Finding Magic

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
-Roald Dahl 

The Holiday season is filled with magic that both young and old can see. However, we often fill our Holidays with shopping, stress, and stuff. Instead of enjoying the moment, we are rushing from place to place with a mile-long to-do list. What is this teaching our children? We are modeling behaviors that promote obligations over choice, materials over memories, and presents over presence.

When we are over-worked, over-burdened and over-stressed, we miss the wonder of our everyday moments. And so do our kids.

This past week, I encouraged my students to find magic that was both hidden and unlikely. They spent their week practicing mindfulness by observing the world around them (noticing the color of the sky, or the feeling of wonder when witnessing the first snowfall). I asked them to journal, draw or photograph their experience and share them in class!

You can try this at home. Have a family discussion on what it means to “be present” and challenge each other to create moments in the day where you can notice simple things. At night, sit down to dinner and ask each family member what they observed.

Why does this matter for our kids? Present moment living helps teens manage stress, and teens who are less stressed are healthier, happier and make better choices.

The Holidays are almost over and 2017 is upon us. I have three tips to share for the New Year:

1. Be a seeker of everyday magic.

2. Eat dinner as a family as often as possible.

3. Don’t tell your kids (they will forget); involve them (they will understand).