There’s “mindfulness”, and then there’s this book. I felt like I found a missing link, that some of my more pressing curiosities were finally addressed. Things like, “how can I help his brain quiet down when he feels so unsafe and combative?”, or, “does breathing deeply remind her of him?”. How can I teach mindfulness in a way that is accessible to my kids who really struggle with calm bodies (hypervigilance) and following any directions?
You see, four days a week, I service a K-12th grade, center-based, special education program for students who, due to the severity of their disabilities, significantly struggle to regulate their emotions and require a more structured school setting. For most of the students at my school, silence is awkward. For some of them, quiet is scary. For many kids with trauma histories, many of our kids, closing their eyes is unsafe and disregulating, and may very well trigger a stress response.
This book provides guidance on these queries and more. Tinged with a flavor of social justice, I found this book to be a strong advocate for mindfulness through a trauma-informed lens. Practical, clear, and no-nonsense, I found it to be a very grounded voice in a sometimes abstract modality.
We have so many beautiful healers in our world; however, we cannot go blindly into darkness with a smile and a giggle and expect the dark to fade. Kindness coupled with concrete, well-informed interventions that create safety and promote empowerment and resilience, that’s the work. When these are accompanied by a quiet knowing, if, over time, trust is built and a caring, consistent foundation is laid, we can light up the sky together.