I trust that my soul will lead me in the right direction. The answer is inside me and *not at all* outside.

To know, deep inside, that they are enough just the way they are is bliss.

And it will help to significantly prevent exaggerated peer attachment and idolatry of other human beings.

With a consistent meditation habit, kids will internalize the 100% TRUE FACT that they fully belong in this world to contribute their unique gifts just like every other human out there.

It will help them make very clear the difference between the noise of what other humans want/demand from them from what they truly want for themselves.

Even if they don’t know yet what they want for themselves- it will make it clear that ‘still deciding’ is completely okay, and they do not have to rush and do something somebody else wants for them – they can give themselves the gift of respecting their own timing.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony.”        – Gandhi

4. Meditating kids will have WAY more quality and worthwhile friends.

You become who you most spend your time with.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn

And I will add that YOUR KIDS become the average of the five friends they mostly spend time with.

As kids solidify their meditation habits, they will have less tolerance for friends who gossip, for friends who don’t know themselves well, who don’t trust themselves and who, instead of creating a meaningful life from the inside out, choose addictive behaviors such as drugs, alcohol, overeating, bullying, etc…. to feel temporarily better about themselves.

Meditating kids will start to gravitate toward friends that are more self-aware, that are emotionally strong and stable, and who are excited about following their own hearts instead of others’ choices for them.

Choosing friends who resonate with their own self-aware habits will CONSIDERABLY improve their quality of life well into adulthood.

5. Meditating kids will acquire THE BEST tool for a fulfilling life: INTERNAL validation.

When you have a solid internal validation system inside of yourself, you don’t need anyone’s good or bad opinion, much less their approval, for ANYTHING you want to do in your life.

So, when kids become consistent at meditating, they will develop that ‘internal validation’ muscle and will say, do, and be WHATEVER they want.

When they have an idea, when they create something, when they want something, they will go ahead and act upon those inspired actions instead of creating drama around what people think of them, what people think they should do or be or have.

PHEW!!! They will have SO MUCH MORE precious life-energy left.

They will act upon their desires and will learn with their own failures, knowing deep inside that failures are actually a BIG STEP toward success.

What is the MAGICAL INGREDIENT for a happy life worth living? — INTERNAL VALIDATION.

Finally, once kids incorporate meditation into who they are, they will have one of THE BEST tools in the world to help them, not only navigate life with flow and ease, they will have a tool that will cooperate with them in creating the life of their dreams and fulfill their precious mission on Earth.

With a daily meditation habit, kids will know the following deeply and surely:
“The power is in you. The answer is in you. And you are the answer to all your searches: you are the goal. You are the answer. It’s never outside.” -Eckhart Tolle