Dr. Willard has been practicing meditation for over 20 years, and teaching for almost as long. His thoughts on mental health have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, mindful.org, cnn.com, and elsewhere.

Mindfulness for Kids 2: Bedtime Ice Melting

with Dr. Christopher Willard & Hunter Clarke-Fields

Join Hunter Clarke-Fields and Dr. Christopher Willard in this special series of mindfulness practices for kids! Mindfulness offers kids a powerful tool for managing the pressures of school, peer relationships, and the increasing digital distractions, ultimately promoting their overall emotional intelligence and promoting a healthier, more balanced approach to life. 

[Mindfulness For Kids 2] Bedtime Ice Melting

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: You're listening to a Mindfulness for Kids episode of the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Today, we're practicing bedtime ice melting.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent or kid. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the best selling book, Raising Good Humans, and now Raising Good Humans Every Day.

I'm joined by Dr. Christopher Willard, clinical psychologist, author, and dad. He's the author of 20 books, including Alpha Breaths and Growing Up Mindful. Both of us have been practicing mindfulness for over 20 years, and we are so excited to share the benefits with you. Chris,

we're back with episode two of the Mindfulness for Kids podcast, episodes of the Mindful Parenting podcast. So glad you're here again. This is so cool. Thank you

[00:01:05] Dr. Chris Willard: So fun to be back on a regular basis. Thank you for inviting me back. I appreciate

[00:01:10] Hunter: it. Well, I'm excited. Last week I was so calm after that calm reminder.

I felt great. What do you have for me this week? Well,

[00:01:20] Dr. Chris Willard: what do we want? Do we want a little bit more, a little bit more calm? I've got another kind of bedtime relaxation that we can do is that I do a lot with my kids. That sounds good to you. Sure. Let's

[00:01:30] Hunter: do a bedtime

[00:01:30] Dr. Chris Willard: relaxation. All right. This is, this is in some ways a little bit similar cause it's.

Going through parts of the body and, um, you know, often when I do this with my kids, they're like, make it longer. And I, I can't tell if they really like it or if they just don't want to go to bed. But we'll keep it at about five minutes and of course anyone in the crowd can, can stretch it out, play it on half speed if you really need to stretch it out.

you'll be talking really slow, like the . Exactly, exactly. Change to like the mindfulness, uh, filter, you know, on the, on the microphone. Alright, so this is, this is a nice bedtime one, so we can lay down as we do for bed and give you a moment to get comfortable.

Then we'll start by just taking a few breaths

and seeing if you can just stretch out deep in your breath a little bit

and feeling your whole body

where it makes contact with the bed or the cushions underneath you.

And then I, I learned this practice that these... Shaolin monks apparently were inspired as they looked at the mountains and the changing seasons many years ago. As the wintertime, there's snow and ice, and then in springtime, the ice begins to melt and as summer comes, sunshine just turns the water into steam and it just evaporates and drifts away.

So we can start by just feeling our head heavy on the pillow underneath us,

and then down through our body, just feeling that heaviness on our legs, sinking into the bed as if they're frozen solid like snow or a glacier,

and then just beginning to breathe,

first taking a deep breath in, feeling it go all the way down to your toes of warm air,

like that ice of your feet is just beginning to melt

and turning into slush breath by breath

and that slush melting in the sun into a puddle, puddle just turning into steam and and the breaths just carried away in the breeze and go of your feet.

And then down, breathing now into your legs, first feeling them solid like ice,

and your warm breath melting the ice into slush, breath by breath, and that slush just melting into a puddle,

and the puddle evaporating into the air, just drifting away on the wind of your breath,

and then into your upper body, your back. Stomach, hips,

feeling the heaviness of that part of your body, like ice, frozen.

With each breath it begins to melt, softening into slush and snow,

snow just melting into a puddle with each breath,

and the puddle just drying in the sun, and the warm air of your breath,

carrying it away,

and feeling the heaviness of your arms,

first just feeling frozen as they sink into your bed,

and then with each breath, The ice begins to melt

into slush, into water, just melting away and then disappearing on the breath. And lastly, feeling your head just heavy on the pillow, sinking down,

and with each breath you can just let it begin to melt in the warmth of the air that you breathe,

melting into the pillow underneath you,

turning into water,

and from water into vapor,

vapor just

But all that's left of you is breath

and allowing yourself to drift off in your breath into the dream,

breath by breath.

If you don't want to fall asleep, you can just wiggle your fingers and toes a little bit, take a look around, come back to the podcast. I remember a mindfulness teacher who I worked with many years ago, I used to always fall asleep when I would do any mindfulness practice. I asked my mindfulness teacher and they said, well, you had your first insight.

I said, what's that? And they said, well, Chris, you need sleep more than you need mindfulness. And I thought, You know, it's like if you fall asleep, you know what, that's okay. That's maybe what you need. And maybe sometimes we as adults need some sleep and we certainly need our kids to sleep. So this has been helpful for, for you and everyone.

[00:08:48] Hunter: Yeah. If you are the adult, an adult listening in on this podcast and you're feeling sleepy, maybe it's a good night to give yourself permission to head to bed early. Thank you so much, Chris. I am feeling so much more relaxed. My whole body is safer. Thank you so much.

[00:09:09] Dr. Chris Willard: Thank you.

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