About a month ago, I was telling a friend of mine about testing out different mindfulness apps and sites with my kids. I really like the mobile Headspace app, because it is so user friendly. For my purposes with the kids, the free version is great; I can set it for a 5 minute session and that is just enough to either ease the kids into a calmer state of mind to start our sessions or to help them transition back to the rest of their day. My stress management groups seem to like it, however, it did not go over as well with my anger management group, who twitched, and mimicked the voice of the speaker and basically did not engage at all.
When I told my friend about this experience, and how these kids would really benefit from developing a small daily mindfulness practice, but I was struggling to get them to give it a go, she recommended I try ‘Mindful Moments with JusTme’.
I have noticed that most apps, sites and even the old CD’s that lead listeners through guided meditations have, from an adult perspective, very soothing voices. Soothing, yes, but rather uniform (slow, even, not quite monotone but not far off) and perhaps harder for our kids to connect with.
JusTme is a hip hop artist who specializes in leading, promoting and normalizing mindfulness practices with youth. He’s young, cool, and hasn’t moderated his voice into a nondescript, slow, mesmerizingly even toned droll, like many of us are now used to (and probably quite like). His videos are a wonderful balance, in keeping with his hip hop roots while really helping to engage the young and hard to engage. He is warm and reassuring, but also targeting youth specifically. It makes a difference.
My kids in this second group not only followed through with the short guided meditation but asked to go through a second. There was a time many, many years ago, when I was young and cool; but that time has passed. I am grateful that I have found a way to bridge the connection gap, even in this small way.