Mindful Kids of Laramie has been offering programs in Mindfulness since July 2013. These programs have been offered as camps in which children spend a half day or whole day practicing meditation strategies, creating artwork that is supportive of meditation practice, mindful eating and yoga. They have also been offered as afterschool series in which children hear stories related to themes of Mindfulness, practice meditation and engage in mindful movement such as walking meditation and yoga. In addition, Mindful Kids of Laramie offers 15 minute and half hour long Mindfulness classes in local elementary schools as well as at the Jr. High.
Although in each of these settings children of diverse backgrounds and perspectives are present, there is one consistent result - an expression of gratitude from the children (and the teachers in classroom settings) for the opportunity to slow down and check in with oneself. The stories children relate to me about their use of Mindfulness outside of our time together are touching: One young boy recently told me that he knew a friend of his was a tender-hearted person, but was experiencing challenging circumstances and therefore it was affecting his behavior. Because of his compassion for this friend he was able to provide supportive kindness with a solid voice when asking his friend to reconsider an act of vandalism. Another young girl stated that she was teaching her mother Mindfulness strategies to help ease the pain of a recent divorce.
These children touched me in their ability to tune into their sense of balance and groundedness when it came to extending compassion to others. I am blessed to have the opportunity to work with children in the Laramie community and look forward to continue to share in their knowledge of themselves.