Category: Story of the Month

January Story of the Month

Even if one person in a family begins a mindfulness practice…the whole family can benefit.

Paul, the father of kindergartner, Maxine, reported, “Last night, Maxine and I were getting frustrated with each other, like fathers and daughters do sometimes, and then Maxine suggested that we try to calm down by practicing some mindfulness together. She went and grabbed her heart pillow and had me lay down. She taught me how to use the pillow by placing it on my belly and watching it move up and down as I breathed. We quickly stopped being frustrated with one another and felt calmer because we were doing something relaxing together. We then used a meditation app on my cell phone so that we could keep practicing and relaxing. Maxine put headphones in my ears and I actually fell asleep. While I was sleeping, my younger son woke up from his nap crying. My wife said she saw him come over and put his hands over my ears so I could keep sleeping. The practice of mindfulness has been really helpful for all of us.”

Perhaps we should allow our children lead us!  After just a few of Young & Healthy’s mindfulness classes, six-year-old Maxine is leading her family to calmness and connection. Let’s all take a long deep breath and say “Ahhhhhhhhh…!”

December Story (Video) of the Month

Mindfulness in Action

There is a saying that says, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  I wonder how much a video is worth?  ten thousand words?

Please enjoy the adorable little Kindergarten fellow who is part of our newly launched Mindfulness program.

When we help children (and adults) understand and manage their own emotional lives, we can bring calm, focus and peacefulness forward.  Can you think of a better time to learn these skills than in Kindergarten?  Enjoy!

Click here:  https://youtu.be/4ikFlgshxu4

October Story of the Month

Breathe

Rebecca, our mindfulness educator, arrived on campus one day and noticed a familiar kindergarten student crying in the hallway. Ramona was a very talkative student, who often was reminded in class not to speak out of turn and was sometimes sent out of the classroom. When Rebecca saw her in the hallway, she assumed that her teacher had sent her out there to calm down. Crouching down to be at her eye level, she asked, “What’s wrong, Ramona?” Still crying, she replied, “My friend took my bike at recess and wouldn’t let me play with it.” She responded, “Aw, Ramona. I’m so sorry. I can see that you’re very sad about that. You are crying.” Ramona sniffled, “Yeah.” Rebecca asked, “Is there anything we’ve been learning in class that you think could help you right now with how you are feeling?” Ramona immediately put her hands on her belly and took deep breaths. Rebecca responded, “Oh! You remember the belly breathing we’ve practiced.” She joined her and they took three more deep breaths together. Ramona then stopped crying and said, “I’m ready to go back to class now,” and she walked back to class with her “breathing teacher”.

Sometimes we all just need to remember to BREATHE!

Check out the video below—it just might help you remember too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mZbzDOpylA

 

June Story of the Month

A Little Help Can Make a Big Difference

Sweet little Camila lives with severe cerebral palsy. Her condition should be quite enough
for any six-year-old, but unfortunately, her life is even more complicated. Camila and her
mother are here in the United States on what is called a V-Visa. This is shorthand for the
fact that they are fleeing domestic violence…very sad on so many levels.

In spite of navigating a traumatic life, a new country and a difficult disease, there are some
practicalities to be dealt with, such as getting Camila enrolled in school. Young & Healthy
is involved because she needed a physical and a dental exam before she could enroll in
school. This would have been an easy task if she were a typically developing little girl, but
Camila is far from that.

The Young & Healthy team worked to find just the right physician and dentist who could
examine this medically fragile young girl. A significant amount of diligent case
management eventually resulted in finding care for her at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Camila received her necessary examinations and was able to enroll in school. Though
Young & Healthy can’t fix everything, we can certainly strive to lighten some of the
hardship.

May Story of the Month

Fully Insured Means Access to Care…Right?

Well…not always.

Fourteen-year-old Jenny and her sixteen-year-old sister Gabby are fully insured but getting the
care they needed seemed completely out of reach.
In addition to all their typical teenage challenges…their mom, Angie, has terminal cancer. Angie
knows the girls need help to cope with her illness and she was able to find mental health services
for her girls in West Los Angeles. With the notorious LA traffic, however, that is an hour away. As
you can imagine, as Angie’s illness has progressed, getting her family across town for therapeutic
services has become more and more difficult. Overwhelmed and sad, Angie called Young &
Healthy for help.

It was not an easy task for our case managers, but after calling nine different agencies in Pasadena,
the tenth agency was able to take the family’s insurance and provide services closer to home.
While we cannot lift the burden of losing their mother to cancer, we are hopeful that their lives
will be a tiny bit easier with support closer to home. We wish for them all a more peaceful journey.