I’ve been writing a lot the past couple of years and I wanted to let you know about two new books that have come out this year!  The first one is The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life.  This is a new edition of a book published by another publisher in 2008, that came out this March with my new publisher, Ixia, an imprint of Dover Publications.  In the book, I take the reader on a personalized journey through their entire lifespan from prebirth to death (I’ve even got an extra chapter speculating on what might be on the ‘’other side’’).  I also include a list of movies that deal with different stages of life, and of course a bibliography as well.  In this book, I want people to feel that the human life cycle is something to treasure, not just in ourselves, but in those friends and relatives we know who are at other stages than ourselves, and also in the broader community, where we can give back to people at different life stages through volunteerism, charitable contributions and more.

One other feature that makes this book unique is its focus on a psycho-spiritual perspective of the human lifecycle – it regards our lives in terms of two basic developmental trajectories:  coming ‘’up from the body’’ (the developmental line charted by Freud, Piaget, Erikson and other Western psychologists), and coming ‘’down from the spirit’’ (a developmental line only hinted at by poets, mystics, shamans, and other ‘’rememberers’’).  I’m  really excited about this book being back in print, and I hope you’ll get a copy on Amazon and then write me (at thomas@institute4learning.com) and let me know what your experience of reading the book was like.

The second book came out this past July, and is called Mindfulness in the Classroom: Strategies for Promoting Concentration, Compassion, and Calm.  While The Human Odyssey is written for people from all walks (and stages) of life, Mindfulness in the Classroom is designed for educators (teachers, administrators, support personnel) to help them implement mindfulness practices in their schools.  Mindfulness has become a hot topic in our culture, and our kids, who are under unprecedented levels of stress, can really benefit by spending a few minutes a day focusing on their present moment experiences with a nonjudgmental and curious attitude.

Most commonly in mindfulness, kids sit at their desks, close their eyes, and focus on their breathing, feeling the rise and fall of their belly or chest, or the inrush and outgo of air through their nostrils. If they should become distracted from this focus (as they certainly will), they’re instructed to notice the interruption (it might be a thought, feeling, or sensation), in a nonjudgmental way, and then turn their attention back to their breathing.  They can also practice mindfulness while walking, eating, or stretching in yoga type poses.  I’ve got lots of information, tips, strategies, and resources to help educators integrate mindfulness activities into their classrooms and schools.  The book is published by ASCD, who has published seven other books of mine over the past many years.  With all the interest in mindfulness in our culture, I’m hoping the book takes off and it used by a wide circle of educators.  If you’re not an educator, spread the word about the book to any educators you know.

Finally, I just wanted to say that if you happen to order one or both of these books and you like what you read, go to Amazon and write a review of it.  Amazon reviews are important for the popularity of a book and I’d really appreciate your support!

That’s all for now.  May good things happen to you on your own personal ‘’human odyssey’’ and may your moments always be ‘’mindful’’ ones!  Thanks!

This post was brought to you by Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. and www.institute4learning.com.

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About the author

I’m the author of 20 books including my latest, a novel called Childless, which you can order from Amazon.

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