My brain has too many tabs open

Quote Anon, but I think most humans at various parts of their lives have probably thought something similar.

The original computers were based on human brains, designed by human brains and so its no surprises that our lives often become endless array of tabs open, just like a busy computer. My current mind is whirling since I just put my son to sleep (I say down he is currently chatting to himself and showing no sign of slumber) I’ve got parent tab bars open, work deadlines and things I need to do for tomorrow, the new shoes that I’m watching, childcare arrangements I need to make for the week ahead, goals for the future, chores to do – these fall into several tabs alone – some I need to do, desire to do and if time slows down some I might actually achieve. Its no surprise that the modern worlds demand and if I’m honest the demands that I put upon myself (see chore tab bars) often seem relentless and never ending.

So we have several choices…

1). Die a miserable death of disappointment and torment (seriously, its no coincidence that the word disease is literally ‘dis-ease within the body’)

2). Keep a balance on the tab’s of life – reduce where needed, or perhaps even take a holiday to escape the everyday demand of tab bars. Warning: body pressures on holiday, safety when abroad, travelling with kids, financing the holiday and the washing when you return can lead to more tab’s being open.

3). Stop and reduce the tab’s.

I personally favour the third option and do this through meditation. Something I need to make more time for daily. *blog about how I’m going to achieve that coming soon.

However, what I’d like to share with you today is a mini journey I’m taking with my son. J is five, he attends school and is in Reception, hates the academic aspects of school life and loves the sandpit. We are currently working to improve his handwriting, confidence with his fine motor skills and making sure we all don’t loose the will to live in the process. Its hard.

Then a couple of weeks a go I watched a programme where children with ADHD were encouraged to meditate and it even enabled the parents that invested the time on meditating to stop using medication. As I was watching it I thought, why aren’t I doing this with my son? He knows that both of his parents meditate, he even sometimes watches, I teach kids at school but I’ve never taught him?

We are hoping that its a tool that he can use, just like riding his bike or swimming and reading. The bonus is if it helps him at school or when he finds too many tab bars open in his mind. If you’ve ever spent more than five minutes with a five year old boy then you’ll know that tabs pop up frequently; questions, answers, facts on dinosaurs, what we are doing tomorrow, what we are having for lunch? when its snack time? where is Daddy? …anything involving toilet humour, star wars, phonics…the tabs are endless and currently lack any filter.

We began small with a 2 minute meditation, I did some research using real tab bars and found out that children respond best with guided meditations that you use repetitively (there is comfort in ‘knowing what comes next’ for little dudes) and also not spoken by someone that they know AKA Mummy.

I found a quiet space, invited him to join me, role modelled the process and with my eyes slightly open to peer on the little munchkin watched him roll around the room, flip backwards, pop his feet over his head and move faster than any olympic athlete. It was a huge wake up call for me. I knew he was a boy full of beans but I’d underestimated how hard he would struggle. Result: Surprisingly he loved it?

We did it again…similar outcome, he enjoyed it but the progress was minimal. I knew I’d need some patience, but we increased the session to twice a day for just two to three minutes.

Then I was listening to Aaron Doughty on youtube (easy on the eye and brings the healing world an the science world together) and he mentioned that when he meditates he uses a candle. It helps as the mind focus’s on the flame.

Lets give it a go I thought, what can go wrong with a five year old and a live flame? As it turns out – nothing. I edited our practice slightly and we both sat with our eyes open. I reminded him that fire was hot and not to touch it. He sat still and was mesmerised. After a minute in to our practise he whispered “Mummy can I blow the flame out at the end?” I smiled and nodded that he could. At the end he beamed up at me and I said “now you can” and frankly every session ends with a birthday cake celebration, we both even clap.

Like I said this is just the beginning of our journey, he doesn’t always want to do it but I remind him its important, just like brushing our teeth is. We have a way to go, increasing the time, the wiggles and at some point closing our eyes, but its a start.

If you have any tips for meditating, please share below what worked for you?

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27 thoughts on “My brain has too many tabs open

  1. I’ve been reading Children’s Meditations in My Heart to R each evening to help close all those tabs in her super busy little mind. She loves them. They do kids yoga and mindfulness at her school, so she’s had some intro to it, although she still had the wiggles at the start. Love the candle idea. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, all is standing today so another fire free day. We’ve done yoga together but this seems a bit more like our adventure . Thanks for the lovely comment

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  2. I watched that program too and absolutely loved it! It couldn’t have arrived at a better time as we had just been recommended medication for our son by a psychologist and I was struggling with my gut reaction (a big fat no!) but wanting to be able to qualify that decision. I would much rather try a natural therapy or meditation practice than throw medication at my son. I will follow your progress with interest. I am going to start my son on the calm app (he is almost 12) but am open to any suggestions if you have any! #thesatsesh

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  3. i have to say this sounds fantastic. I wish I had been taught how to meditate as a child it would have helped me immensely. I firmly believe it should be part of assembly or class time and would help the kids and the teachers. Like you say, it only needs to be 2/3 minutes. What a great way to start and finish a school day
    #thesatsesh

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  4. Lucy I obviously LOVED this post – the analogy with having too many tabs open and meditation helping temper this issue is fab and then the story of J was heart-melting. My boy taught me a new little tip today – I have a bell (a cheap old-fashioned reception desk bell from amazon) he got me to ring it and sat cross-legged with his hands on his knees listening to it ring – when he could no longer hear a sound he moved his hands to the middle of his lap – we did this a few times together – it was essentially using the sound of the bell to meditate on (like using the flame of the candle). I have a singing bowl too and we’re planning to do the same little practice but with this tomorrow (it will be longer!). I can’t wait. Good luck to J at the beginning of his meditation journey xx #thesatsesh xx

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