Mindful Monday Series: Creating Mindful Spaces for Children (and their moms)

A little meditation can mean big changes in your life. In previous blogs in the Mindful Monday Series, we discussed the benefits of meditation including better health, drastic stress relief, greater mental focus, and healthier relationships.

This final blog in the series will focus on how to create a meditation space in your home, one that makes us mindful or our intention for the day. Everyone can create a space in their homes for meditation. The space should allow you and your family to unwind and recharge your mind, body, and spirit.

Setting your purpose and finding the space

People often use the excuse that they don’t have space to have a designated space for meditation. You don’t need an entire room, you can use a closet, a corner of a room or outside on your porch or patio.

You have to set the purpose for your space. What do you need it for? Who will use it? What are your intentions in this space? How private do I need it to be? Once you know your purpose you can create a space that will serve your needs.

Because of our big family (mom of 5 here!), there isn’t an inch of our home that we do not use and there is seldom any quiet time. So we got creative, based on the needs of our big family.

We are not a very formal family and hardly ever ate dinner in our formal dining room-we use the island in the kitchen or the table in the less formal eating area in the kitchen. We kept a table in the formal dining room space for years before I decided that I should use the space to fit our large casual family, instead of letting the words on the house blueprints dictate how I would use the space.

The space changed over time based on the ages and stages of my children. We have now dedicated this space to my BrownSchooling office (when I want to do creative work) and to our meditation and quiet space. Yes, it’s in the middle of our house, but we try to keep it as sacred of a place as possible. If your usable space, like ours, is in the middle of the house and privacy is an issue, use a foldable screen to close off your meditation space. Here is how we did it.

Making the space work for you & your family

There is no one way to create a sacred place. You have to do what works for your available space and the purpose that you set for the space. Every family’s needs are different. If you want to create a family mindfulness space, have a family meeting and discuss items that everyone thinks would be helpful to their meditation practice. In our house, we have decided to create several smaller spaces within the one larger dining room area. There is a sacred space in the corner of the room for me (and the older kids) to mediate.

We ’ve also created a quiet space to write or work. There are many people that are totally against bringing any work into your sacred space. I find our space soothing (especially with the aromatherapy – candles, diffusers, or incense) and I feel happy and creative there. I often find my teenage son with OCD/anxiety working at the desk and it makes my heart smile that he has a space that he can breathe and relax even while doing his stressful school work.  If I am in the space alone I will use my laptop. If someone else is in the space with me I will do some journaling to respect their need for quiet.

We have also created a space for the younger children to have reflection time for meditation or quiet activity. Sometimes I will send my son with ADHD into the space just so he can find his calm (get centered).  I will put lavender essential oil in the diffuser and he will sit and play with his mindfulness jar or rake the sand in the zen garden.

 

 

 

 

We have also created a place if someone just wants to lay down and relax or nap. If any of us sees a family member in this space, there is an unspoken rule that they are not to be disturbed.

Creating Your Space

Consider what images or objects will support your purpose of the space—less is more in terms of decorating your meditation area. You don’t want the items in the room to distract you, you want them to inspire you to be present and tranquil.  Follow your heart and add items that bring you joy and peace.  One of my favorite items is an artwork that was painted f for my 50th birthday by Tiffany Cooper Art.

Here are ideas for creating a space for you and for your children.

Items for Mom’s Space

  • Candles
  • Singing bowl
  • Incense
  • Salt lamp
  • Crystals/stones
  • Spiritual Readings
  • Post-it notes (for writing mantras and positive affirmations)
  • Diffuser
  • Essential oils
  • Shells
  • Pictures (family, vacation, artwork.)
  • Yoga Mat
  • Meditation pillow
  • Beads

Items for Kid’s Space

  • Mindful/Calming Jair
  • Positive affirmation/mantra cards
  • Calm coloring books and colored pencils
  • Mini Sand Zen Garden
  • Rocks/stones
  • Pillows/Meditation Mat
  • Peaceful/Mindfulness children’s literature
  • Quiet music (apps on the iPad)
  • Diffuser

Ultimately make the space one that centers you, one that you use to begin your day with love and intention, and a place that you look forward to coming home to after a stressful day.  I would love to see the sacred spaces that you’ve created for yourself and your children. Please post and tag me on social media #brownschooling and @brownschooling

What is the one item in your meditation space that brings you the most joy?

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