My book is finally out. Wow. It’s been like 3.5 years in the making. I remember starting it during covid, when we were stuck at home with nothing to do. And I thought, let’s take all of the interviews I’ve done with industry experts and compile it all into a book. Sometimes, I didn’t understand what they were trying to say, so I wanted to make it simpler for teens, and add a bunch of different practices and journal prompts for them to try. I was watching the news and saw all the violence and suicide stats, and I wanted to help somehow, so I thought maybe teens can try these things and they’ll find at least one thing that they like that can help them learn to cope with stress and emotions, and mental health.

At the time, I was also doing a lot of public speaking, travelling to schools, speaking at summits, anywhere that I was invited. I wanted to get mental health curriculum into schools. I still do. I still believe it’s so important to have a class about resolving disputes in a healthy way. Communication is just as important to learn as calculus and chemistry. I’m actually kind of shocked, to tell you the truth, that these kind of classes haven’t become mandatory yet in our education system in this country. Anyway, once I couldn’t go around speaking anymore, I had to find another way to get the information out. And that’s when I started the book.

I’ll tell you right now that I couldn’t have done it without my mom. She helped a lot. I mean like the best organizer, sounding board, and editor EVER on the planet.

We had to learn about the publishing world, because up until then, we had self-published all of the Wuf Shanti books for the younger kids. This was our first time going through the traditional publishing route. I think we sent the book into 6-8 publishers, and each one said no. We didn’t give up though, and thankfully, Welbeck and TriggerHub, which focuses on mental health content, said yes.

That was a good day. And then we asked a few well-known athletes or celebrities to write the foreword and were turned down or ignored, LOL, but again we didn’t give up. It only takes one. And thankfully, the OMazing UD, from my home town and favorite team, said yes, because he truly cares about youth mental health. Another good day.

Mom and I, Wellbeck, TriggerHub, and UD’s team all worked so hard on the book for so long, and now the day is here.

I wish some of my relatives could still be here to witness it. I’m not sure how I’m feeling. Maybe happy, accomplished, yet relieved that we’re finally at this point, maybe kind of sad that it’s over, maybe nervous about if people will read it or like it, definitely hopeful that it helps someone. A lot of emotions happening all at once. Is this the end of something old or the beginning of something new? What will be my next big project? What will I do now?

There are some things we can do when feeling strong emotions:
1. Express them. Laugh or Cry (we are allowed to feel what we feel). I guess today I’m expressing through writing.
2. Practice Gratitude (science has proven gratitude helps us be happier).
3. Pause (breathe and focus on the present moment, not the sadness of yesterday or the anxiety of tomorrow).

Whatever I do next, I am grateful for all the experiences and all the people that have brought me to this moment and want to send a shout out to all of you. Thank you.

To learn more about the book, read the Press Release Here.

The book, Stress Less: Mindfulness for Teens, is on sale now. You can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Target, or anywhere that they sell books.