Follow me to my new website and my journey from screenplay to screen! AFTERMATH was completed this spring and went through revisions this summer, thanks to the notes from two producers. Gratefully, it has now found representation and soon a home.
Go to my NEW website where I continue my journey toward finding my Path in this life, sharing all the bumps and bruises on the way.
My parents, Philip C. Holmen and Jeannine R. Calande on their wedding day.
I’m writing this as my father is preparing himself to transition from this Earth into the expansive form of himself. I called him yesterday in the ICU to tell him how much I loved him. I could tell by his faint whisper of a voice that it wouldn’t be much longer. I had asked him several times if he wanted me to see him, and he said it was okay. I knew that I wanted my last memory of him to be of him smiling and telling jokes, not the frail shell of a man he is today.
I hold those memories close to my heart. I know I will be judged by my siblings of my decision not to rush to the hospital, but I have to do what feels right for me. I don’t believe in doing things out of guilt anymore, but doing things because it is out of Love. I chose to remember all of the things my father taught me over the years and it was because he loved me.
We all have a story to tell about our parents, though some may have a story of why their parents weren’t in their life. I was lucky to have both growing up. Being a writer, reflection is my pastime. I often reflect where I was in my life to understand where I am going. It’s within these reflections that I have grown. Entwined in my childhood were the lessons that my father taught me.
It’s a surreal time for me knowing I am here at this juncture. Knowing this is a normal process; we all must die. But to know someone’s time is bridging closer makes it all more clear to me. Reflecting on our life while living is the most important thinking we can do. I’m grateful for the times I’ve had to learn a little about this man and little more about me. Continue reading
When I started teaching mindfulness based stress reduction with my 3rd graders, I worried there would be push-back from my parents thinking I would be teaching meditation, although the word was not used in the curriculum.
However, within the first week of practice, students would use the word meditation from their own background knowledge of the word.
Students practicing breathing techniques.
Knowing this could be cause for concern, I briefly taught the students the difference between practicing breathing techniques to calm the brain and Meditation. Since then, in the nine years of teaching Mindfulness, I’ve only had one incident where a parent discontinued their child in the activities, due to religious choice.
The program I implemented was called The MindUp Curriculum by the Hawn Foundation. I chose this program, because it is non-secular in its teaching of mindfulness using brain-based research in the 15 activities.
Students were taught in the first three lessons how their body responds to stress and how to regulate the stress through mindful breathing techniques called Core Practice. For the rest of the twelve lessons in the program, the students learned how to be Mindful, practice Empathy, and to self regulate during stressful or excitable situations.
My Parents … A Lesson in Understanding
It is interesting to flash back through your life and realize the beginning of a new shift of thought. I was a eight when I saw my parents as fallible for the first time. I was cognizant of it when it occurred, and I withdrew into my own inner space afterwards. They had made an erroneous, prejudice remark about a playmate of mine, and at that moment I realized they were human. Children aren’t born with prejudices, they are taught. I felt it in my ‘gut’ that they were wrong, a strong pang right under my belly button. It was the first time I stood up and told them that their thoughts about my friend were wrong. They changed their stance after my argument, but I’ll never forget looking at them in a different way after that. I realized it was a lesson for me to learn about empowerment, and it has stayed with me for over 38 years. From that point on, I was to see each individual in my life as someone that was to teach me something I needed to learn. But my ‘gut’ was telling me more. Continue reading