FOCUS – Are you with me?
‘Where are you?’ – Here.
‘What time is it?’ – Now.
‘Who are you?’ – This moment.
These are the words from the final scene of the movie ‘The Peaceful Warrior’. It seems so very simple to be here and focused and present. However, it is not so easy to achieve. In particular, focus and mindfulness with dyslexia can be a big challenge and can effect learning.
Most people who claim to be focused and present most of the time are actually not. How often do you catch yourself thinking about something else, worrying or fantasising about a possible future event, or replaying a past memory? Where are you then? We want our children to pay attention – to be with it.
It starts with our own attention and being there 100 % in the moment with them.
Before I start to work with a child, or anyone for that matter, I always clear my own mind. I breathe deeply and focus on my breathing, I feel how the breath comes into my lungs but at the same time I picture how it flows energetically into my entire body, fills it up and lights up every cell in my body, then releasing all the emotions and toxins that my body doesn’t need with the out-breath. Breathing deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth is one of the first things I teach my clients, too. It’s releasing their tension and enables them to start paying attention. I cannot teach that unless I am living it too. Being there with your child in the present moment is magical, it already creates a bond and synchronises your brain waves.
I then teach them how to be in the body. They slow down, feel the ground under their feet and the soles of their feet where they touch the ground. They feel the chair under their bottom and where it touches their own backside. Does the back of the chair touch the spine? Where are the hands? Are they on their knees, or on the desk in front? Can they close their eyes and still see things? What you can see with your eyes closed can be either an image from memory, a fantasy or anything in between that your imagination conjures up. We call the place where these pictures are seen or created the ‘Mind’s Eye’.
The perfect state for working, for starting any task that requires full attention, is to be aligned in the present time, aware of the body and with the Mind’s Eye just behind and above the head. While you are reading this book or kindle or iPad, where would be the perfect spot for your mind to take in every single word and also the entire page of your book? That ‘viewing platform’ above and behind your head gives you the ideal vantage point. If you wore a witch’s hat or one of these cone-shaped party hats, the tip of it is usually also tilted back and could come very close to the spot where the Mind should find its place. The result of finding it, is great focus.