Hope For The Future Begins With Children
By Amanda Condio for Funky Frugal Mommy
“I am a proud immigrant who wants to contribute to the well-being of all living beings. Growing up in El Salvador, witnessing the effects of a civil war, natural disasters, and extreme poverty taught me at a very young age to appreciate the things I had,” says Deborah Salazar Shapiro, who is combining her experiences with mindfulness and heart-based practices to bring to life The Magical Mindful Day, a children’s book for people of all ages.
On a visit to the beach with her mother, Gaby, the main character of Salazar Shapiro’s debut book, and her best friend, Baba, encounter a talking cat named Oreo who introduces Gaby to many aspects of mindfulness—noticing the present moment, caring about the environment, and protecting the earth and all its creatures. Together, they share a bond that transcends time and place. The Magical Mindful Day takes children on the adventure of becoming mindful and shows them that joy and caring go hand in hand. Parents, teachers, earth lovers, and anyone who wants to encourage children to be more mindful will find much of value in this delightful tale.
These lessons translate to readers, as Salazar Shapiro encourages them to engage with the world around them in the same ways Gaby has, remembering the importance of practicing kindness toward everyone and everything. “Adults can incorporate gratitude into their daily lives along with their children, bringing mindful awareness and appreciation toward the people and things we often take for granted,” she says, inviting parents to work alongside children to foster love, respect, kindness, and compassion.
“Through practice, I not only discovered the feeling of being alive and more at peace with my awareness of what was happening both in my inner and outer world, but I was also able to see the futility in constant worrying, learned to accept the present as the only thing that truly exists,” explains Salazar Shapiro. An instructor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction and a dedicated practitioner of mindful meditation for almost a decade, she practices what she preaches to others, both in her book and daily life.
“It is powerful to be kind and compassionate,” Salazar Shapiro boldly states. In a world seemingly driven by electronics and social media, it is easy to become disconnected from surrounding people and nature. In The Magical Mindful Day, Salazar Shapiro highlights the importance, now more than ever, to guide children how to reflect on the effects of the items they use on a daily basis, especially plastic products, and the power they have to create change by making conscious choices about how they treat the people and world around them.