Class Relax

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Vaccine Day – Call for Relaxation

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Immunization Day

All of the grade 8 kids were being vaccinated, one class at a time. By 10:15, the time for our Meditation class, only 2 girls were post-vaccine. They wanted guided relaxation, a body scan. Waiting a while to see if any others would be charging into the room, I decided to post a sign and begin.

Hi girls!

Please wait outside quietly for a few minutes.

I’ll open the door soon.

And we proceeded. From heels, bit by bit up to the head.corpse-pose

Finally a few huge cleansing breaths from top to bottom  and then the transition back to regular awareness of the room.

I opened the door, the girls were waiting  and agreed to respect those still climbing out of their relaxation.

Our Session Begins

With a promise that there would be another full body scan later on, we began. The topic: everyday memories

I invited them to think of something that they had done that day. I gave them an example of climbing out of bed. One simple act.

I asked them to write it down.

Did they want to share? They did! Most of them wrote down: Getting a vaccination.

“Excellent. Now, let’s go a little deeper.

Write down everything you remember seeing during the event. Just what you saw.” They did.

“Step 2. Write down everything you heard: voices, sounds, etc.

Step 3. Write down things you touched,sensed. If you moved. Temperature.

Step 4. Emotions. How did you feel?”

I watched them write and write. There was no end of details. Many of them were writing with their non-dominant hand due to the vaccination, so that alone was a challenge!

unnamed_t84itz5w77

When they were done I asked: “How does the memory now compare to when you first thought about it?”

Responses

“Much richer.”

“As if I’m still there.”

” I remember a lot more than I thought I did.”

My acknowledgement: “When we think about our memory, we recall that it happens in the hippocampus, the part of brain responsible for storing our memory. We are interested in developing that part of the brain. Right? (yes!) The more we notice about an experience, the more details, the more we store in our memory.

Gray739-emphasizing-hippocampus

Our task is to notice as we experience.

Let’s try something else. We are going to divide into twos. Each partner will think of an experience. One other thing that happened. Partner 2 will ask questions. First, what did you see? When you’re finished with that, what did you hear?  After that, what did you sense? And finally what did you feel. Partner 2 will be a journalist – simply asking questions and writing down the answers. Partner 1, you will not offer any other information, just the answers to the questions.

When you’ve finished, you’ll switch roles. Ready?”

They understood.

The girls proceeded. After they each took a turn, and signalled that they’d finished the exercise, I approached each pair and asked how it was. Most of the girls expressed enjoyment being listened to. The fact that they had been heard by someone who was really listening made the experience a good one. One girl felt an intrusion of privacy – as if the questions were that of a psychologist and that was something she didn’t like.

I asked them which experience was richer for them – remembering their experience by themselves and writing it down or being interviewed by another. Two girls preferred doing the exercise alone – the others preferred being heard by someone else.

In my own mind, I considered the 2 as more introverted, perhaps with poetic, artistic temperaments enjoying the act of self-inquiry, while the others were more socially attuned. Of course, these were the results of that particular day.  Every session shows different aspects.

Sharing

Those who wished to do so, shared with the others. Those who didn’t, simply put their pages in their folders.

Body Scan time

We had 10 minutes for a short, sweet body scan.

Very peaceful, very soothing, for me, as well. (I had a big exciting day ahead of me and truly needed the time to pace myself and let myself enjoy the moment by moment awareness of the body).

I note: teachers of mindfulness reap the rewards. When we share, we receive.

Two more sessions remain till the end of the school year. What should we do for a closing bash? Any suggestions?

from visualparadox.com

from visualparadox.com

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