The energy was wonderful at Wonderstone Gallery in Dunmore, Pennsylvania for the launch of My Loving Self and Me on April 18, 2015! A grandmother and customer of the Gallery came by to tell me how important she believes the book to be. She had bought it earlier for her 12 year old grandson and they read it together- actually he reads to her. She shared that she too believes strongly that reading together with older children is valuable (see link in first blog entry) She continued to say that there just aren’t enough of this kind of book. Another woman was walking by and felt compelled to come in. After hearing a reading, she took a book to read to her church school class. It was delightful conversing with all those who stopped in!
The book contains 15 short stories that introduce children and adults beginning their spiritual journey, to their loving self or true spiritual self of God and ego, that part of the human which seeks personal wants and needs without a clear sense of the perspective and perception of others. The title story My Loving Self and Me introduces these concepts, simplified for young readers, and the rest of the stories add everyday situations that children like themselves face. The characters, Gabby and her brother Ike and their extended family deal with the issues which develop in life- fears, feeling badly about themselves, prejudice, bullying, responsibility, respect for nature, respect for themselves, giving and receiving and making choices. The character children learn to see themselves as loving beings who make choices by going to their heart, and trusting in God for messages, peace and strength. They treasure their angels.
They learn to be still and listen, meditate and pray, and communicate with others. My intention is for your child to feel a connection with the characters and learn from Gabby and Ike’s experiences. For extra practice, each story is followed by a section called ‘It Takes Practice’ where they choose what their loving self would do. The answers to the questions are written to be easy, to build confidence in their choices, with follow up support that extends their understanding. Each story is also followed by a related poem. I have been told that while discussing the ‘It Takes Practice’ section, children have brought up situations from their school experience, something parents do not always hear. They also created their own questions for “What would your loving self do”? Wonderfully what I had intended!
Not all children will have someone to read with them, nor will they have the support system of the book’s characters. In the summary they are guided to find an adult with whom they feel safe and are assured has their best interests at heart. Everyone needs someone with whom they can share and get feedback. Although children will benefit from adult communication while they read, it certainly can be read independently.
The scenarios in the stories are based on elementary and middle school school experiences, but any parent can gain from reading them. Even if children are too young for the stories, parents can begin incorporating the concepts and the vocabulary into their child’s life. By the time they can read it, they will be pros at living from their heart!