This is my cat Hermione. She and her sister Purrl have lived in my home for fourteen years, but it is only recently that I have gotten to know her. Hermione and Purrl were rescued by the Winnipeg Humane Society and our family adopted them as tiny kittens. From the start Purrl had a big personality, loudly and insistently demanding attention and then rewarding that attention with exuberant purring and cuddling. Hermione prefers distance and rather than meow, trills softly and never purrs. I loved them both equally and then Purrl became ill and died. I worried how Hermione would cope as she had never been an only cat. And that is when it happened. While I attempted to comfort Hermione I began to notice aspects of her personality that had been lost in the noise and turmoil of busy family life. I found that she loves to be close, just not on my lap, and rather than hating to be brushed, she enjoys it so much that she just can’t stand still, walking in circles the whole time. Now when I pick up the brush, if I listen closely, I will hear her breath-quiet purr of joyful anticipation. Hermione needed quiet to reveal her full personality and that got me thinking about mindfulness. With all the pressures of springtime; exams, sports, searching for summer jobs, etc. consider the benefits of practicing mindfulness. Reduce the noise in your life and you may discover something special waiting patiently to be noticed. It is not easy to do, but if you are interested the library has a number of books to help you get started.
Between school, part-time jobs, friends, and dating, there is a lot to feel stressed about! A Still Quiet Place for Teens by Amy Salzberg is a work book that will help you find a quiet place inside yourself that you can go return to whenever you like or when life gets a little overwhelming.
The Mindful Teen by Dzung X Vo offers a unique program based in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to help you deal with stress. The simple, practical, and easy-to-remember tips in this book can be used every day to help you handle any difficult situation more effectively–whether it’s taking a test at school, having a disagreement with your parents, or a problem you are having with friends.
If you like to play games and compete against yourself, then this may be the book for you. Mindful Games by Susan Greenland includes visualization and analytical games to hone your focus and concentration. Develop your attention, balance and compassion in a fun way.
If you find that your digital life is becoming your reality, perhaps you need help to disconnect from technology a little and re-connect with the real world. Unplugged by Orianna Fielding Banks will help with step-by-step instructions to connect, for a minute, an hour, a day, or however long you need.
Unplug by Suze Yalof Schwartz is a revolutionary book that shows the overwhelmed and overworked type A person how and why to unplug in order to recharge. Unplug offers a no-nonsense approach to meditation, sharing the incredible benefits you’ll experience, the proof and science to back up how meditation works, and tools and techniques to include meditation into daily life.