I remember watching my son stop at the edge of a field near the park, squat down and play with a buttercup he had spotted in the grass. He didn’t have any care in the world. He didn’t care that all the other children were still playing in the park. He didn’t care that we only had 15minutes until we needed to leave to get back so I could start the dinner.
He was so focussed on this buttercup, he had blocked out the rest of the world to pay full attention to this buttercup. I looked at him thinking, “oh how wonderful it must be to not have a care in the world…”
You see babies and toddlers don’t care about where they are going next, their to-do list. They care more about the present moment and being fully in it. They don’t have all the clutter in their minds that stop them noticing simple things. They stop and they take time to explore things. They don’t need to be taught mindfulness – they already do it. And they do it a lot, in fact nearly all the time.
What happens as they grow older is that the world rushes them about, tells them this or that is more important, that if it’s not making noise, flashing lights, interactive, fast paced it’s not productive. They become more and more aware and reliant on outside direction to avoid being still (aka bored) and they become less connected to their internal compass that nudged them to become curious about a buttercup and to sit down and figure out what is was.
They get SO cluttered and overwhelmed with external pressure of “doing” and less present with themselves and “being” that they start to become disorientated, anxious and unable to control themselves.
Don’t get me wrong, “doing” is great – babies and toddlers do lots of stuff right?! They are endless bundles of energy 🙂 But “being” is required in equal measure to stay balanced…otherwise, meltdowns!
Mindfulness resets us back to our factory setting. It strips away all the clutter – the pressure of being somewhere else, of getting something done, worrying about tomorrow and feeling guilty about yesterday. It encourages us to be fully present and focused, in the moment.
It prompts us to wipe out our “cares of the world”, empty our recycle bin, become a toddler again – to notice the tiny buttercup and go check it out in a park full of chaos and a demanding schedule – doesn’t that sound bliss??
Babies and Toddlers are there already, the place the rest of us who “grew up” are always striving to remember (to find time) to be ❤️