inner kids model
Meditation looks easy. How could sitting on a cushion doing nothing be hard? Yet, when I first learned to meditate, it reminded me of playing with a Russian nesting doll: open it and there’s another just inside, only smaller, and then another, and several more, and I wondered if it would ever end. But I stayed with it until the littlest doll was finally revealed. There seemed to be layers beneath layers of theory that I needed to understand before I could truly practice. Friends and colleagues had recommended several books, and I was having a hard time sorting through the different methods and terms; the progression of concepts, themes, and methods seemed endless. But I stayed with it, and eventually meditation became a respite rather than a struggle. I finally had the littlest doll in hand. I developed the Inner Kids model and wrote Mindful Games, with the hope that they would make unpacking these ideas simple enough to share with children and easier for others than it was for me.
Inner Kids is a fun, pragmatic approach to sharing mindfulness and meditation with children and caregivers that uses games to bring attention, balance, and compassion to your daily routine. Mindful games look simple, but don’t let that fool you — they:
- Teach universal themes that promote a wise and compassionate worldview
- Develop six crucial social, emotional, and academic life skills that, with sustained practice, can develop a gentle, steady capacity to attend and regulate emotions
- Utilize five methods that have been used by meditators for centuries to develop mind-body awareness and better navigate the ups and downs of daily life
- Are loosely designed to follow the sequence Play, Practice, Share and Apply. The last three steps of this sequence track my favorite shorthand description of the scientific method, one that comes from comic science fiction. "See first, think later, then test," writes Douglas Adams in the fourth book of his Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cycle. "But always, see first. Otherwise, you will only see what you were expecting."