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 4: Cloud Visualization

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 4] Cloud Visualization

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 a visualization with clouds.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here, it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent or kid. I'm your host, Hunter Clarke-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 is 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.

Welcome back to Mindfulness for Kids on the Mindful Parenting Podcast. We are in our fourth session. I'm so excited about this series. Uh, I know it has been helping so many people. What are we doing today?

[00:01:09] Dr. Chris Willard: Yeah, I want to turn toward doing a few more visualizations, um, which I think can be fun. Um, and my kids, again, they love these before bedtime, you know, you can expand them out or contract them, or for everyone just listening, you can just listen along with me as I guide us today. Does that sound

[00:01:26] Hunter: good? Sounds good. I'm ready to visualize. All

[00:01:29] Dr. Chris Willard: right. Um, and we can maybe think, you know, use the word visualize or imagine, but whatever, whatever works for you. So let's just... Find a comfortable, mindful body, whatever that is for you, and at first just noticing your breath, and letting your breath settle a little bit, and I'll just invite you to imagine that you're looking up at the sky, at the clouds in the sky, or maybe that you're even in the sky, sitting on your own cloud, and taking a look at... What's out there in the sky, beautiful clouds drifting past one by one, some big storm clouds that are a little scary, but they just keep on drifting past some little wispy clouds of thoughts. It's also just drift past some clouds that look like things, animals, creatures, or memories. And just imagine yourself sitting back and watching the clouds go by.

You can just imagine yourself settling into the cloud and watching the show go past. You might notice thoughts or worries and just set them into the cloud and with your breath, if you need to, you can just nudge that cloud along so it disappears a little faster. You can take that thought, put that into another cloud and just watch it disappear, change shape, turn into something else, or just exhaling, pushing it along into the distance. Up by thought. Cloud by cloud, worry by worry, just placing them into the clouds, watching them disappear, and taking a few more moments to take those happy, distracting thoughts, sad thoughts or angry thoughts, placing them in the cloud, watching them drift off, one by one. And when you feel ready, you can just raise your eyes, and knowing at any time in your busy day, any time you feel distracted or worried. And just go back to your cloud and place your thoughts in the other clouds as they drift past. And with your breath, just nudge them away. Stay clear and focused and undistracted.

[00:05:15] Hunter: I can picture those distracting thoughts just floating away. And I saw, I, when I did, I saw a cloud elephant.

[00:05:25] Dr. Chris Willard: I love that. You know, when I was a kid, I remember just like watching clouds with my dad and he actually once told me. A nice kind of daytime practice is if you, if you pick a cloud and you breathe, you can try to make the cloud disappear with your mind. And it's like this little magic trick that you can make a cloud disappear just by breathing with a real cloud. Start with a little one, but it's a, it's a fun one to, to do so.

[00:05:48] Hunter: Oh, well, this has been a lovely cloud visualization. I'm feeling lighter and it was beautiful. Thank you so much, Chris, for sharing this one with us today.

[00:06:00] Dr. Chris Willard: Absolutely, absolutely, thank you.

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