Spilled Soup for the Soul
Ivonne Delaflor teaches a class in meditation to young children in Cancun, Mexico. The three, four, and five-year olds learn such concepts as:
1. My emotions have a name.
2. How to recognize feelings.
3. Moving with energy.
4. Creative visualization.
5. Drawing emotion through color.
The use of music plays an important role in Ivonne's format. She chooses music for children designed to uplift their spirits, like the CD, "Chicken Soup For Little Souls." She also selectively mixes in art and video in an effort to help young children learn what it is to be a human being.
After one of the sessions for preschoolers, Ivonne invited the children of her small class and their moms to have lunch in her home. Carrot soup was the main entrée on that particular day. Conversation and a sense of community were flowing freely when Manuel, a four-year old spilled his soup on the floor. Although the spill was unintentional, tension and stress entered the scene.
Manuel's mom momentarily held her breath and her anger. Although she attempted to appear calm, her anger was visible to every person who shared that moment. Ivonne, immediately conscious of the mom's reaction, also noticed Manuel. The young child, embarrassed and afraid, began to shake, uncontrollably.
A brief moment of awkwardness was evident until Ivonne made a split-second decision. She spilled her soup. Accidentally, of course, and on purpose.
All eyes now turned to the teacher. "These things happen," Ivonne announced to the group. "Sometimes I get distracted and sometimes I don't. This time I just got distracted. I'll just clean up my soup and the problem will be solved."
When Ivonne finished explaining her situation to the students and mothers, her three-year old daughter "accidentally" spilled her soup and repeated the exact words that Ivonne had used to explain the previous spillage.
As clean up of the three soups proceeded, Manuel became noticeably relieved and appeared at ease. His mother, watching the scene unfold, began to cry. She stood, walked to Ivonne, and whispered, "Thank you." "What for? asked Ivonne. "When soup is spilled we just clean it up."
Later that day, Ivonne spoke to her daughter and reminded her about the importance of keeping soup in bowls, mouths, and stomachs and off the floor. After all, it is not always appropriate to spill soup for the soul.
Note: You may contact Ivonne Delaflor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her English website is currently under construction.