When I was a little girl, I had a recurring daydream: The earth was inhabited by joyous, peaceful people. We sang and danced and lifted each other up as we celebrated life. Love was ALWAYS in the air. I wanted my daydream to be real so badly.
But instead of finding this imagined utopia, I was disappointed over and over again. I found myself laden with social anxiety because I didn’t fit into this world I was born into.
That daydream is still with me, and I don’t care who knows it or what they think of me. I am going full out with this vision (the dancing and singing optional.) I’m going to see it in my mind and get as many kids and teachers as I can impact to see it too.
This isn’t a fluff piece.
This is about the future of us.
After many years of searching, which included following a guru and learning to meditate in my late teens, working with a shaman to reclaim my lost soul parts, jumping over fires with wild women in the Catskills, community goddess moon circles, and exploring varied conventional and alternative therapies, the answer revealed itself. It was simple, efficient, practical, and effective.
It’s not a religion or a belief. It doesn’t require joining a group or paying dues.
It has two simple steps that need to be done in this order:
1. Be kind to yourself.
2. Be kind to others.
Be kind to yourself first. Why? Because what you do unto you, you do unto others. By treating yourself with gentle compassion, you stop judging everyone else so harshly.
This is not an idea. It’s a practice. It’s not a philosophy. It’s love in action.
It’s a radical acceptance of yourself, faults and all. It’s a generous acceptance of others, imperfections included.
And it just might save this planet. That’s why I do what I do.
I’ve discovered that social emotional learning is a path to love. Especially when combined with mindfulness and applied social improv.
Our students need to experience joyful, playful relationships. They need to watch their thoughts and filter out the negative, destructive, divisive ones. They need to know that they are loved, and that they themselves are a source of love.
Right now, our country is so divided and more and more filled with hate. It breaks my heart.
We need to counter the hate and division by cultivating children who know their worth, their inner wisdom, and don’t have to put down others or hurt people to feel their power. And we need to do this now.