I have often said that the best mindfulness teachers are small children. No one can live in the moment better. We struggle with them, in our constant concern for the future, and they just keep dragging us back into the present. “We’re going to be late for school” “Why aren’t your boots on yet?” “What in the world are you doing? Do you really think now is the time for Lego? We have to go!!”
I’ve been away from this blog for a few months now. If you know me, you already know that I have started a new graduate program.
(Yes, another one.)
(Yes, I’m serious!)
(No, I’m still not sure what I want to be when I grow up.)
It is taking up a lot of my time. Maybe I’ll talk about it another day. This is more important.
So, the other day, my son asked me to play marbles with him. I realized how focused on school I had been.
I resisted the urge to Google “Rules for Playing Marbles” and decided to let my son show me “how” to play. We smashed the marbles against each other and watched them spin in all directions. We listened to the sounds they made clinking against each other. We felt them running through our fingers, and we made patterns with them. Once, I tried to turn it into a lesson on the solar system, and quickly realized my mistake. We lined them up in order of our favourites instead and tried to knock them into each other.
“Playing” marbles took on a whole new meaning. We were present. I wasn’t worrying about my next assignment. I wasn’t thinking about nuclear threats or fascist world leaders. We weren’t worrying about rules or winners or losers. We were simply playing marbles.
If you ever need a simple lesson in mindfulness, I do recommend that you find yourself someone five or younger, and ask them to teach you how to play marbles.