Updated: Dec 17, 2019
Name: Trina Markusson
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Occupation :Mindfulness Speaker/Teacher/Author
In this heart-warming story, children and their families learn six mindfulness tools for resilience and positive mental health.
What inspired you to become an author?
After speaking at conferences, people would always come up to me and ask how they could teach their kids about mindfulness. They would ask if there was a book I could recommend. At the time, there wasn’t. In fact, I was looking for the same book. That’s when I decided to write my own book to teach mindfulness to children and their families. The book includes cards at the back of the book to continue the practise after the initial reading.
Who do you write the books for?
I began writing the book for parents and teachers, until my 9 year old son walked by and commented “You should tell the kids about this. It should be a kids book.” I thought that was a genius idea. That’s when the idea for “Good Morning, Sunshine” was born. It is proving to be a very helpful tool in homes and classrooms.
Why do you think it's important for families to implement mindfulness?
Mindfulness empowers us with tools for our own resilience. Sometimes, we can’t control the outside stress, but we can control how we react to the stressors. By training our attention to notice our thoughts and feelings, we can make a conscious decision to change our thoughts and relax our bodies. The side-effect is less stress.
What are some ways parents can implement mindfulness with their family?
As I wrote in my book, it’s important to spend a few moments every day training our focus and relaxing our bodies with mindfulness. Building it into our day at a regular time, like before bed, is a great practise. We can be aware of our breath, open our five senses, take care of our feelings and even spending some time in the space of gratitude. When we practise with our children, everyone benefits!
When did you start your own mindfulness practice?
I began my own mindfulness practise over 18 years ago, in 2001.
Favorite books or resources for parents that want to start practicing mindfulness for themselves?
I recommend “Mindfulness for Beginners” and “The Full Catastrophe” by Jon Kabat Zinn.
I also love, love the book “The Conscious Parent” by Shefali Tsabary, which speaks about parenting presently.
What do you hope to see in the future for children and families in regards to practicing mindfulness?
My wish is that mindfulness and the language of resilience will be embedded in our homes and in classrooms everywhere. I can only imagine the positive mental health of the next generation if these tools are implemented at an early age. It’s so exciting!
What brings you joy as a parent? I am always told how kind and compassionate my kids are. I also love having honest and authentic conversations with my kids. I love seeing how mindfulness has contributed to who they are.
What are some of your challenges as a parent?
One of my biggest challenges is trying to keep technology in the home to a minimum, whether it’s video games or social media use.
What is the best advice you received or lessons learned as a parent?
If we put our children in too many after school activities, we may be creating added stress for them. We want our kids to get exposure to many things like sports and music. However, they already work full time in school all day. It took years before I realized that less is more. Now, my children are only involved in one or two activities per week. Free time is needed and valued more than ever.
How do you practice self care?
I have a regular meditation practise and I work out regularly. I also make sure my life is balanced by not overscheduling myself or my kids.
How do you spend quality time with your children?
I love spending time riding bikes, playing basketball, boating or camping with my children. Just sitting around the campfire are memories I will cherish forever.
What do you wish for your children?
My wish for my children is that they live their passion. I want them to be fulfilled in both their personal and professional life. Keeping their hearts authentic and kind is my greatest wish.
When is your next book coming out?
My next book is on hold while I launch a new app to support the mental health of kids, teens and their parents. People have been asking for it and I’ve finally found the time and resources to make it happen. It will be out later this month on the app store. I know it’ll help a lot of kids and their families. :)