Just like adults, children can have bad days too. The good news is that, just like adults, children can better cope with stress by learning and practicing mindfulness. That in itself is one of the many reasons I wrote the diverse picture book, My Trip to the Beach, in 2015.
Simply put, I just really love the beach. I have gone to the beach just for fun and I have gone to the beach when I really needed to. Like I felt I got called there. I was sad or feeling lost after lost friendships/ relationships/ opportunities.
Either way, when I get there I am just completely re-centered. I think it has something to do with the vastness of the water. That it seems to go on forever in every direction that you can see. It is the symbiosis of wildlife. The constant wind. It never stops like it sometimes does here in dank, hot, humid, walk in a humidity cloud Kentucky. There is just something about every piece of this scene that reminds me that all of this is going on, even when I am not here. All of this was going on before me. It’ll all go on after me. The beauty of it all. The grandeur of it all. The peace of it all. The waves in constant motion, bringing gifts and wiping things away. The sand under your feet is therapeutic and reminds you that even your toes (which you never really think about until they itch!) are alive.
It is where I really learned to appreciate the practice of mindfulness because I taught myself to take in every single bit of this scene to help me be less sad when it was time to leave. And this is what the book is about basically is that I paid so much attention to the scene while I was here, that I can now go there almost anytime I want to just by resting for 15 minutes anywhere at any time. I can totally mentally transport myself back there, to the beach. I can hear the waves, I can feel the wind and the sun, I can hear the birds and the waves. I can feel the sand under my feet and it totally chills me out.
That little girl in the book is me. She is having a rough day. She climbs up in a tree to get away from the world. She visualizes all that stuff as if she is there in her favorite spot- the beach, and then on the last page, when she is ready, she climbs down from the tree and she is ready to take on the world again.
Re-centered, refreshed, and with the realization that life is bigger than this one moment that is currently hassling you.
About My Trip to the Beach:
As a mom and therapist, I see all too often how problems can escalate in young minds and become seemingly the size of mountains in no time at all.
Through simple exercises that help strengthen concentration, decrease stress levels, reduce anger and impulse issues, and aid in better self-awareness, seasoned therapist Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings provides poetic perspectives on life and its struggles that encourages children to focus on imagery, positivity, and the important message that with each sunrise comes a chance to begin again.
In this inspirational picture book, little ones learn how to reflect and meditate in order to discover inner peace despite their daily challenges.
In Praise of My Trip to the Beach
Do you know that feeling that you are alone? Especially when you’ve had a bad day? My Trip to the Beach by Deedee Cummings talks about that feeling and suggests ways to cope. It relates a walk on the beach to various exercises one can do to help promote mindfulness and deal with stress. Everything from the setting sun, to the rising sun, brings a clean slate and a chance for a fresh start. This book is meant to help kids learn how to deal with problems and I enjoyed it. I do love how she brings God into the story as well. ~Carrie Percola, Crafty Moms Share Blog
Celebrate with Make A Way Media!
My latest book, This is the Earth has been winning awards!
This is the Earth, a diverse picture book that shares a message of peace, love, respect, compassion, and inclusion. Published in early 2019, the book’s core message is this: peace is meant for all of us and it is everyone’s responsibility to care for each other like the family that we are. AND it has won TWO notable awards! Read more about this timely (and much-needed) picture book HERE.
Help us spread the message of peace far and wide!