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Tonya’s Story

We want to add some stories from people who have attended Living Wisdom Schools; to hear about how this form of education has impacted the rest of their lives. This story is from Tonya Gorman, who was one of the very first students at the Living Wisdom School in Portland. These days, she is exploring Costa Rica.

I went to the Living Wisdom School Portland (LWS) from 1st grade until 6th. During this time I learned many valuable skills. One skill I learned that I have been able to carry with me though my public high school years and now college is how to control myself and my emotions despite the rough roads of life and growing up. When I was at LWS we often practiced sitting still and quietly for short amounts of time while focusing on my breath. This gave me a sense of control over my body, mind and energy. It taught me how to effectively calm myself down and observe my thoughts. Focusing on breath is also great for getting oxygen to the brain, which usually leads to the ability to think more clearly. This has been useful in situations where I have found myself getting frustrated, annoyed or just plain mad. I am able to step back from the situation take a few deep breaths observe how I am feeling and what I am thinking and then re evaluate how I will choose to react.  One hundred percent of the time the method of stepping away, calming down and re thinking the situation has lead to favorable outcomes. It is when I react irrationally and impulsively that I have found myself in situations that could completely have been avoided had I chosen to respond differently.

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