I have 3 kids and last week at their school they had a Wellbeing Week which got them involved in all sorts of activities such as fencing, dancing, yoga and different sports.
They even had a somebody come in and talk to them about nutrition, and now my eldest son Rowan who’s 7 keeps inspecting food packaging and telling me what we should be eating less of!
I’ve done a few sessions in the school over the years on fitness, skipping and running technique and volunteered to put something on for Key Stage 2 on Thursday afternoon.
I didn’t want to just ‘beast’ the kids because I know it doesn’t take much to put somebody off exercise for life at that age! But I did still want to challenge them, so I put together a 30 minute ‘movement and mindfulness’ session.
Right at the beginning I gathered them all around and explained what we were going to be doing. I said that there would be moments where it would feel hard. That there would be a voice inside their heads saying that they need to rest; telling them that they couldn’t do it.
I wanted them to be aware of these ‘protective’ voices so that when they heard them, they knew they had a choice of how to respond.
There were parts of the session that required concentration, and other parts that required fitness and skill.
Most kids in the 3 classes I took through the session would have had several moments of doubt and uncertainty.
They will have had that voice in the head telling them that they can’t do it; that it was too complicated, too difficult or too tiring… and some of them chose to believe it.
But some of them chose to believe the other voice instead.
The voice that said ‘you can do it. You can keep trying. You don’t have to stop yet’.
Being aware of our thoughts is one of the most powerful skills we can develop at any age.
Becoming aware, then acknowledging where they have come from, and then deciding whether or not to act on them is the essence of transformational change.
But it all starts with awareness… stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself.