This past summer, the Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum moved in a new direction to be more accessible to children with the installation of a new children’s area called “Just Like Susan.” Colleen Janz, Executive Director of the museum noted, “The goal is to intrigue the youngest of patrons to crave learning through a hands-on approach. In addition to the new area, the museum has historic toys and hands-on experiences within the museum and has partnered with local professionals to develop powerful youth programming.”
To further this goal, the Susan B Anthony Birthplace Museum invited intuitive lifestyle expert, Jacque Marling, to present her “Busy Bodies, Quiet Minds” program. Marling, a Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) counselor/therapist for over 26 years said about her program, “It is important for children to learn mindfulness and coping skills when they are young to prepare themselves for life’s daily stressors. By gaining these types of skills, they learn to understand their emotions and feel comfortable in their bodies.”
Marling added, “As humans we are often not present in our own lives. Many times we fail to notice the good things about our lives, fail to hear what our bodies are telling us, or poison ourselves with toxic self-critism. For most of us, this begins in childhood. Becoming more aware of our thoughts, feelings and sensations can have an incredibly positive impact on our lives.”
Marling continues, “Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It will not eliminate life’s pressures, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer manner that benefits us physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Mindfulness is a tool that young people can use to stay connected to their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Parents can use it as a tool, as well, to help develop resilience in their children. Mindfulness gives people of all ages the opportunity to live in the present and trust themselves to relax without judging themselves or questioning their emotions.”
In the workshop, Marling taught the children belly breathing, with an invitation to notice their breath and to pay attention to their body sensations, such as feeling the rhythm of their heartbeat. The children were also taken on a walking meditation, shown simple yoga stretches, and made glitter bottles to use a focus tool to help them quiet their minds.
In her role as counselor at MCLA, Marling has provided a wide variety of educational and self-improvement workshops for Residential Advisors (RAs), professors, professional staff and students as well as individual counseling for students. Her expertise, gained through years of private practice and as an owner of a daycare facility, allowed Marling to engage the children on an appropriate and appealing level.
To learn more about Marling, visit her website at http://www.JacqueMarling.com