I’m here to shake things up!
Are you ready to build on last week’s Weekly Wonder?
Let’s play a game—this one is for you, the parent:
You read the words below, one at a time, and notice how your body and mind respond.
Now don’t peak ahead before you take note of where your mind goes and how your body feels. Deal?
Are you ready?
…..what comes up for you?
Stories you were told and believed?
Ah, yes. Many of these have been deeply embedded and wired into us as humans for numerous reasons.
Want to hear a BIG one?
The fear and stereoptypes of these animals, plants, etc. were imparted to us through STORIES, likely as little people and often unintentionally by the loving parents that were reading them to us. OFCOURSE we believed them!
Yep, books and good ole’ fashioned homespun stories (around the fire?) are one of the culprits.
Aesops Fables & Grimms Fairy Tales didn’t help this trend, granted many of these stories (ex. Little Red Riding Hood) go back a thousand years.
Could one person’s experience, fear or even enjoyment of just using their imagination to get a reaction out of others have caused unfounded generational fears and demonization of certain species of plants, animals, insects, reptiles, etc?
(yes, it's a real grizzly we encountered beside our path on a hike in Grand Teton NP and it was nothing short of magical...and yes, we had our bear spray, but no need for it.)
This week and moving forward, I have a challenge, suggestion, encouragement…for you.
For your own sake, the sake of your children and imparting to them TRUTH, for the sake of all creation and the future of our planet, please take a few minutes to learn about the ones that seem to make you the most uncomfortable.
(one of my favorites from a trip last year)
If you felt agitated, afraid, angry, grossed out, triggered in any way, that is the exact energy you are passing on to your little ones surrounding these animals, plants, etc.
Let me be clear: this is nothing to be ashamed of, just to be aware of.
I wonder how many of those myths and stories will be naturally debunked... you might be surprised. ;) You can even include your children in this challenge.
Picture book read aloud anyone?
While I don’t have books included in my lists that are necessarily specific to one kind of animal and their habits, most all of them offer a gentle and lovely introduction to, experience of and grounding in nature.
You will find that NONE of my books include myths or create fear around any part of nature. I have been VERY intentional around this for this very reason. It breaks my heart to think of all pain that generational misinformation and misunderstanding has brought on all creation. Having said that, my monthly book lists are an easy place to start connecting your child with the wonder of nature while solidifying your bond with them.
(my first moose sighting last year in CO- sooooo exciting!)
As I write this, I am seeing in my mind one of my next picture book list offerings. It might just be one to help us teach our littlest ones (and learn ourselves) the truth about many of these too-long demonized parts of creation. Let’s stop this cycle of hate based on misunderstanding and ungrounded fear.
The below photos are real gray wolves that we got to hang with at the Wolf Creek Habitat & Rescue in IN (fabulous experience). This was a precursor to the Wapiti Lake pack that we tracked down (not easy) and had the incredible honor of observing in the wild (pups and all) in Hayden Valley at Yellowstone NP last June.
Even just 5 minutes learning for yourself about the real habits of wolves, for example and how imperative they are in maintaining a balanced eco system or better understanding other critters such as snakes, spiders and coyotes can help you feel a little more comfortable living in harmony with them.
This simple act of understanding will cause a shift in you.
The shift could be a change in how you interact with or respond to these creatures (you can get rid of your “exterminator”). ;)
This new consciousness can lead to a change in behavior and the way you talk about these “brothers and sisters” in the natural world (wonder and observe vs. label and run- ha!)
(Elk from a trip last year- majestic, powerful, to be respected and given space, but no need to fear if understood...remember, knowledge is POWER!)
A simple change in perspective and attempt to understand someone or something you didn’t before can change the trajectory for your child’s way of being and life and ultimately the planet… a gift to the next generation (and our own).
Who knows- this might ignite a passion in your child, aligning them with their soul purpose!
We are all in this life together….may love help us as we strive to understand one another….now, you and your children go have fun possibly discovering some new (and freeing) truths!