When Losing Words was being published, the editor let me know that one other author was going into print with professional initials after his name. For this piece, I’m listed as Melinda Bennington, BSW, M.Ed., instead of just Melinda Bennington. I wouldn’t usually include post-nominals like that in a literary publication, but the subject of the poem is gerontology-related, and we thought it made sense in this instance.
I’ve taught in public school, but recently had the opportunity to combine my interests when I was invited to co-lead a Mindfulness for Children group in private practice outside Washington, D.C. What a treat! The person with whom I’ve been working is a wonderful Ph.D. practitioner, and simply a kind, compassionate, competent, fun person. (You tend to run into people like that in education and in the helping professions.)
There’s research that shows that children who’ve been trained in Mindfulness strategies can see improvements in executive function, behavioral regulation, and self-concept. 😀 I’ve found secular Mindfulness meditation to be a mini-vacation for my body, mind and spirit. And as a writer, taking time to clear the mind has helped me become more productive and creative.
It can also help with pain management. Here’s some research on meditation and pain for those, like me, who need proof: National Institute on Health article
The bad thing about pain is it hurts. The good thing is it’s made me more compassionate toward others who experience it, too.
Here’s a resource for grownups who’d like to try simple meditation at home. Guided simple meditation from Quiet Mind Cafe
Information for people interested in Mindfulness for children is:
Susan Kaiser Greenland’s Inner Kids website and
New York Times mindfulness article