Parkite pens a guide to help the youth deal with a ‘chattering mind’
Rebecca Brenner, owner of Park City Holistic Health, moved to town eight years ago with her husband Allan.
The couple married in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and made the trek to Utah a week later to start new jobs.
While on a hike, Allan experienced dizziness and anxiety. After some investigating, they realized that these were symptoms related to stress.
So, Brenner felt it would behoove her to write about book about stress management.
The more she thought about it, the more she and Allan felt it would be nice for her to write a book for children to help them manage stress.
Brenner finally finished that book, "The Kid’s User Guide to a Human Life," which is available now at amazon.com.
However, the book isn’t about dealing with stress. The subtitle is "Book One: An Open Mind."
"I really went about writing the book, thinking it would be about stress management, because that was one of the big things we learned from our parents and caregivers," Brenner said during an interview with The Park Record. "We found that if they weren’t good at stress management themselves, that would get passed down."
But as she thought more deeply, Brenner realized that the core of any type of management has to come from the mind.
"Mindfulness is at the core of managing stress, and that idea comes about from my studies with yoga and Buddhism," she said.
Brenner found herself immersed in the holistic philosophy because of her mother.
"When I was growing up, she struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction and I saw firsthand the pain and the stress and where all of those things led to," Brenner said. "I felt that there has to be a better way [to live], but my mom was lost in these struggles and didn’t have the skills or the knowledge to share that with me. So I branched off and tried to find the better way myself."
Brenner learned dance and that led to somatic therapy, which steered her to yoga, nutrition and mindfulness.
"It was an organic path that I followed and it unfolded to where I am today," she said.
The book’s ideas were culled from information she has learned to process and apply things to herself and what she shares with her students, clients, children and family.
"It starts off by introducing the mind and then addresses the ‘chattering mind,’" Brenner said. "The chattering mind is always going, because the mind’s job is to think. Like the heart has to keep beating and the lungs have to breath."
Humans tend to get caught up in the chatter, and that’s when they start to struggle.
"If we can come back into the present moment and back to our bodies, that creates some space and allows us to work with the mind consciously, instead of getting unconsciously swept into its webs," Brenner explained. "If we can have a conscious relationship with the mind, we will be able to discern what the whims are and not have to follow them."
Brenner’s goal is to write six more books in the series and she already has the other topics ready to go.
"In addition to mindfulness, there are emotions, nutrition, expression, movement, relationships and environment," she said. "These are, for me, cornerstones of health and wellbeing that I have had to figure out in my adult life. I feel these are essential to us as individuals, as family members and members of a community and, more so, as a species on a planet."
In order to write the books in a way that would appeal to younger readers, Brenner had to think differently than her adult self.
"Since the book is for children around ages 9 to 12, I imagined an older aunt talking to a 9-year-old me as I was writing," she said.
Brenner also looked to authors of young-adult literature for inspiration.
"I am someone who loves illustrated books and series like the ‘Harry Potter’ books," she said. "So, I wrote my book in a way where I hope the information speaks to not only children, but to the parents, teachers and counselors of the kids who are reading it."
Although the idea to start writing the book came to Brennan eight years ago, the birth of her first daughter nearly five years ago spurred her to action.
"It was a big deal becoming a mom from not being one," Brenner said. "Again I was reminded that I had learned those seven tools at a much younger age instead of fumbling through my adulthood."
She has since had another girl along the way.
"I decided if no one reads these books except for my daughters, then I’ve succeeded," she said. "If I could leave instruction manuals that tells them how to maneuver through life, then that would be fine."
Rebecca Brenner’s "The Kid’s User Guide to a Human Life, Book One: An Open Mind" is available now at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com. The book will be at retailers the second week of November. For more information, visit kidsuserguide.com.
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