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Teaching Them Young

You may not know this about me, but I used to teach in public education.  I taught at the high school level. While it was challenging as a 20-something to navigate my emotions and those of my student's, I loved nearly every minute of it.  I have been a teacher in one capacity or another for most of my adult life, I believe it is what I was born to do, while always being the student, as well.

So, I guess it is no surprise that I find myself in another teaching role.  I have the honor of working with 9 and 10 year-olds.  I have never taught this young a group before, so it has been a great opportunity to stretch my skills! 

Yesterday, during our time together, I taught these youngsters a simple breathing exercise. How you do it is:
1) count on the inhale and the exhale (start with 3)
2) each new breath add another number (round 2 count to 4, round 3 count to 5, etc.)
3) only continue adding another number if it is easy and without labor
4) see if you can get up to 7, 8, or 9 (only if it feels good)
When this is complete you cannot help but to feel relaxed because the breathing forces the autonomic nervous system to kick in and do it automatically.

I then asked the children why they thought I taught that to them and they said, "So that we would be quiet!" Ha, Ha! Well, maybe deep down I thought that might help, but actually it was because childhood anxiety is at an all-time-high. Obviously the last few years have been challenging for all, but childhood anxiety was up well before these last few years. I taught this because it is an easy exercise that anyone can do to calm down, relatively quickly, you can do it without anyone even knowing that it is happening, and anyone can count to 10!  I then told them that this is the sort of thing I teach adults and one of the children said, "Are you like a therapist?"  I said, "Sort of."  He then said, "Do you like what you do?" and I said, "I find it very rewarding watching people learn to love themselves and really enjoy their life."  That seemed to satisfy him and he smiled.

Never in a million years did I think it would be possible to experience the joy of helping people of all ages see themselves as the wonderful humans that they are, be self-confident, understand their value, find purpose and meaning and have deep meaningful relationships with themselves and others.  I now know that it is our birth right to predominantly experience joy in all areas of our life and I will continue to guide others to the same conclusion until my transition.

What about you? Have you come to this same conclusion?  If not, does it sound like something you might want to learn about?  I would love to start you on your journey to feeling good about yourself, so that you can bring your unique gift to this world.  When do you have time to chat?
Erin "teacher and student for life" Mac

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