On Chewing…

Why start a blog now…?  And why CHEW…?

I’ll start with the first question; simply because it is time. It is an expression of the point I have come to. It’s where I am at now… Maybe to help you understand more about where ‘here’ is, it will help to know a bit about where I have been. I guess that for all of us, the full truth about where we are is only revealed in the journey that got us there: imagine the reaching of the ‘Finish line’.

One person gets there, and crosses it like they have each of the 100 times before. Another person crosses it, but does so only after a long journey over many years; being active, falling prey to a life threatening condition, and fighting through all that that entails to an ‘all clear’, then day by day, week by week re-building stamina and strength and finally making it to the beginning and end of their first race.

The journey always reveals more than the position.
So I’ll start with my journey.

Ever since I can remember I have been connecting with children. Babies, toddlers, teens, family, friends, classes, clients, children, on camps, in clubs, in schools, on the streets, in this country and around the world.

After university I trained then worked as a teacher. A primary school teacher – teaching all subjects to groups of 30+ children (ages 4-11). I learnt how to inspire young minds, how to help them learn in the ways that meant the learning stayed in mind longer than a day. I taught new skills, new concepts, celebrated achievements and challenged all the things that held my classes back from being all they could be.

I travelled. I worked with street children. I came back home and changed direction; several years working with children and young people as a youth worker. I had responsibility to help nurture and nourish the spiritual lives of many young people. I helped them know themselves more, discover their dreams, their place in the world, how they can connect with God and be involved in making a difference now – and not waiting until they were ‘grown up’ to start living. I learnt more about how to help children find their own path to truly being all they could be.

Then it was time to retrain – extensively – in order to embark on a new career as a Play Therapist. This has equipped me to significantly help children on an emotional and developmental level. Almost every day I see children who have experienced the kinds of things no children should experience, and I see the immediate impact and the legacy. I have learnt more about what holds children back from being all they can be. I have the privilege of seeing young hearts healed and I know more about what this takes.

But the spirit, mind and heart do not exist in isolation. The physical aspect of being human – being a child – is a big factor in the day by day experience. I see children whose bodies are helping them thrive, and others whose daily physical reality is a challenge – just to survive. I have learnt about what the physical needs of a child’s body are, right down to cellular level, and what the consequences can be if these needs are not met. I know more about what is needed to enable a child to be all they can be.

So from some of these aspects of my journey of the last 25 years with children, I find myself ‘here’. Now. Starting to write…

I write because I find it so hard now to look at a child and see only one dimension.
I find it hard to give a 1 dimensional answer to a parent who has a concern about their child, without thinking about the implications of other dimensions in my mind. Not all parents want to hear about the bigger picture for their child. And that I find sad. I understand why it may be, but as someone who has spent a significant number of years working with children in mental, emotional, spiritual and physical capacities, I don’t want to keep all my thoughts to myself anymore (see last entry!)

Children’s Health and Emotional Wellbeing has to be looked at holistically.

I hope that through the blogs to come there may be something that is interesting enough to chew on. Really chew. Then you will know whether you are going to spit back out or digest further…