What's my Nan's coffee and walnut cake got to do with Solving World Problems One Child At A Time?
From a young age, I encouraged my children to collect recipes and write and draw about them. It's more than just the ingredients it's often the stories in the mixture.
We don't particularly sit round fires telling stories so much now do we? It occurs to me that many of us have lost the art of story telling and the value in them.
I know that it's important for children to hear about their heritage and family successes and failures as they learn from them too. Often, it touches their hearts and minds and can create a deep emotional response.
I remember baking this coffee and walnut cake with my Nan, the experience inspired my enjoyment of baking too.
These shared moments and conversations form the foundations for our children's success and resilience in life and may even help them solve world problems!
Below is our GRANdom Dialogue from yesterday.
They grow on trees Mrs T. Carrots grow on trees' 8 year old child.
As parents we want our children to eat a wide variety of healthy nutritious food to nourish their mind, body and soul.
With all the plates we spin, this isn't always possible or realistic, plus kids don't always like it.
Fish fingers, nuggets, pizzas and takeaways are often more conveniently wolfed down and we can put a few peas on the side for a splash of colour.
I've taught many kids over the year who don't know where their food comes from. Without this connection to the earth, why would a boiled chopped french runner bean, raw radish or mushy courgette be appealing?
I'm passionate about getting kids sowing and growing, albeit from a tiny patio pot to a large allotment plot.
At 14 and 12 year old, my children aren't so keen to be seen out in public with me, let alone on an allotment!
However, the memories they do have of crawling around in soil, harvesting leaves, berries and bugs, are buried deep within nourishing their their own roots and shoots.
Do your children know where their food comes from?
Perhaps you enjoy sowing and growing together too and if so what are you picking?
Solving World Problems One Child at A Time
Today's words of Wisdom from Johnny Cash
Do you ever get caught up in the dramas of the day?
This will create more joy, harmony and vitality.
Why look down when you can look far and wide, expand your horizons.
What intention have you set for your day, what adventures will you create?
Maybe it’s a trip into your garden, or the supermarket.
What joy can you find along the way… a smile from a stranger, bees on the clover, the moon in the sky.
Open your eyes, remind yourself of your vision and share what you do with your children and how you do this and why.
They look to you all the time, you might not realise they do, unconsciously they are watching every move you make, every breath you take…
Sometimes we get sucked into the dramas of the day.
Just Imagine and look to the horizon.
I shared a mindfulness video which I made on Facebook 4 years ago, you may like to hop over to take a look. Search for Jane Tyson #magicinmindfulness.
This is my son in the Usambara mountains in Tanzania whilst we were living there for two years. We'd set an intention to do so.
I'll get up when I want except on Wednesdays when I get rudely awakened by the dustmen. I put my trousers on, have a cup of tea and I think about leaving the house
How do we avoid our morning droop?
Scientific studies have shown that setting up your morning in a positive way can create a successful day, depending on how you define success right now.
For instance, it could mean that you simply get dressed, make a cup of tea and leave the house.
What 3 things could you set in place to create magic in your day?
Below, are 3 things I wake up and do. Look forward to reading your comments below about what you do in order to BE.
I wake up and smile and set an intention to do so for the day, I smile at myself, smile at the room I’m in and visualise my day. Smiling increases our happy hormones, it’s great for our wellbeing and so simple, for most of us.
You might enjoy this video I made about smiling.
I sit up, cross my legs and focus on my breathing.
In 2013 whilst living and teaching in Tanzania, I trained as a Mindfulness Teacher. My Buddhist Monk teacher encouraged me to simply focus on my breath, again and again and again, and I share this with the children I work with too.
There are various apps, books, audios etc about mindfulness and that’s great and if you would like more guidance in how to sooth the internal chatter then of course I’m here and happy to work with you.
For now, whether you are a beginner or experienced meditator, we can train our brain to greater calm, joy and peace, simply by coming back to the breathe each time we stray away. If you have no time, it really means you have no intention.
This may last for 3 minutes, 10, 20 an hour, you decide what’s best for you right here and now.
A favourite quote of mine is from the lovely Louise Hay ‘The Point of Power is Always in the Present Moment’.
Connect here to receive my free Magic of Mindfulness Guide.
Once my mediation practice ends (because it is a practice, always practising) I take a few calming, gentle deep breaths and focus on the point between my eyes in my forehead. I pause and notice what words have come to mind, if any, and sometimes I write them down in my journal.
I also like to journal from time to time, however that would take us so 4 things and 3 may just be the perfect combination to put the magic into your day.
One of the words you write down might just be a word that makes you aware of something that you hadn’t been paying attention to.
Smile, Breathe, Watch
And then I’m happy for the rest of my day.
Can you guess what song I noticed in my mind this morning, before I did my yoga?
Now I'm less blurred, how about you?
PS the children enjoyed my Narwhal Nose video, Wombat cubed Poop one and hopefully this below about Alligator Snapping Turtles, well they did ask for it. See previous post for an explanation!
"Do you know what is special about a Wombat?" I recently asked the class I was teaching.
"It has cubed poo" the Learning Support Assistant eventually answered.
"Yes, correct ha"
They also thought the Narwhal's pointed spire was his nose, but it's not though is it, because if you watched my recent poetry video, you would now know that the Narwhal knows his nose isn't actually a nose.
They are keen to watch the Wombat video too, and suggested my next one could be about an Alligator Snapping Turtle.
Off course, we've all see one of those in sunny Surrey.
They really enjoyed writing poetry and performing it, they were totally engaged and immersed in their creations.
Children are naturally present, mindful and playful when we allow them to be so.
The wisdom of children (that's another story I am writing)
She smiled at me from behind the counter, and asked if she could be of assistance.
The shop was peaceful, still, quiet.
Situated in a side street amongst the city of Norwich.
"Do you have a little crystal that might fit into the eye socket please?"
She produced a small bag of hematite stones.
"Mmm, not sure I do, try this."
It fitted perfectly.
Except, I had envisaged a purple jewel.
"You can have it."
"How long has your shop been here Sandra?"
"My Relevant Elephant story is not just for children."
I shared it with her.
She shivered, 'I am so glad you have stopped by, it’s a perfect tale."
And now I have the magic of Norwich to weave into it too.
It was the elderly lady wearing white in the distance, who triggered today's tears.
We sowed more wildflower seeds on dad's grave, roughing up the thick damp soil with our fingers and patting the seeds to bed.
The baby kestrel in the nest box, was a fascinating distraction for the other families too. We also visited the bee staying at the Bug Hotel, and feel inspired to create one in our wildlife garden.
As I scattered the seeds, I thought of all my friends and family without their dad's. Thank you for your messages
Take little pauses today and notice the different sounds around you.
In class, I often ask the children to close their eyes for a minute and pay attention to what they can hear.
Writing our discoveries on a large piece of paper and displaying it on the wall.
Each time we practise we notice even more. Our listening skills improve.
Sounds in our bodies, close by and further away.
And then the silence.
Pause and listen now. What did you hear?
Your children may like to join in too, maybe they could draw what they hear or express in a creative way that suits them or perhaps they would rather be silent.
'Wait for the magic to work' says my brother in law John.
'It's my siiinussssessss' I complain.
The trials of a travelling teacher always catching trending germs.
Homegrown garlic hanging out in hall.
8 bulbs peeled and simmered in a pot with 3 potatoes and chicken stock, whizzed, seasoned and sprinkled with a little grated ginger for maximum head clearing.
Spring Plantings for a A Winter Cold Production.
Creating Kindness PaperChains at a recent kids' wellbeing session.