Posted on September 20 2016
Several years ago, while teaching a mindfulness camp to elementary children, I had a young girl in class whose parents had already taught her many of the tools she needed to navigate through her life mindfully. She said that one of her favorite things to do was taking mindful rainbow walks with her parents. I hadn’t heard about rainbow walks and of course, asked her to tell me more. She said, “A rainbow walk is when you go for a walk and you look for all of the colors of the rainbow in the right order.” For example, they would have to find something red before they could call out something orange. Once they located something red and orange, they could then look for something yellow, then green, then blue and finally purple. She also mentioned they would sometimes take cameras on their walks to document the colors. Other times, she would draw the items from memory once they got home.
I recently went for a walk in the north woods of Wisconsin, and when I saw the fall colors starting to change, I decided to take a mindful rainbow walk. As soon as I began my walk, I noticed this beautiful leaf drifting down from the trees above and coming to rest on the road before me. The spectacular hues of autumn on this leaf allowed me to cross off the first three colors of the rainbow right away. I spent the rest of my walk noticing the beauty of the beginning of fall and focusing on the present, by collecting the rest of the colors of the rainbow. I returned back to our cabin, calm, grateful for the ability and opportunity to be able to take that walk, and in utter awe of my surroundings.
So, my suggestion to you is to take a rainbow walk during this beautiful time of year, as the season changes from summer to fall. Do it alone, with your children, or if you are an educator, take your class on a mindful walk and notice the beauty of the world we live in.
Laura Zimmer- Author/Creator of The Beginner's Mind Mindfulness Teaching Toolkit - A mindfulness curriculum for elementary children.
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