A Practical Guide to Breathwork

Don’t feel bad if you have broken your new year’s resolutions. In fact, don’t feel bad if you haven’t even got around to making a resolution yet. For there is always time to begin a new life and master new skills. And the Knox County Public Library is the place to begin, regardless of the date on the calendar.

As for me, I feel a sense of accomplishment because I took my Christmas tree down — this weekend — ahead of last year when it came down on Groundhog Day. And you guessed it, I have yet to make my New Year’s Resolution. You see, I subscribe to Mark Twain’s advice: “Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do the day after tomorrow.”

But despite being a leader in the procrastinator’s club, I remain optimistic that I will amend the error of my ways, make a resolution, and become a better person in 2022. How do I know that? It’s because I am fortunate to be surrounded by so many people who do that daily at the Knox County Public Library, where I work with the circulation staff.

It is gratifying to help patrons who come in seeking help to learn new skills, overcome personal challenges, and who are so determined to get the information they need to lead a better life. It is a very rare day that our staff cannot provide the assistance and the resources they are seeking, whether it be books, DVDs, magazine articles, or internet resources. Such help, which often includes going above and beyond what’s required, is one of the reasons that the Library Journal recently named all library staff nationally as 2022 Librarians of the Year winners “for taking care of themselves, patrons, and one another through tough times.” The Library Journal noted that staff members “have demonstrated accomplishments that reflect their commitment to free access to information, service to all areas and constituencies, and strengthening the library role in the community.”

As for people seeking to make a change in 2022, I recommend a book, “Beginners” by author Tom Vanderbilt. It’s a book about “small acts of reinvention, at any age, that can make life seem magical.” As reviewer Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the book, it “tackles one of the most pernicious of the lies we tell ourselves — that the pleasures of learning are reserved for the young.” Personally, I’m discovering a topic new to me through the book, “A Practical Guide to Breathwork,” by Vincennes University Professor Jesse Coomer. Describing the “modern human condition” as producing stress and anxiety, Coomer provides a well-written and researched guide to breathing techniques, which he says positively influence mental and physical well-being. His advice will quite likely wind up on the top of my new year’s resolutions, providing I get around to making them.

And I will make them, thanks to several good books on overcoming procrastination, part of a collection of “how-to” books currently on display at the library. Still looking for your life-changing resolutions? You are invited to the place where everyday is new year’s and the staff is ready to help you achieve personal success — your Knox County Public Library.

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