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In this episode of the Open Sky Wilderness Therapy podcast, Family Wellness Counselor Norman Elizondo will guide you through 20 minutes of meditation.

The premise of meditation is learning to have a healthy mind, and research shows that this happens. Neuroscientific studies have documented anatomical and physiological changes in the brain and cell structure as a result of meditation, including studies on neuroplasticity, showing restoration of gray matter and the healing of the brain. 

Mediation gives one the capacity to respond to situations in a way that lines up with one’s values. As one develops mental strength, he or she may be better able to resist an addiction craving down the road. Ultimately, this non-reactivity and awareness are what lead people to live fulfilled lives.



GUEST PROFILES:

Norman Elizondo, BS 

Norman earned his BS in Business Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Following the death of his mother, he considered her parting advice about doing work that really helps people and began his career in wilderness therapy as a field instructor.

As an immigrant from the Philippines, becoming educated and assimilating into American society has driven Norman to work hard, adapt, and feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for being a U.S. citizen. As such, he has enjoyed tremendous opportunities; one of the most meaningful was to help found Open Sky.

Norman takes great pride and pleasure in helping Open Sky parents understand their child’s work. He assists parents in developing the same basic skill sets including emotional regulation, assertive communication, and effective boundary holding, all of which are crucial in parenting. Norman facilitates Open Sky’s Wellness Weekends, parent support calls, graduations, meditation instruction, and field guide training.

Meditation has been a cornerstone of Norman’s life. With prior study and practice in the Southeast Asian Theravada tradition beginning in 1995, Norman has been studying and training as a meditation instructor in the Tibetan tradition since 2001. Norman is a certified meditation teacher with the Dharma Ocean Foundation.

TOPICS COVERED:

Wilderness Therapy, coping skills, emotional and spiritual growth, self-confidence, emotional support, healing, young adults, recovery support, empowerment, destructive relationships, substance use, personal trauma, family dynamics, oppositional defiance, adoption/attachment issues, treatment resistance, navigating non-traditional and complex family systems, substance abuse, substance addiction, depression, anxiety, meditation, mindfulness

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