Sad Bully or Happy Baby? Choose.

Focused face

This is the week before Thanksgiving…the gratitude holiday. I am grateful for my student and her willingness to mindfully see the positive.One of my former students called to FaceTime a couple of days ago. She described the bullying she was noticing and personally experiencing in middle school. Elementary school had been such a protected “Project Cornerstone” “Be an up stander” safe place. Middle school has been a jolt. We talked about how some students try on their “I am a bully” t-shirt, jab, wait for a reaction, and then, taunt or leave. We decided that her goal moving forward is to not pick up and carry the bully image with her for hours after an incident….feeling surprised, hurt, deflated, and finally… angry. Sometimes we even bully ourselves without realizing it!

Focused face

We decided we could try using a dose of mindfulness to “feel through it.” We took a breath in for 5, held for 5, and exhaled for 5 seconds, feeling everything, and exhaling heavy emotions. Next, we morphed our bully’s “mean face” t-shirt into a “happy baby” t-shirt. Even the fiercest bully looks silly wearing a happy baby t-shirt. If someone can bully us, we can with a blink “happy baby” them…right?

Happy baby

We took it one step further…”breath in for 5, hold for 5, breath out for 5, and picture yourself as a happy baby.” Feeling adorable, loved, happy, and silly…we moved on to smiles and giggles.I’m grateful for my happy baby inner self. Plus, it’s a great yoga pose!

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