Kids User Guide to a Human Life

a book series offering 9 to 12 year-olds fun, practical information on how to live a life with less stress and more joy

September 22, 2014
by kidsuserguide

#MindfulMonday – Your Nervous System and Chattering Mind Part 2

The parasympathetic nervous system would be an ideal home base to live from – bravely open and present to your life as it unfolds. However, when there is any threat of danger, your body quickly switches into the sympathetic nervous system, also referred to … Continue reading

September 15, 2014
by kidsuserguide

#MindfulMonday – Your Nervous System & Chattering Mind Part 1

Your brain is part of a larger system in the body called the nervous system. Your nervous system is an amazing and intricate communication network between your body, your emotions and brain. Different parts of your body can communicate with … Continue reading

May 8, 2014
by kidsuserguide

intimg1 The communication between your Chattering Mind and nervous system is essential to your survival. It keeps you alert and safe.

As a safety feature your Chattering Mind tends to be based on critical, fearful and doubting thoughts and beliefs. And these thoughts become habitual, tending to loop over and over again throughout your day.

Much like the looping quality of your Chattering Mind, your nervous system and brain keep looping information back and forth. So when you send a fear-based message through thought to your brain, your brain then sends information to the “flight or fight” system to kick on.

When you are unaware of this process, your Chattering Mind, brain and nervous system keep looping fear back and forth throughout your being. When this happens you begin to experience and see the world through this stressed state of your mind and body.

When you are not mindful of your own internal chatter, the above loop tends to be a default setting, to one degree or another, in all your adventures. At one end of the spectrum it leaves you constantly distracted and unable to be present to your adventure as it is miraculously unfolding. On the other end, this heightened way of living can lead to anxiety, exhaustion, obsessive thinking and depression.

However, there are ways to consciously work with your Chattering Mind and intelligent nervous system so that you don’t get caught in this unconscious loop.

It may seem overly simple, but begin again to bring your Inner Attention to your breath.

Your breath is always happening in the present moment.

Through out your day, when you notice your Inner Attention is lost in the ramblings of your Chattering Mind, practice bringing your focus back to the present through your breath. Keep it that simple.

Then, just take note of how this may or may not change your experience of your self, your Chattering Mind and your experience.

April 30, 2014
by kidsuserguide

ch2img1 Your brain is part of a larger system in the body called the nervous system. Your nervous system is an amazing and intricate communication network between your body, your emotions and brain.

Different parts of your body can communicate with one another through your nervous system to keep you balanced and to keep your body working smoothly. Your involuntary movements like blinking and breathing are regulated by your nervous system. This automatic movement of certain body parts frees up some of your focus. Can you imagine having to blink your eyes, breathe your lungs, and beat your own heart?

Larger, voluntary movements like walking, running, and jumping are also processed through your nervous system. All of this communication happens in seconds! Your nervous system works non-stop to keep you healthy and well.

When all is going smoothly your nervous system mainly runs on the parasympathetic nervous system. This is sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest” nervous system because that is the exact message it is sending to your entire body.

When you are registering feelings of happiness and health your parasympathetic nervous system restores the body’s energy by lowering your heart rate and blood pressure, sending blood to your digestive system, and helping the diaphragm create slow, deep breaths. Your body, in turn, sends this feel-good information to the brain which allows your Chattering Mind to relax and open.

Close your eyes for a moment, feel your breath and think of the last time you felt happy and carefree. How did your body feel? Were you relaxed? Did you feel peaceful?

April 21, 2014
by kidsuserguide

ch1img1To get to know your Chattering Mind better, it’s helpful to take a look at  your Inner Navigator – your brain.

Most everyone’s brain is made up of the same parts and these parts do essentially the same thing in every brain. Your cerebrum controls voluntary movement, speech, and memory. Your thalamus regulates information coming in from your senses. Your cerebellum helps to coordinate your movements, balance and equilibrium. Your pituitary gland controls your hormones and functions in your body like blood pressure and body temperature. Your brain stem regulates your breathing. And your corpus callosum allows the different parts of your brain to communicate with one another.

Most brains are divided into two sections – the right and left hemispheres – with a band of nerve fibers down the middle called the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum connects the two hemispheres, allowing them to communicate with one another. And each hemisphere is responsible for different experiences, skills, and behaviors.

Even though everyone’s brain has essentially the same parts, the way these parts relate to each other is different for each person. How your brain is hardwired is unique to you -creating a one-of-a-kind Inner Navigator. That means that no one who has ever lived or will live can see the world just as you do. Nor can you truly see the world as someone else does.

ch1img4On a physical level, your brain is hardwired by billions of neurons and the pathways they create throughout your brain called neuron pathways. Your brain takes in information from all around you to inform the neurons on which pathways to create. Your family interactions and dynamics, the community you live in, your friendships, your schooling, the music you listen to, the books you read, the television shows you watch all create pathways in your brain. All the information you take in from the world around you and how you process it create your neuron pathways, which in many ways make you You! And this You comes alive through your Chattering Mind.

Take another day to explore this by consciously listening to your Chattering Mind.

Begin to notice what/who in your family, community and world is influencing the stories your mind spins? Do you find your mind replaying a scary movie you recently watched? Or singing your favorite song over and over again?

Let the breath continue to root your Inner Attention back in the openness of the present moment as you look a bit more deeply and get to know your own chatter.

Pay attention to how you feel while investigating your Chattering Mind – notice how feeling your breath and witnessing your chatter influences your experience of this human life.