Banni Bunting, a former FBI agent and national tennis champion, is launching a mindfulness picture book for children, How Do You See the World? — A Book of Mindful Choices. Now a certified mindfulness teacher in Bend, the book is the result of her many years of teaching mindfulness in local classrooms and schools.
A growing concern amongst parents and psychologists is the negative effect social media is having on the emotional development of today’s children. Meaningful human communication is quickly being replaced by screens. Studies are now suggesting that this digital disconnect can lead to isolation, insecurity, anxiety and depression.
“My intention for writing this book comes from a desire to provide children with helpful tools and resources to navigate challenging experiences and emotions,” explains Banni.
Beautifully illustrated by local Bend artist Teafly Peterson, the book takes the reader on a magical journey of perspective through the lenses of emotion. It begins by planting the seeds of self-awareness through curiosity: “How do you see the world? Sometimes I ask myself this question because I am curious, and asking questions helps me understand better. Sometimes when I look around, it is as if I am seeing the world through different colored glasses….”
At first, the characters in the book see the world only through their colored glasses of emotion, sometimes even overwhelmed and lost in their feelings. But in a moment of clarity, they begin to understand there can be many different ways of seeing the world, not just lost in emotions.
Wearing lenses of kindness, gratitude, forgiveness and empathy provides them the ability to clearly see the changing nature of emotions and realize they have a choice in their perspective. As the book ends, the characters realize that there is one lens missing and it might be the most important lens of all: the lens of love.
The book has been created in conjunction with an online mindfulness curriculum that has just recently been approved for use in the Bend-La Pine School District.
“My intention is to help parent and teachers alike incorporate the practice of mindfulness into the daily lives of our children.” states Banni.
Intended for children 5 to 12 years old, the book’s meaningful message can be appreciated by all ages.