XXXXXXXXX can get Reiki sessions — she has since become certified in that , too — one-onone , family and group mindfulness and meditation circles that have become so popular with area mothers that they ’ re usually sold out well in advance . There are targeted classes for mothers with special needs , and instruction for educators over the summer .
“ These moms are in survival mode ,” says Mascari . At aretreat she ran with 11 women , the participants felt guilty taking time for themselves , she says . “ They ’ ve never taken the time for self-care , and this is the ultimate gift of self-care .” be . here . now also offers teacher training . Fran Centrella , who lives in Oradell , completed the center ’ s mindfulness instruction course and is now a staff member .“ Karen is nurturing , yet empowering at the same time ,” says Centrella . “ I am no longer living my life for the ‘ what ’ s next ,’ but the ‘ what is ,’ and as aresult Ifeel Iamfinally living , experiencing life from a new , more peaceful , beautiful perspective . Karen has taught me that the concept of ‘ This too shall pass ’ is not only something that applies to bad times , but good as well , and so we must experience life moment to moment .” ❖
COURTESY OF FAITH MASCARI
HOW MINDFULNESS WORKS
There are different ways to meditate — for example , during transcendental meditation , practitioners repeat asilent mantra to themselves — but Mascari says that she ’ s found mindfulness meditation to be the quickest and easiest way to self-calm , especially for kids .
When we ’ re triggered , the prefrontal cortex and amygdala — the most primitive parts of our brains — don ’ t function well , and “ people act irrationally ,” says Mascari . Sitting quietly , eyes closed , and focusing on our breathing and awareness of our bodies engages the parasympathetic nervous system , which controls the body ’ s ability to relax . “ I never met akid who says they can ’ t do this ,” she says .
An important part of mindfulness is accepting that “ We ’ re human and not perfect , so we practice ,” she says . “ People say ‘ I can ’ t shut my mind off ,” and we say ‘ You ’ re not supposed to !’ We allow the thoughts to come in and out , and to identify feelings while we ’ re doing it . You have loving kindness for yourself , so you can give it to others .”
@ 201magazine ( 201 ) HEALTH 2022 EDITION 31