Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.--Hippocrates
Why is this a Mindful Tool?
Our minds are busy! Even when we are perfectly still and feeling relatively calm, we find that our thoughts continue to chatter. This is what Buddhists call “Monkey Mind”. One of the reasons that meditation is a spiritual practice is that it can help us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings.
The jar, liquid, and glitter, as they are added together, are a great way to illustrate how our minds work. At first, I use it as a teaching tool: the clear liquid is symbolic of our minds, and the glitter is symbolic of all the thoughts and feelings that swirl around all the time. This is what the mind does, it constantly thinks. I don't find this "good nor bad," It becomes a problem when all the thinking causes suffering. This is very common for us all.
Suffering comes when the mind judges, criticizes and ruminates on the past or projects into the future. Not knowing this fact may even lead us to think that we are our thoughts, and then we make a false identity out of our thoughts and emotions.
As I am sprinkling the glitter into the jar, we talk about our thoughts and feelings; and through this discussion, everyone finds that they have much in common with the others in the room. Sometimes we choose colors that best represent those thoughts and feelings; like red glitter for anger etc. Then a volunteer comes up to stir the "thoughts" in the mind jar. That is when I ask the class, "Have you ever been cozy in a warm bed, but your mind has all kinds of worries? When that happens, we feel really badly, and we don't know how to feel better" .Most agree that they have experienced this before. I go on to point out, "Yet the reality of this moment in our beds is that nothing worrisome is going on; it is only our thoughts that are making us feel worried.," Mindfulness practice helps us push the pause button. on our thoughts, or slows things down for a moment.
Coming back to the Mind Jar illustration,, as the glitter settles, we breath together, and watch our "thoughts" float down. to the bottom of the Mind Jar. But the key is that all the glitter that gathers on the bottom of the jar are still there. Mindfulness doesn't teach us to push away our thoughts, or deny them; they are still there (just at the bottom of the jar). Mindfulness helps us find the pause button: with practice, we are then more aware of our thoughts, and how they can cause us pain and suffering. For me, knowing this is freedom.
All ages benefit from taking a deep breath and being “mindful,” even if it is only for a moment in a busy day. In this way we train ourselves to be able to find a place of calm even in the midst of challenges or overwhelming feelings.
After the illustration about how the mind words, the Mind Jar becomes a take home Calm Jar. It is now a simple mindfulness tool. While watching the glitter swirl,, sparkle and settle, our mind, body and spirit will feel calmer. Focused attention on all the glitter helps us push the pause bottom on our thoughts. Try it and notice how you feel.
As a parent or caregiver of children, making a Mind Jar together is a way to introduce mindfulness practice at home. Enjoy!
How to use the Mind Jar as a CALM JAR:
By Kristin Stiles-Hall, MSW, EMP and Reiki Master
Kristin’s has a Holistic healing and counseling practice called, Spiral Healing.. She is a Clinical Social worker and an Energy Medicine Practitioner. She blends all her training and knowledge into a complete, compassionate and holistic healing practice. She is passionate about health and wellness in her own life. She knows that there is more than one path for healing.
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Kristin Stiles-Hall, MSW, EMP and Reiki Master. She has a holistic counseling and healing practice called Spiral Healing. She is clinical social work, and energy medicine practitioner. She blends all her training and knowledge into a complete, and compassionate holistic healing practice. She is passionate about health and wellness in her own life.