Self-Compassion for Teens – How One Teen Learned to Love Herself
“I could see and sense her excitement as she talked about blending good nutrition, good variety and good presentation in the meals that she prepares… with Amani, it wasn’t all about the food. The food is simply a medium for Amani to demonstrate how much she cares for those who she serves.”
The droplet hit my glasses in such a way as to cause double vision. It wasn’t a big drop by any means and surprisingly it wasn’t followed by another, even though the clouds were heavy and low. It just happened to land in that perfect place where my vision was focused and it created a kaleidoscope experience as I walked along the pathway. I heard the flapping of wings and turned to see six (or was it three) doves fly out of the limbs of a pinion pine tree. They dipped and darted their way through the small pine trees and junipers that make their home in the high plains desert of the Southwest.
The wind was more than a breeze and it felt as if it could snow at any moment. There were choppy whitecaps of windblown waves on the small lake to my left as I walked with Amani talking about food. Oh…it wasn’t all about food. I had the pleasure of speaking with Amani Kaminska and learning a little about her passion for assisting the students who are attending Discovery Ranch South Residential Treatment Center.
With an endearing grin and a sparkle in her eyes, Amani shared with me how she was born in Egypt and had the opportunity to attend to her education at a boarding school as a teen.
She has a unique perspective when she interacts with the students at DRS. She knows what it is like to be away from home and to be working on academics in a “Boarding School” environment. She has owned her own catering business for the last twenty-some years. She was thrilled when she had the opportunity to head up the food and nutrition services at DRS.
I could see and sense her excitement as she talked about blending good nutrition, good variety and good presentation in the meals that she prepares. She smiled again when she stopped, turned to look at me and said;
“I get the most joy when I’m doing this…”
She then outstretched her arms, palms up, as if she were handing me a plate of fresh baked cookies! I could almost smell “that smell” (We all know it!) even though we were walking outside on a windy day. It became clear to me that, with Amani, it wasn’t all about the food. The food is simply a medium for Amani to demonstrate how much she cares for those who she serves. And, when I mention the word “serve”, it is not about lunch rooms, café’s or catering.
Amani shared with me how much it meant to her when a student who was graduating came up to her and gave her a big hug saying;
“Thank you Amani! You have encouraged me to follow my dreams and passions. Thank you!”