I'm a wife, mother and former corporate attorney. When my children were quite young I turned to meditation to help me through a family crisis. I learned different meditation practices, many focusing on breathing, as a way to maintain inner calm when my outer world was anything but. After we made it through the crisis, I continued practicing because it helped me feel calmer and see life experience more clearly. I live in Los Angeles with my husband Seth Greenland and our two children.
As my kids grew older, I realized similar techniques could help them manage stress and deal with their sometimes hectic lives. I adapted some of the adult practices for my kids. When we practiced together I saw a marked improvement in their capacity to focus, calm themselves, and manage stress. I began to work with other children too and developed the Inner Kids program with games, activities, and songs to help kids tap into their awareness of breathing, the physical world, their inner lives and to develop their attention skills. The Inner Kids program has been researched at both UCLA and UC-SF, and early research findings are promising. FYI, here is a link to a pdf of the research conducted by the Mindful Awareness Research Center of UCLA on the Inner Kids program that was recently published in The Journal of Applied School Psychology. You can learn more about the Inner Kids program, and the research, by clicking on this link.
The Mindful Child, is a book for parents and professionals about how to teach the transformative techniques of mindful awareness to children and teens. Included are simple activities for families that help kids, parents and professionals become more mindful and develop confidence, concentration and an ability to regulate their emotions. For more information or to pre-order the book click here.
In 2006, I was named a “Champion of Children” by First 5 LA, the largest and most influential children’s advocacy group in Los Angeles. I was a member of the clinical team of the Pediatric Pain Clinic at UCLA’s Mattel’s Children’s Hospital for many years, Co-Investigator on a multi-year, multi-site research study at UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center/Semel Institute on the impact of mindfulness in education, and a Collaborator on an investigation of mindful eating for children and their caregivers at UC-SF. I have spoken at the Mind & Life Institute, University of California Los Angeles, University of Massachusetts, University of Kansas, Columbia University, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the San Diego Children’s Hospital, the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre California, National University of Singapore, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand and many other prestigious institutes in the United States and abroad. I have been quoted in The Boston Globe, Time Magazine for Kids, Better Homes and Gardens, and Publico in Gutalajara, Mexico. My work has been covered by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, various yoga journals, and CBS Morning News.
My husband and I co-founded the Inner Kids Foundation, which brought mindful awareness to under-served schools and neighborhoods in Los Angeles from 2000 until 2009. The work of the Inner Kids Foundation was profiled in the syndicated half-hour news program Profiles in Caring.
For better or worse, I've embraced new technology and not only blog for the Huffington Post and Intent, but also tweet, am on Facebook and in 2007, together with my daughter as part of her high-school community service project, created the Mindfulness Together online community dedicated to the inner lives of children and those who love them.