Sharon Ballantine wrote this guest post with children in mind, but I think it applies to anyone who struggles with meditation.
Maybe we should engage daydreaming skills instead! Here’s Sharon:
In 1967 the Monkees had a hit song called Daydream Believer. Many people discourage daydreaming; in fact your children are often told to stop daydreaming. Today, science shows that daydreaming is actually proven to boost creativity.
This isn’t a remotely new idea.
Artists, writers, and inventors have often contended that daydreaming was an essential part of their process.
Psychiatrists Freud and Jung both talked about the important roles of the unconscious and subconscious minds in mental health.
A recent paper by writer Rebecca McMillan and cognitive psychologist Scott Kaufman takes another look at this idea. The theory is that allowing your mind to wander doesn’t take away from your intellect and doesn’t mean that you’re an “unhappy daydreamer.” Instead, daydreaming actually empowers you in your daily life.
In the 2013 movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Mitty is portrayed as a daydreaming loser, yet the daydreams become a catalyst to propel the protagonist towards a life filled with adventure.
Contemporary scientists show that by daydreaming, your children can explore many worlds and stretch their creativity as well as their problem-solving abilities.
Meditation is another way that you can allow your mind to wander and just about everyone understands the health benefits of meditation. Yet, some people find it difficult to sit in quiet meditation and let their mind go blank or focus on a single mantra. Not only do adults struggle with meditating, but have you tried to get your kids to sit still and meditate? Often this is as successful an exercise as herding cats.
Daydreaming can then be a healthy alternative to meditation for your children. It’s a way to quiet their minds and let go of the stresses in their lives without requiring them to sit still or in an uncomfortable position. Daydreaming can also be a way to resolve conflicts in their minds, allowing their dark side out to get revenge on someone or something in ways that they would never actually do in real life.
You can use your Internal Guidance System (IGS) along with your daydreaming in a wonderful way together. Your IGS allows you to check out your daydreams and see how they feel, directing you along the path that will fill your life with the right type of adventure or quiet reflection. Your IGS can even help you determine how best to deal with the bully or mean girl that you wrestle with in your darkest daydreams.
By encouraging your kids to daydream when they feel called to do so, you’re boosting their creativity.
Who knows, they might turn those mental wanderings into a movie of their own someday.
For more from Sharon, please visit www.SharonBallantine.com.