This week was a special week in that the afternoon classes were held in our new venue – Belvedere Community Centre in Rondebosch. The children seemed to loved the huge space with the sunny light streaming through the windows. On Friday afternoon, we were blessed with a light downpour of rain during the class and it was wonderful to listen to it splash on the roof above.
The theme for all the classes this week was “Find what you love”. We read the following poem from the book INCREDIBLE YOU! by Dr Wayne Dyer:
“Think of something you love to do.
That is your passion, so let it shine through.
Never let fear hold you back.
Do what you love – you’re on the right track.”
In each class, we discussed a variety of activities the children love doing – swimming, reading, riding bikes, playing with animals, playing with friends, spending time with family. As we discussed each activity, I hung a picture of it on our Passion Tree. The tree soon became very full with pictures of all the activities the children love to do. We then discussed how we feel when we do these activities. We discussed how sometimes we feel afraid to do the things we love because we might not be good at it even though we love it. We discussed other fears that might stop us from doing the things we love. And then we all agreed that it was worth trying and to keep on trying because of how wonderful we feel when we do the things we love!
I asked each child to choose 5 activities that they love the most. Some found this quite difficult since they loved so many things! I asked the children to draw a picture of a tree and stick on their heart leaves to create their very own Passion Tree. I then gave them some blank hearts to draw how they feel when they do the things they love. They could represent their feelings in any way – by drawing a face showing the emotion or simply colouring in the heart in different colours. It is important for children to realise that feelings can be represented and expressed in many ways. Often at a young age, children don’t have the vocabulary to express how they are feeling which can lead to frustration and anger. If they can draw how they are feeling using colours and patterns, it can help them to express themselves in a safe and manageable way.
This week I lead the children through a wonderful guided visualisation about a magical garden and healing pond. They started off by walking along a path in nature until they came to a big, rusty gate. Next to the gate they found a key with their name on. This confirmed that this was their special, magical garden. They opened the gate and noticed containers with many different seeds. There were seeds of calm, seeds of peace, seeds of happiness, seeds of joy and other seeds. I encouraged them to think about the qualities they would like more of in their lives and to plant those seeds. I explained that this was their very own space, their very own garden and they could plant whatever they liked. Afterwards one little boy shared that he has planted seeds of cleverness, of bravery and seeds of “lego-ness”! One can never have too much lego it seems 🙂
After planting the seeds, I guided them to a healing pond in the corner of the garden. The water was the perfect temperature for them and they could lie in the water and comfortably rest their head on a rock. I then explained that as they relaxed in the water, it would wash away all the aches and pains in their bodies, and possibly any sad or unhappy feelings that they might have. The pond was a place for them to let go and allow the warm, comfortable feelings of peace, happiness and contentment to fill their bodies.
It was then time to end the visualisation but I encouraged them to come back to their magical garden at any time to plant more seeds of whatever qualities they felt they needed more of in their lives. The children seemed to connect well with this healing visualisation. I myself even felt renewed and refreshed after leading them through it!
I would like to end off this week by sharing the following quote from Rumi with you:
“Keep knocking and the joy inside will eventually open a window and look out to see who’s there.”