Hello dear friends,
Several times a year at the Institute of Healing Arts, we gather children ages 4 – 12 to attend a Smart Hearts class called Friendly Feelings. Parents and students work as coaches to help guide children as we teach emotional health concepts. In this 1-hour class we help children understand that all of their feelings are important messages and these messages are communicated as heavy feelings or light feelings. We also work to empower children to recognize their heavy feelings and then model and teach skills of awareness so that they can feel confident in doing something good with their heavy feelings. Learning to direct their feelings into productive activities can help them up level their levels of happiness and increase hope.
Heavy feelings are just information and we can learn to respond to heavy feelings and even challenge negative thoughts by keeping a journal, talking through negative feelings, or releasing them by coloring them out on paper. Visualization, meditation and exercise are also excellent ways to change our state of mind.
We are all children at heart, no matter if we are 4 or 104. Children are joyful, curious, and filled with wonder and awe. They are loving and easily forgive those who have offended them. Children are uncomplicated and acutely aware of what is going on around them. Yet children today are experiencing pressures and are bombarded with so much information. It is hard for them to process it all. Little ones are sensitive to others pain and are often not sure how to communicate what their needs are to their parents. Some children are showing signs of anxiety and express fear about their future. Teens today are manifesting low levels of hope or trust in the world around them. Here at IHA we are working to heal the past and empower children to hold onto their innate gifts of innocence, hope, love, and joy.
Those of us that are parents and grandparents remember feeling safe in our communities and we recognize that when we were growing up we lived in more simple times. Yet we still had our own issues to deal with like oppressive family belief systems about finances, health, relationships, and love. Even though we lived with these strong cultural beliefs we found our way into adulthood and ended up embracing our own individuality. In the end many of us have moved to gratitude for the gifts we gained as we moved from childhood to parenthood. We are appreciative of how our family stories shaped who we are today.
As mothers and fathers, we have an opportunity to support those little ones coming after us by modeling to them healthier patterns of self-esteem, open and honest communication, saying how you feel and asking for what you want and giving permission to hold onto one’s truest self. We have opportunities to set up patterns of change and healing so that the generations coming after us do not have to carry the burdens that we carried.
In our personal healing we are forgiving those that have gone before us, and then embracing new thoughts, new feelings and new behaviors in hopes that our children and our children’s children will stand stronger in healthier patterns of self-respect, self-love, compassion and empathy for others. At IHA we are working to heal the past and change the future trajectory for our families, by being willing to heal these dysfunctional patterns. We continue to work on ourselves as we introduce these new patterns to our children.
In celebration of 15 years of teaching children simple emotional health concepts, we are offering a special in the month of July. In addition to our Children’s Clinic on Saturday July 14, 2018, you can get 2 children’s processes for the price of 1. We hope you will join us and give your children an experience that can help them work through heavy feelings and support them in emotional health concepts that they can bring with them into teenage years and into their adulthood.