At one point in my life, when I was feeling unmoored, I came across the book “PMS, Perimenopause, and You,” by Lori Futterman. Now what does a healthy mind have to do with PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and perimenopause, you ask? Well, included in this helpful book, which takes a holistic approach to this stage in a woman’s life, is a very good definition of what it means to be healthy. And I quote Futterman: “You are healthy if you are able to do the things you want to, have a strong sense of calm, and are able to face unforeseen events that may be stressful with resolve and resourcefulness. You may achieve inner peace through meditation, religion, reflection, study of philosophy, or visualization.”
I found this definition so illuminating that I copied it and reread it over the years, whenever I needed reminding. Notice she emphasizes the need for a contemplative or meditation practice as a means to gain inner calm and strength, claiming it will aid in the ability to live life from a steady, confident and centered place. With that assertion in mind, I want to alert you to a program being offered and resources available here at the library, which focus on the development and maintenance of mental well-being through meditation. Fortunately, there are many types of meditation “practice,” which means there is something for everyone, depending on life approach, personal preference and ability.
First up, the library is offering a program on Tai Chi, both at the Columbia and Callaway County library locations. Tai chi can be described as meditation in motion, and it is an ancient, slow-motion Chinese martial art. This body-mind practice is suitable for all ages and levels of physical ability, and it addresses many components of physical fitness (muscle strength, flexibility, balance, etc.), but one of its important aims is to foster a calm and tranquil mind. Tai chi can also be helpful for a host of medical conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and sleep problems, among others. Clearly tai chi has a lot to offer, and if you’d like to give it a try, please plan to attend one of the above mentioned programs.