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Will spring spring forth?

October 18, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News

I woke up the morning of the Ides of March to zero degrees and a sluggish vehicle. After writing Bryan a note for not-his-fault tardiness to school, I?felt like the beast needed to run warm for a while, so I?ventured out to Fort Defiance to see what wonderland was withstanding the springing forward of the calendar.

The Ides provided icy texture to the morning, and I was able to get photographs with a light colored sky with only a hint of blue, all the way to a brilliant cyanic sight against the bright white of the frost, snow and ice that hung from the branches.

Without wanting to get too Robert Frost in my wordy waxing, I?have to say if you can get to Fort Defiance before the ice cave is all gone, I would absolutely do it.

Article Photos

This week, I talked to one of my great friends about our mutual interest in meditation. I've said here before that far from a mystic practice of the heinously hippie, it's a scientifically proven method of bringing your mind to the present moment, of quieting the thoughts that race, so that in that state, your brain's connections can rewire.

* Increases gray matter/cortical thickness in parts of the brain critical to self-regulation (ACC), executive functioning (PFC) and learning and memory (hippocampus).

* Shrinks the "fight or flight" center (amygdala)

* Weakens reactivity (amygdala-PFC connections)

One population beginning to really benefit from meditation is that of children.

Students at an elementary school in Baltimore are no longer sent to detention when they are disruptive, act out, or decline to follow rules:?they are instead sent to meditation in the Mindful?Moments Room.

The room looks nothing like your standard windowless detention room. Instead, it's filled with lamps, decorations, and plush purple pillows. Misbehaving kids are encouraged to sit in the room and go through practices like breathing or meditation, helping them calm down and re-center. They are also asked to talk through what happened.

"You wouldn't think that little kids would meditate in silence,"?Kirk Phillips, the Holistic Me Coordinator at the school, said, "but they do."?

At the Baltimore elementary school, there have been zero suspensions all year, down from several per week last year.

Children, parents, students teachers, people with ADHD, people with mental disorders, people with trauma and anxiety, or people who feel scattered, ungrounded. These are the people who benefit from mindfulness. We are working on a new idea.



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