I’m a big believer that everyone can benefit from practicing mindfulness. While there are some differences in what that means to different groups, all generally agree it involves taking time out of the day to calm the mind and concentrate on experiencing and living in the here and now – not the past, nor the future (both of which are really constructs created in our head anyway).
This act of “clearing the mental decks” helps me to live life with more gratitude, along with concentrating on actions that I think bring about a life well-lived. It’s a lot easier to be kind and compassionate in the “now”; it’s much easier to worry and fear when concentrating on what has happened already and what may already come.
One challenge children and students face during this era is the never-ending barrage of distractions that are a fingertip away. Throughout time, it’s been hard for most youth to physically and mentally settle-down. The always-on nature of phones, tablets and TV have only made this problem worse. That’s why I was intrigued when I received an email from Olivia Roney about her new product called Your Chime. I had a chance to catch up with her and ask her a few questions about the idea, results she’s seen and the Kickstarter campaign.
Calming the “Monkey Mind”
Olivia deals with young children on a daily basis with her Crouching Tigers martial arts and character development program. After noticing that each year new students seemed to have less ability to focus than their peers the year before, she began to look for something to work into each lesson to help kids concentrate.
“I knew I wanted to incorporate mindfulness into the beginning of lessons. I eventually stumbled upon sound meditations and ‘singing bowls’,” said Olivia. “I told the children stories about how ‘monkey mind’ made it hard to concentrate, and kept us from focusing. It quickly became clear the process not only worked but it was something that the children would look forward to.”
One of the coolest things that I’ve learned throughout this journey is that this tool is one that can bring the whole family together. As an educator, I’ve always known that I can make a difference in the lives of children but I’ve never believed that I could make a difference in the lives of parents or adults until I put the pilot study in place. I learned that kids were requesting that parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. chime out with them and this was awesome to learn!”
Olivia continued, “One parent said ‘We chime out as a family. It’s something that brings us together, helps us calm down and is a real bonding experience.’ Feedback like that drove me to bring this product to market.”
Olivia saw such a change in her students that she felt everyone should have the opportunity to try it with their own child. It took a year of testing, but they are now running a Kickstarter campaign through April 18th.
The Your Chime kit includes:
- A children’s book that explains what happens when your child has “Monkey Mind”
- A Chime/singing bowl that was purposefully designed to meet the needs of children. As you might expect, most chimes of this nature are made for adults, and not child-sized nor ready for kid-treatment.
- Your Chime accessories necessary to make the bowl sing.
“The Your Chime is a great tool for helping teach children how to be aware of their breath and to regain control of their emotions,” said Ms. Roney. “I’m hoping parents find it as helpful in their own families as it was for me with my students.”