I recently met with Dina Cooper a parenting coach. She is running a workshop soon in Frenchs Forest on mindful play. I was very impressed with Dina and have no hesitation in recommending her and her workshops. Read what she has to say about mindful play:-
“For both adults and children being in a playful state of mind is one of the best ways to learn and retain information.
Think of a time when you effortlessly learnt the most or effortlessly retained most of a conversation, or a course or a newspaper article. When someone asked you a question and you instantly knew the answer. Chances are you were in highly receptive playful state.
Now playful can mean different things to different people. To me it means, your thoughts are not running off into the future, your thoughts are not running off into the past, your thoughts are focused on the here and now. This is often referred to as the present moment. The moment when you are following the energy of here and now and whatever is occurring right now. It is the space within which you are at your most creative and playful.
I believe being in the present moment is where you and your child can be the most playful and learn the most.
Children are born with a naturally playful present state. Last week I took my 5 year old son to visit a specialist and it had been over a year since we last had been to this building where the specialist was located. We walked into the building and I asked my son, “do you know what floor we need to go to?” He immediately responded, “Level 3.” Sure enough, when I checked on the building information it was level 3 and this building had 22 levels, of which I had no idea of the correct floor. He was so present when we last visited he absorbed the level and retained and recalled this information more than 12 months on! Sure it could have been a fluke, but so many other things have happened to prove this theory.
I went to a Jazzercise class tonight. It was the first time in over 8 years that I had attended a group exercise class of this kind. Previously I would have dreaded attending a new class with lots of new moves to learn and questioned whether I’d be able to learn the moves and get them all right. This was mind racing off into the future analyzing what hadn’t yet happened and making reference to past classes I have attended.
SO I tested my theory. I went into the class in a playful present state and guess what? I was able to follow every move and for those I didn’t get right, there was no internal dialogue beating myself up for getting it wrong etc., I accepted the mistakes and moved on. I didn’t allow my thoughts to go off into the future or into the past – I followed the energy of what was happening in that moment – I ended up having a ball and learnt some new groovy moves too!
Don’t take my word for it – try it. Children are masters at playful states, so take a lesson from them. That’s how I started to access the playful present state and shift my ways. Sit down with your child on a mat and follow the energy of what they are doing. If they are quiet, you be quiet. If they are making noise you make noise. Play alongside them. Follow whatever they are doing and allow them to take the lead. Keep your mind focused on your child. If you get distracted, that’s ok – bring yourself back to the play. Practice this over and over, at least 3-4 times a week, until it becomes easier to step into the playful present state with your child and notice the magic that occurs. Notice how much more you learn and are creative during and after your play session. Notice how much your child absorbs of the activity you are engaged in – it is truly amazing!
If you’d like to find out more about how to create this Mindset come along to Microplay, a 1-hour workshop, co developed with Author and Creative Play Consultant, Anton Buchner. Together we will show you how to create a playful present mindset and share with you lots of ways to play, allowing you to connect with your child in small bursts of time. www.microplay.com.au
Dina Cooper is a transformational coach for mums. She has over 10 years experience in human change and has worked in leading corporations around the world. She believes how you represent things internally through your thoughts and emotions, directly influences the way you speak and behave externally in the world and therefore determines what you get from life. Through her own journey to become a fun mum she has learnt ways to combine the realities of being a mum with the true joy and privilege it is to be a mum. Dina loves being a mum. She is passionate that you as a mum can do the same and dedicates her time and energy to supporting you to be the mum you yearn to be. Email Dina at [email protected] to find out more about how she can help you and join in with the fun at www.hoogi.com.au.”
Good Luck Dina!
More form me on my return from Africa!