Belonging to a group or club gives us security, love + identity
Our need to belong is so strong. When we feel different to our peers or family, we come to the conclusion that there must be something wrong with us. NOT TRUE. We don’t need to be the same to belong. However, we do feel less anxious and more at ease around people that we trust and who understand us.
The curious companion to Stuck Between Two Worlds
I made this free Read-Along Activity Guide for those Champions of Children (educators, therapists, parents or anybody mentoring or guiding children) who hold the light and support those that are facing challenges and losses. Meeting them where they are, leaving their labels or their bad reputation at the door gives them breathing space. When you bring them all together and give them a positive identity – I call them Wildhearts – they smile again.
Before you download it + dive into the Smiley magic
Scroll down and understand more about the importance of connecting with children in this way. Yes, it’s fun educating hearts and souls as well as minds, but more importantly, it gives them a stronger sense of who they are and helps them feel more comfortable in their own skin. With the right ingredients – especially a safe space for sharing and learning, children can and do positively flourish. In the last decade, I’ve seen it countless times, and it’s why I want to share it with you.
‘Thank you for the great workshop on Friday and fantastic artwork. My daughter enjoyed it so much. Today she used the ‘Confidence Suit’ at school to help her out of a tricky situation.’
Confidence isn’t what you see on the outside
As a child, I presented as chatty, sociable and full of life! If you’ve read my book Stuck Between Two Worlds, you’ll know that was not really who I was. Yes, I am 10-year-old-Ruby – the feisty Wildheart who is frantically trying to figure out what is wrong with her. Forever curious, she wants to know if there is an off switch for her busy brain, chronic self-doubt, and relentless perfectionism which keeps her wired and stops her from falling asleep.
I never want children to grow up feeling like that or like they can’t ask for help
Not many people know this, but the hero’s journey that Ruby takes with her Wildheart friends in Stuck Between Two Worlds, is a combination of my healing journey and the content from my original creative coaching workshops. You can see what they looked like from the pictures here.
I helped hundreds of children to feel gorgeous from the inside out, whilst healing from my own complex childhood trauma. Everything in the Stuck Between Two Worlds Read-Along Activity Book comes from those workshops – tried and tested by the best critics – The Wildhearts themselves!
‘I don’t even know how it works but I feel more positive. I woke up one day & felt different. It’s magic!’ Ryan J, age 11
Just like we all do, I learned on the job and didn’t always get it right. READ: 5 Mistakes I Made when I first started working with kids.
They were chilled, fun arts and crafts meets self-discovery and validation. I could see parents hovering at drop off – yeah they wanted a little piece of that too.
The kids would arrive worried, and leave feeling happy + excited to try out their new discoveries
The biggest relief was that there was nothing wrong with them. There couldn’t be – they had met other Wildhearts who just like them had busy brains, found bedtime tricky, felt left out or like they didn’t belong. The magic happened not because the workshop looked like the inside of Hobbycraft, but because kids learn best when they are relaxed, safe and happy.
It helps to learn that humans are imperfectly perfect
I watched them let go of their anger and worry. I watched them recognise themselves in each other and I watched them make sense of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. That none of it was wrong or bad. It was simply being a messy human.
There’s something magical about having permission to just be yourself – you instantly feel better.
‘Thank you so much for this amazing group. My son greatly enjoyed it and in fact, is asking when he can go again! You’re brilliant at connecting with the children. I think these great sessions are something that every single child can benefit from; huge rewards on how to deal with growing up, managing emotions, or just simply understanding that this is all normal and a part of growing up. I highly recommended to all! Our huge thanks to you!’
Even the ‘quiet ones‘ – they were under no pressure whatsoever to perform or contribute, yet they did in their own way and would return to their parents chatting non-stop in the car on the way home.
‘He had an amazing time, he was smiling from ear to ear when I picked him up….and was chatting non-stop about all the things you guys did. Which he never does! You are wonder woman. Thank you!’
Sharing this work with you
I want you to share it with as many children as possible. I want you to take it into your classrooms, your playgrounds, your homes, your yoga sessions and anywhere you nurture these young souls and enjoy it. I want you to watch them blossom and have fun doing it.
Validation = self-acceptance = belonging
Bringing like-minded souls together is powerful and the group tends to take on an energy of its own. We don’t focus on specific outcomes, we simply to commit to giving and sharing as much as we are able.
In the Read-Along Activity Guide, you will:
✔ Learn how to create a safe space (I call it a safe container) conducive to sharing feelings. This bit is so important because when we can be ourselves we don’t have to mask up, hide or pretend to be somebody we are not.
We cannot learn unless we feel emotionally safe (connected to somebody we trust).
✔ Enjoy all those fun coaching activities featured in the book – the extraordinary experiment, the super squad, the self-protection suit, positive body language, clarity cloud activation, thought testing, intuitive dancing – to name a few.
✔ Create a Wildheart bookmark, have fun playing bingo and acting out role plays.
✔ Self-reflect with journal prompts and conversation starters. You don’t have to be like the others – you’re meant to be YOU!
‘Lisa, everyone has noticed a big change in Poppy since the workshop. I don’t know what you did in there, but she has settled into her new school like a dream!! Totally beyond our expectations! She is usually so nervous and clingy. Yet she skips in every day and has joined lots of clubs!! She started Brownies on Monday and again there was none of the usual shyness! Thank you – you have worked wonders!’
Will you be setting up your own confidence club?
So, it’s over to you! Go for it! I can’t wait to see all the magic you create. Download this 40-page Read-Along Activity Guide and get cracking.
Be sure to share your discoveries and artwork on social media with me (@SmileyCoach) and use the hashtag #wildheart and share this blog post with your schools, clubs, communities, families and friends.