A Fun 5 Senses Mindfulness Walk For You and Your Kids

In a world full of schoolwork, electronics, and extracurricular activities, our schedules are packed from dawn until bedtime. As parents, we ferry our kids and navigate the days of the week school, clubs, and more. It’s easy to get caught up in the hectic pace of non-stop doing. You forget to take a minute for presence and connection often.

What would you do differently?

That’s why now more than ever, it’s important to be present in the moment – both as parents and children. Taking time for mindfulness allows us to reconnect with ourselves, our bodies, our breath, and our surroundings. Whether it’s 10 minutes in the morning, after school, or during an outdoor activity, setting the intention to be fully engaged in the present anchors us.

Tuning into the sights, smells, sounds and sensations happening right now cultivates calm and focus for both parents and children. Make time for mindfulness a priority in 2024!

Do you find yourself losing focus?

Don’t worry we are on the same invisible boat…mindfulness teaches us and our kids to focus on the present. This reduces anxiety and puts you in an overall good mood.

The relaxation response triggered by mindfulness calms our body and our nervous system. 

I Spy 5-4-3-2-1 (activity)

During your next nature walk, a trip to the park, or inner city movements with your child, have them use their 5 senses to connect with their surroundings.

Our neighborhood park nature trail.
Our neighborhood park nature trail.

See

Have them find 5 things they can see like birds, clouds, rocks, plants, etc. Really focus attention on each object.

Nature trail 5 senses. See
What can you see? Can you describe the object in detail?

1. Tree's 2. Gazebo 3. Dogs 4. An airplane

Touch

Now find 4 things they can touch like the grass, dirt, tree bark, leaves, etc… Notice the textures.

Nature tail 5 senses. Touch
What can you touch? How does it feel like? Is it soft, bumpy, or cold?

1. A Tree bark 2 An Acorn 3. A Sundial 4. Some dried sticks ( it's winter)

Hear

Next, listen for 3 things like wind, birds, running water, cars, people, etc… Identify each sound.

Nature trail 5 senses. Hear
Close your eyes, what can you hear? concentrate

1. Some loud birds 2. The wind 3. Police sirens

Smell

Then, sniff out 2 things such as pine trees, flowers, rain, pastry, etc… Breathe deeply

Park Nature trail 5 senses. smell
My daughter found the one flower that tried to bloomed in the dead of winter

1. The flowers she picked 2.Wet grass

Taste

Finally, taste 1 thing if safe like mint or wild berries. Or bring/buy something to quietly savor the flavors.

taste 5 senses
taste 5 senses

1. Pepper mint chocolate chip

This simple yet engaging activity helps build awareness in the present moment. It also utilizes all 5 senses. It is something you can also do by yourself.

Most importantly it will give you and your little one some focused quality time.

Photo credits go to my hobby.

Give it a try, let me know what you think.

Underrated Matriarchs of Change: Black Women Who Shaped History

Underrated Matriarchs of Change: Black Women Who Shaped History

This year’s Black History Month in the UK has been themed: Celebrating our Sisters, Saluting our Sisters, and Honoring Matriarchs of Movements.

We want to shine a light on some of the remarkable yet underappreciated black women who have helped shape British history and society.

As the theme this year emphasizes, black women have been at the forefront of movements demanding equality, justice, and social change. Their stories deserve to be told.

The Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD) was founded in 1978 by a group of black British women activists including Stella Dadzie, Olive Morris, and Beverley Bryan.

OWAAD campaigned against discrimination and state oppression of black and Asian women in Britain.

In 1985, OWAAD members Suzanne Scafe, Beverley Bryan, and Stella Dadzie published ‘The Heart of the Race‘, a groundbreaking book centering the diverse experiences of black women in the UK.

The Heart Of the Race
The Heart Of the Race

It highlighted the triple oppressions of racism, sexism and classism faced by this marginalized group

Here are some pioneering women of color who worked in education in the UK to promote change

Jenny Douglas (1907-1990) – First black headteacher in the UK. She led Roseneath Primary School in London in the 1960s. She focused on multicultural education and stood up to racist authorities.

Betty Campbell (1934-2017) – Teacher and community activist in Cardiff. She was the first black headteacher in Wales, leading Mount Stuart Primary School in the 1980s. She also chaired the Cardiff Community Relations Council.

Statue of Betty Campbell in Central Square, Cardiff, unveiled September 2021.

Catherine Ross educates the community about African and Caribbean culture through the Bernie Grant Arts Centre, continuing the legacy of work by her late husband Bernie Grant, the UK’s first Black MP.

Educator and writer Maureen Stone was a leading figure in the field of multicultural education and school inclusion efforts in the 1960s-80s.

Diane Abbott – First black woman to be elected to the House of Commons in 1987. Before entering politics, she taught at London schools in the 1970s-80s and criticized discriminatory practices in education.

Diane Abbott

Brenda Woods (1951-2018) – Jamaican-born teacher who became principal at Greenford High School in London in 1996, likely the first black woman secondary headteacher in the UK. She promoted inclusive education.

Catherine Ross (b. 1944) – British educator and activist who founded CLAAS (Community Learning and Active Support) to provide supplementary education for African-Caribbean youth facing disadvantages.

Wilmet Sudler played a pivotal role in preserving Black British history, founding the George Padmore Institute archive which houses indispensable records on community organizing and anti-racist movements.

Sisters in Strength

The stories of these courageous women and so many others are so motivational. They overcame prejudice and injustice to lead change and uplift their communities. Though the scale of their impact varied, their integrity, passion, and perseverance can inspire anyone.

Sisters in strength

During Black History Month, I hope we take time to celebrate the ‘sheroes’ who came before. Their struggle continues today, but they lit the torch and showed us the way forward. As author Mary McLeod Bethune put it: “Have the courage to stand up for justice and truth.” Let us honor these women by exhibiting the same bravery and conviction.

Resilience, self-care, and well-being into modern day social justice

The incredible women we celebrate during Black History Month exemplified resilience in the face of injustice. As we carry their torch in today’s fight for equality, we must also prioritize self-care and well-being. Our reforms will only thrive if we nurture our minds, bodies, and spirits.

Share your feelings with a loved one. Unplug from devices and get grounded in nature. Express your truth through music, poetry, painting, or dance. Take breaks when overwhelmed and be kind to yourself. Protect your peace and happiness, for they are revolutionary acts.

Self care

Our resilience comes not from being unbreakable, but from learning to heal. We honor the women before us by embracing our full humanity. Our power lies in sisterhood, community, and radical self-love.

Take time to care for the precious girl within you. Find power in joy, laughter, and moments of stillness. Together we will sustain one another, and be the heroines of our own stories.

Here are some events happening in the UK, especially London, for Black History Month in October

Black History Month at the National Archives (October 1-31, London) – Exhibits, workshops, and tours related to Black history in the UK archives. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/about/news/black-history-month-at-the-national-archives/

Black History Month River Boat Cruise (October 2, London) – Boat cruise along the Thames celebrating Black music, food and culture.      https://www.designmynight.com/london/whats-on/food-drink/black-history-month-river-boat-cruise

Making History: Uncovering Black British History (October 5, London) – Panel discussion on overlooked Black British history at the National Archives. https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-history-uncovering-black-british-history-tickets-168045223147

Black Writers Festival (October 7-9, London) – Literary festival highlighting Black British writers through talks, workshops, etc.         https://www.blmuk.org/2020/09/07/black-writers-festival-2020/

Hackney Knees Up (October 8, London) – Celebration of Black music, food and culture in Hackney.       https://www.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-knees

Black History Month Walking Tour (Various dates in October, London) – Guided tour of sites related to Black history in London.     https://britainisgreat.com/event/black-history-month-walking-tour/

BCA Heritage Month (October, Birmingham) – Exhibits, performances, and film screenings about Black history and culture.      https://birminghammuseums.org.uk/bca/whats-on/bca-heritage-month

Some great events happening this October for children to celebrate and learn about Black History Month in the UK

Hackney Knees Up (October 8, London) – This family-friendly event with music, food, arts & crafts in Hackney.     https://www.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-knees

Black History Tours for Families at Hackney Museum (Saturdays in October, London) – Interactive tours suitable for kids aged 7-11 and their families. £10 per child. https://hackneymuseum.org/whats-on/black-history-tours-for-families/

BCA Youth Takeover (October 20, Birmingham) – Event organized by and for young people to explore Black history and heritage. Free.    https://birminghammuseums.org.uk/bca/whats-on/bca-youth-takeover-2

Black History Month Family Day at the V&A Museum (October 15, London) – Arts & crafts, music, and storytelling for kids inspired by the V&A’s collections. Free.     https://www.vam.ac.uk/event/oDZ51AD8/black-history-month-family-day

Half-term Black History Month Family Workshop (October 26, Manchester) – Arts activities for families inspired by Walter Tull, a Black British WW1 hero. £5 per child.   https://manchesterartgallery.org/events/half-term-black-history-month-family-workshop-2/

Black History Month Storytelling & Music (October 30, Leeds) – Interactive stories and music for kids. Free.   https://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/events/black-history-month-storytelling-and-music

Engaging kids with Black history and culture through interactive and creative activities can really foster an appreciation and respect for diversity from an early age.

15 Most Profound Brene Brown’s Quotes

15 Most Profound Brene Brown's Quotes

Brene Brown is a renowned researcher, storyteller, and author, who has become a beacon of wisdom in the realms of vulnerability and courage. Her work has illuminated the path to embracing our imperfections, fostering connection, and daring greatly. With her thought-provoking insights and heartfelt words, she has inspired countless individuals on their journey toward self-acceptance and genuine human connection. For me, her work resonates deeply with the themes of child development, parenting, and education. These words offer a guiding light for those seeking to navigate the beautiful complexities of life and relationships.

Brene Brown Quotes

 Brene Brown is not just an author and speaker; she’s also a distinguished researcher. Her TED Talk on vulnerability is one of the most-watched TED Talks of all time.

In addition to her research, Brene Brown has authored several bestselling books, including “Daring Greatly,” “The Gifts of Imperfection,” and “Braving the Wilderness.” These books have resonated with readers worldwide and continue to inspire positive change.

Brene Brown Quotes
Brown holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and is a research professor at the University of Houston. She is a passionate advocate for embracing vulnerability as a source of strength. She encourages individuals to be open, honest, and authentic in their lives, relationships, and endeavors. Brown’s message reached an even broader audience when she appeared in a Netflix special titled “Brene Brown: The Call to Courage.” In this special, she delves into her research and personal experiences, further cementing her status as a thought leader on vulnerability and courage. You can visit her website here.

Sound Bath Meditation

Mindful Glow - A Journey of Rejuvenation Though Sound Bath Meditation

Sound bowl meditation is a component of sound therapy, which encompasses activities like singing, chanting, and using instrumental music. This ancient practice has gained popularity as a complementary approach to good mental health. I went to a Candlelit sound bath meditation, here is my experience.

As I stepped into the serene ambiance of the Candlelit Sound Bath Meditation, known as Mindful Glow https://feverup.com/m/120396, I could already feel a sense of tranquility washing over me. The room was adorned with flickering candles, casting dancing shadows on the walls, creating an atmosphere of warmth and comfort. Little did I know that this experience would take me on a journey like no other.

I picked a perfect spot, not too far away from the center and also not too close either. The sound bath began with a little breathing exercise, then we all laid back on our yoga mats and so it began. As the first resonant tones filled the air, I felt a gentle wave of calmness enveloping me. The soothing vibrations of the instruments penetrated deep into my being, melting away the layers of tension accumulated.

With the gentle hum of Tibetan singing bowls and the melodic chimes of crystal sound bowls, not to forget the tuning fork and shamanic drums. I found myself letting go of any distractions. The worries and anxieties that had been on my mind seemed to dissolve in the ethereal melodies, leaving me with a renewed sense of peace. Cathy from highvibes.co.uk is a really good practitioner.

Candles were scattered all around the room, their soft glow enhancing the meditative atmosphere. The warm flickering light added to the visual serenity, making it easier for me to focus and delve into the present moment.

With each passing minute, I felt my mind and body being gently cradled by the harmonious sounds. It was as if the waves of sound were guiding me on a voyage within myself, revealing the depths of my consciousness. My breath synchronized with the rhythm of the instruments, and I felt a profound connection to my inner self.

As the session progressed, the sound bath washed away layers of stress and fatigue, leaving me feeling lighter and more rejuvenated. The experience was not only therapeutic for my mind but also for my body. Tensions that had built up in my muscles seemed to release, allowing me to surrender to a state of complete relaxation.

Throughout the session, I drifted in and out of a meditative state, carried by the symphony of sounds. My mind was no longer cluttered with thoughts, and I experienced a profound sense of clarity.

The Mindful Glow sound bath was a reminder that amidst the chaos of life, there exist moments of tranquility that can heal and rejuvenate us. The candles and vibrations intertwined to create a mindful oasis, leaving me with a lasting sense of peace and well-being.

candlelit sound bath meditation
Candlelit sound bath meditation
Candlelit Sound Bath Meditation, known as Mindful Glow

Are sound baths good for Children?

Sound bowls are musical instruments renowned for creating calming sounds and vibrations. Introducing these sound bowls into your children’s mindfulness and meditation routines serves as a valuable tool for them. Since children often struggle to meditate silently, these bowls can serve as effective aids for maintaining focus.

Through this practice, children can experience incredible benefits. These include enhanced concentration, improved emotional expression, and the transformation of emotions. While my 8-year-old daughter typically leans towards silence during mindfulness journeys, she Joins me in my short sound bowl meditations.

Sound baths can be designed to help you and your babies/children using instruments such as gongs, singing/sound bowls, ocean and shamanic drums, wind chimes, and more. Sound baths have the ability to relax breathing, promote rest and relaxation, lower heart rate, boost the immune system, improve sleep patterns, restore peace and happiness, calm the mind, and awaken creativity, imagination, and concentration. It is said that 20 minutes of a sound bath are equivalent to 2 hours of sleep.

How exactly do they do that you ask? The resonant tones are soothing and calming to the nervous system, signaling safety and relaxation. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system responsible for rest and digestion.

The sounds induce a natural brainwave state that is very meditative, characterized by slower EEG wavelengths like alpha and theta waves. This quiets the mind.
The vibrations are felt physically and can synchronize brainwave activity between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This creates a whole-brain state.

Start with short 5-minute sessions 1-2x daily and slowly increase based on the child’s interest and ability to focus. Can work up to 20 minutes.

Please use discernment when using sound baths or exploring a single sound instrument for your child. Start slowly and softly, ensuring it’s something your child would be interested in. Do some more research, contact a professional practitioner, and consider attending workshops—there are plenty available online.

this image shows mindful meditation.
Listening intently to the soothing sounds serves as an anchor to keep kids focused in the present moment versus letting their minds wander.
The sounds induce a natural brainwave state that is very meditative, characterized by slower EEG wavelengths like alpha and theta waves. This quiets the mind.
The rhythms can entrain breathing and heart rate for kids, lowering these physiological processes. This creates a relaxed bodily state.