Stories are great!

One of my favourite parts of teaching little kids, is reading them stories. They might be feeling unsettled, but once a good story begins, you can feel the calm and quietness fill the room.

It’s a bit the same with my kids at home.  I love to be able to sit down and read aloud, or have them read aloud.  As I write this, I am grateful for the reminder to do this more.

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I came across this writing that was like a missing jigsaw piece, it explained to me why I love reading stories so much and why it is so powerful.

“…But what can we really do to make this world feel safe? Less frantic and overwhelming? How can we make it more beautiful and loving for the people entrusted to us?
Of course, there is no single answer.
But often we overlook one simple thing that’s easily within our grasp, perhaps because we underestimate its power.

It’s the power of stories.
Good stories have the ability to transform realities, ignite imaginations, and help people find their place in the world
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It’s the stories we tell of heroes with obstacles to overcome, and of kindness and courage that win the day.

Stories that ask questions and inspire conversation.
Stories that entertain us and make us laugh.
Stories that open our minds to color, texture, nuance, and big ideas.

Whether picture books read aloud, family tales told around the table, or chapter books marked with dog-ears to pick up where we left off, stories bring us together through shared moments and experiences.

They feed our children’s roots and nourish their souls.”
(from the blog ‘A Holy Experience‘)

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As the Christmas season comes upon us, may you find time to read and tell stories that encourage your kids (and others) of love and good things.

Happy reading!
R x

 

kids and anxiety workshop

This morning one of my kids did not want to go to school. There were tears and tiredness involved.  I watched the rise of tears and then the calm afterwards.  I watched a child then get ready for school and pull himself together incredibly well.

I understand now that there was a ‘wave of anxiety’ that needed to be moved through and we saw it abate relatively quickly.

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I will be talking about the ‘wave of anxiety’ and other things at a ‘Kids and anxiety’ workshop that is running tomorrow, Tuesday October 25, at the time of either 9:15am or 7 pm at West Beach Primary school. Duration is approximately 1 hour.

You are welcome to come and bring friends!
Love to see you there.

Rebekah x

kindness and happiness

 

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There have been some in my household – let’s be honest, it includes me – who have been dragging their feet a little as the school term comes to an end. I have been telling my children as they leave for school each day “be kind, don’t worry what is happening around you, just be kind!”

Came across this quote, which I think adds another dimension to being kind and one that I know is a great reminder for me! May you enjoy it too!
Rebekah x

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy. One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself. –Gretchen Rubin

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The strength is in the struggle

I had the privilege of running a workshop with some wonderful parents on the theme of ‘Perseverance’.  The night before the workshop I came across a blog (it is a great read in full in you click on ‘blog’),that had a fantastic story in it that touched on this topic of perseverance and how difficult it is to sometimes sit and see the struggle, yet know that the struggle is important.  I hope you enjoy the read!

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“From the corner of my eye, I saw several resort employees making their way down toward the surf, carrying a large plastic tub. Curious, I sat up in my chair. Michael, also curious, got up and walked down to where they were, then motioned for me to join him.

Nestled in the plastic tub were about 150 baby sea turtles, newly hatched that afternoon…..

Miniature and geometric, their small shells were a gorgeous pattern of deep tannish greens, tiny tiles set in ornate, exact patterns. The resort employees had set the crate about twenty feet up the beach from the surf, and the baby turtles were already pushing toward the side of the crate that faced the seawater, their sense of the ocean as home already in full operation.

And then, as the sun dropped lower in the sky, one of the resort workers called to me. As I walked toward him, he gestured to the crate and motioned for me to pick up one of those amazingly teensy turtles.

The director of the release program drew a long line in the sand, marking the starting point for the upcoming journey. He explained that the turtles needed to make their own way down to the water, that we were not to carry them to the surf.

Most of us onlookers were standing back, watching the varying levels of success and struggle.

A few of the turtles seemed exhausted, overwhelmed by the challenges of the terrain. Others got turned around, heading away from the sea or scrambling in a parallel line to the water.

We watched, a little worried, until dusk began to settle. Finally, one of the resort guests couldn’t take it anymore. She scooped up one of the stragglers and began to carry him down to the water, unable to bear the uncertainty.

One of the employees in charge of the release called after her, motioning for her to put the turtle down, but her overwhelming concern overshadowed his instructions. As she gently placed the turtle in the shallows, her husband caught up with her and reminded her that she wasn’t supposed to help the turtles.

She, on the other hand, was incredulous that we were allowing these turtles to struggle so mightily. She saw her actions as a kindness.

Unwittingly, though, she was participating in potentially tangling the turtle population in protective bubble wrap.

That trip from the sand to the water? That’s critical turtle training ground. It’s what gives baby turtles a better chance of survival.

The best conditions possible had been created by monitoring the nest and timing the release at sunset when predatory birds and scavengers are not as active.

But once those conditions had been achieved, newly-hatched turtles need the trek to the water to strengthen their flippers, to practice the motion that will be required once they hit the water.

They need the experience of heading accurately toward the shore, even if it takes them a bit to figure it out.

These moments of struggle in the sands of their childhood would serve them well during their next hundred years of survival.

What an overprotective heart saw as too hard or too cruel or too tough is actually exactly what a baby turtle needed to up his chances of survival. To cut the journey short, to abbreviate the endeavor, would make the turtles more vulnerable and com- promise their skills for endurance.

The strength is in the struggle.”

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Gratitude reminder

I have been quiet online for awhile now.  Today as I read another blogger, I realised I have missed this space, and even if it is not reaching hundreds of people, writing these blogs actually helps to remind me of the good things.  Writing these blogs and finding treasures to share is actually an important part of my life.  It takes the focus from myself and lifts it higher.  My desire has always been to encourage others and I hope that the blog will continue to do so.

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It is funny, but it is like we need to be constantly reminded to give thanks. The world keeps telling us to have more, to be better, to look better, if only you do more… and among all that it is easy to forget what we do have. Then I find I am on a slippery slope. Being thankful is not always easy, but it is so important for our well-being.

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Here are some excerpts from the blog I read today, may it encourage you too…

“A few months ago, I was sitting in my office, stressing out about life. My heart was racing, my stomach felt hollow, and I couldn’t understand why. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and forced myself to sit in the quiet.

I was struck with the reality that I had been chasing things and influence and money. I was worried about everything and grateful for nothing

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As my tiny glass was filling to the brim with love, family, and soul-filling work, I had traded it in for a bigger cup. I was super-sizing my way through a never-enough culture until I felt as hollow as the bucket I was trying to fill…
So I put away the bucket, and I started naming everything I was grateful for. With each whisper of gratitude, the hollow feeling started to go away. My body filled with warmth and tears pooled in my eyes as I quickly became overwhelmed.

When I give thanks for good things in my life, I am filled to overflowing. Love and gratitude spill over into the lives around me.
Gratitude changes everything.”

We are all home schooled

I have done an exact cut and paste from Seth Godin. It just resounded with me in so many ways. Love to know what you think!

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“Day after day, year after year, it’s the interactions we have at home that have the biggest impact on who we become.

Public school is an essential part of our culture. But the inputs and foundations that parents create are essential and they are truly difficult to outsource.

What would happen if you figured out how to spend two hours a day, every day, without electronics, with your kids? Looking them in the eye, being present, doing projects, setting standards, raising the bar, learning, seeing, hearing, connecting, challenging, questioning, being questioned…”