My ten-year-old daughter Aine and I are still glowing from our experience at the Workshop for Children and Parents. It was such a beautiful experience for us together and individually. It is very profound how it has impacted her/our life experience, and I can see how different it is in subtle yet crucial ways to how many children in our culture (big ones too) are taught to process experience - 'rejection' being called names, 'failure', sadness, fear..... and how she was processing them in the past (me too - I just notice the new shift with her after the workshop and I have been at it for a while). The conversations we have had since the workshop are so beautiful and deep, and so much more full of curiosity and questions that set ideas. She told me that it seems more like she understands life now in a way that makes more sense to her heart, and that it is like she has been given a key to life - like she was carrying a load of rocks on her back and now there are fewer, and she knows how to put the others down when she is ready. What a relief. We are both very grateful for what we have found together in The Work and in ourselves.
I have been doing The Work myself for about five years and so the effects definitely live in my family. I had offered on occasion to share The Work more directly with Aine but she didn't want to, she said it didn't feel like time. When the invitation for the Ventura workshop came - it felt so right for both of us and we knew to come together. When I asked her if she wanted to learn The Work process before we went she said no - she wanted to just arrive with an open mind. She did, and Katie was there to meet it with hers.
Last night Aine and I were watching a documentary about a group of students in the U.S. who started a paper clip project as a way of learning about diversity and studying the Holocaust. It was her first real exposure to more that basic information about the Holocaust. It had much more detail than I had anticipated when we borrowed the movie from the library and it was very moving - with interviews with death-camp survivors speaking of their experience and pictures of the camps. I would have thought this would be overwhelming for her, and when I asked her, she reached for my hand and with tears in here eyes, said, ‘This is important for me to know.’ She wiped the tears from my eyes and said, ‘Remember, Mom, if the universe is friendly, there must be good in this also, even if we can't know what it is’. There was no fear in that moment or afterwards as I would have anticipated, no blaming, panic, hatred - just a very deep and clear sense of love. Wow.
A number of Aine's friends asked here about it, and when she told them that it is learning about how not to believe your stressful thoughts - they respond immediately and want to know how to do that. They get it that it is suffering they don't want. We are sharing our materials and what we learned as best we can and I can also feel how amazing it would be to have a DVD set on The Work for Children - speaking directly to children and sharing examples of Katie working with children, children working with each other and parents and children working together. There was something very powerful about hearing Katie speak, and witnessing other children doing the work and voicing their fears and stressful thoughts, that was profound for Aine, and I would love to be able to share that experience much more widely than those who can make it to the workshop. If something like that is possible I would be willing to help it happen in any way that I can - I can feel the amazing potential in my community and I am sure with others.
Thanks so much for all the amazing work you continue to do to share this gift with more and more people in the world and of all sizes.