Tag Archives: teaching

Mindfulness Part 1: Motivating Sofia

One of the hardest things with Autism is motivation.  ‘What is the point?’ is not an uncommon state of questioning.  This is undoubtably linked to low awareness both of self and environment, and an understandable question when the awareness that does exist is confusing and difficult to make sense of.

We are setting off on our trip in less than two weeks and sadly Sofia has lost all motivation for it because she is in a high state of confusion.  Life has not worked out the way she expected in her first year at her new school.  The question, ‘what is the point?’ is currently very loud for her and, as is typical of children with autism, extends to questioning the point of life itself.

I certainly have my work cut out for me!   However, this contast she is experiencing will hopefully make the lessons she learns all the more powerful because for her the question is on this trip will be, ‘what is the point of finding the present moment?’

My response to her sounds something like this:

  • All experiences you have, especially the ones you don’t like, cause you to create a desire to have experiences that you do like.   For example, if you taste something bad, you will desire to taste something good to replace it.
  • When you focus on the things you already have and like and enjoy them, you will allow those things you desire to manifest into your experience because the universe wants you to have more of what you focus on.  Focus on what you don’t like, complain about it and fight against it, the universe will deliver more of that experience to you instead.
  • That deliberate conscious choice of focus is what freedom is, it is not something that is bestowed on you by another, or removed by another.  To not be deliberate or conscious of this choice is to give away your freedom so that others can control the way you feel.
  • When positive manifestation happens, enjoy it and desire more of it, or desire improvement of it.  This is an effortless process, sit back and enjoy.
  • Your focus is what is controlling your experiences and that focus is experienced in the senses of sight, taste, touch, sound, smell and emotion.  When one or more is providing a negative experience, then use that to generate a new desire for postive experience, then focus on the other senses already in a positive state to allow the desire to manifest.
  • Only you can create the reality of your experience.  Emotions do not inform you of that reality, they only tell you if you like what you are experiencing or not so that you can generate a new desire.
  • Focus and desire are a dicotomy for creation like male and female.  Out of balance and creation will struggle to take place and will feel uncomfortable.   The balance for easy creation is found in the present moment.
  • With autism the power to create is magnified and you have the ability to move mountains.   However, the path to that power is equally a magnified challenge.
  • It is the true hero that walks that path successfully and it is a privalage and an adventure if you choose to take advantage of it.   And when you are successful, you will discover that life is actually a lot of fun and THAT is the point of all of it.

This sounds rather dull and deep for a 13 year old, however, I use words in a bite size simplistic way that appeals to her self interest, not wanting to be controlled and her powerful desire to have a better experience at school.  Certainly it is the basis of the lesson I want to take root in her mind that she can get what she wants.

Sofia is like water who needs the external force of a glass to maintain shape and cohesion.  It would be nice to see her start to take control of that shape so she gets to be who she really is to others and get what she wants out of life, rather than have them decide who she is she is and what she should have.

Part 2 will talk about expected mindfulness practise strategies I hope to employ whilst travelling

We travel and share our story to help raise awareness for autism and the benefits of adventure travel as a platform for learning life skills for autism.   

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Sofia was diagnosed with Autism when she was 4 years old.   When she was 10 years old she under took her first journey in a sidecar from the UK to South Africa.  Since then she has started to ride pillion on a motorbike and travelled Europe and this year goes to Eastern Canada.  She is now 13 years old and the skills she is learning on this journey are related to maintaining positive mental health.  This skill is the hardest of the life skills to learn, harder still in a modern world where materialism and science define life and spirituality and wisdom not because it can’t be bought or proven, it relies completely on faith.