Through Body Awareness
I Am a Feeling Body
Empowering children through body awareness and mindfulness requires a solid foundation. There are four essential steps toward instilling peace, harmony, happiness, and well-being into our lives: grounding, centering, breathing, and feeling. As outlined in this book, these four steps are designed to be enjoyed in a playful manner—and in less than 10 minutes.
The word instill means to infuse slowly or gradually into the mind or feelings. We will go inward and find our stillness through playfulness. When we create the space each morning to engage ourselves in these steps, especially if family members participate in the fun together, we create profound results—a stronger mind and body connection to start us on our way each day.
I Am Grounded
This book focuses on grounding as fundamental for the body to feel connected with all that is. Our awareness of how we feel becomes a critical first step to instilling a solid connection between mind and body. When we invite ourselves to feel what is going on inside the body, and as our awareness spreads, we can anchor in two primary components of grounding. One is feeling grounded with the earth underneath us, and the other is feeling an evolving wholeness that constitutes all our body parts working as an integrated, flowing, spacious container that is encapsulated and supported by our largest organ, our skin. Merging the two components creates a feeling of sovereignty while being connected with the world around us. As we continually remind the body that it is safe to be fully present and aware, we begin to feel more stable, whole, calm, and resourced. Our nervous system begins to relax and feel supported and safe so we may navigate everyday life with confidence and ease. Our awareness can expand and spread to the greater aspects of our lives that make us happy instead of feeling anxiety and unrest in mind and body.
To be well grounded, it is important for the mind first to set a clear intention for the body. Our physical or bodily intelligence will respond accordingly and in a powerful manner, as it will create energetic openings and pathways through the nervous system so that we may walk more solidly on this earth and be much less shaken by external challenging events we encounter.
Just as a tree takes root, it is important for us to be grounded and create stability in our lives while being fully present in each moment. When we are not rooted or grounded, we may feel that we are floating about aimlessly—and possibly get caught up in unnecessary drama and conflict. Roots make us solid. Even in the midst of external elements, just as when a tree encounters wind and rain, we can make a conscious choice to focus within ourselves and not on external influences that only have the potential to sway us. Some ways to feel grounded include being outside in nature, taking a walk, lying on the grass, swimming, or simply drinking water.
When we create the space each morning to engage ourselves in these steps, we produce profound results. We may also set the intention of having fun while creating a much stronger mind– body connection each and every day to start us on our way. It may take as little as ten minutes.
I Am Centered
Centering is the second of four essential tenets in creating a solid foundation to instill ongoing peace, harmony, happiness, and well-being in our lives. As described in my first book, I Am a Feeling Body: Body Awareness and Mindfulness for Children, these tenets include grounding, centering, breathing, and feeling as they relate directly to the awareness of and connection with the body.
My second book, I Am Grounded: A Path to Stability and Feeling Safe, focuses on grounding as foundational for the body to feel connected with all that is; in turn it helps create a solid mind-body connection. I Am Centered: Finding Your Point of Presence expands on this body awareness by focusing on our inner stillness, which is critical for feeling freedom to navigate life with ease and grace.
I Am Empowered
In I Am Empowered, a teenage girl and her horse develop a deep and meaningful relationship on a journey through their adventures riding together. She learns empowerment while being in the flow with her horse as they embrace the ever-changing conditions that await them. Her regular visits to the equestrian center become an all-inclusive experience, and as her self-awareness expands, she builds a dynamic relationship with her horse while staying grounded and centered during her everyday life. This amazing journey creates joy in her life because she cares for her horse and connects with him on a deeper level.
Note to Parents….
Although these books are intended primarily for children, it is no less valuable for any age group. Have your child read this book out loud for the first time to an adult or caretaker. After that, it is most beneficial for someone to read the book to the child to enrich the experience of performing the exercises.
When the initial meanings in each of the four poems are absorbed cognitively and somatically as one, the benefits grow exponentially. Children will deepen their own awareness and become ready to read the book independently. The feelings children associate with seeing the illustrations will become somatic bookmarks for grounding, centering, breathing, and feeling.
When you lead your children through the exercises, allow them to discover the fun on their own terms and create unique personal experiences. Your children will find their way as their bodies guide them, and there is no right or wrong way. Trust and allow—amazing things will happen.