Guiding our children to shine their inner LIGHT by being our absolute best!

Posts tagged ‘self esteem’

When You Know You’ve Done Enough

It’s been only a few days since I have sent my 1st graders soaring into their summer vacation. This time of year is always difficult for me. People often say, “Mrs. Savini, you must be so excited because summer vacation is coming,” But the truth is, I always have mixed feelings. Of course, I look forward to the summer. This is the time of year that I am able to sleep a little later, decide what I want to do on a moment’s notice and spend lots of quality time with my own child, but I will also miss seeing my precious students smile every morning as well.

In the last week I often found myself dazing and wondering if I had done enough; Had I taught them enough writing? Had they learned all they needed to in math and reading? Most important, did they learn to believe in themselves, speak their truth and quiet their minds to go within and hear their soul speak?

It’s hard to know really. I teach 1st grade. My students are 6 and 7 years old and I am one of the first teachers they meet on their long journey of education. I started to wonder if they would truly remember the important lessons. Not the lessons of math, science, reading and writing, but the lessons of the heart and the lessons on believing in the person staring back at them in the mirror.

Instinctively, I found myself reviewing these important lessons voraciously as I wondered if they’d truly remember in the years to come and then the last day of school rolled along…

It was Thursday and I had a wonderful gift from the Universe as one of my previous students who had moved to another state came to visit on the last day of school. I was elated to see her and spend some time with her but I didn’t expect the gift she would bring.

On that last day of school, I went about my regular routine of signing autograph books, opening gifts and sharing fun stories with the kids and then after my students went off to gym for the last time in this year, my former student and I had a chance to visit and a beautiful gift unfolded.

We began to talk about her new surroundings and then she said, “Mrs. Savini, I will always remember your classroom and you. You always made us feel so safe and taught us to believe in ourselves.” My heart swelled as I realized in that moment that they do remember the important stuff, they really really do. 

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I looked at the clock and realized we had to get the little ones. I smiled at my former student and then went to get the kids feeling much lighter than I had before.

When you put your heart and soul into your every day life. When you are mindful-present in the moment-and give children an experience instead of curriculum to remember, magic happens!

I now know that I no longer have to wonder if I’ve done enough. We are always enough when we are simply being ourselves. Thank you Kels. I love you! Mrs. Savini

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Teach Them to See Their Own Light

It breaks my heart when I see a child getting a bad wrap because of rambunctious behavior. When a child has this kind of energy there is generally something going on deep inside of them that stems from a belief that they are not good enough.

Tomorrow we begin our camp for boys, “Boy’s Rock.” We have already done our girl camps this year (Girls Rule) and this is our last camp of the season. The boys camp is always different from the girls camp. We teach the same 7 Essentials (TM) in all of our groups but in different ways.

The girls generally need to remember their inner goddess. They need to talk, journal, craft, dance and express their feelings. The boys-on the other hand- don’t like to talk much about their feelings, generally prefer someone else writing for them and want to build and construct with their hands.

Let’s face it boys and girls are different, but one thing is the same-

They all need to know that they are perfect just the way they are!

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Lately, my son has had some of that rambunctious energy. He has been sarcastic (he gets that from me unfortunately), inappropriate at times and over emotional. Summer generally brings this out in kids because they are away from their regular routine and even though they think they want total freedom, they actually crave and desperately need structure.

For the past few days I have been watching him and trying my best to guide him to make choices based on how it feels in his heart but he appears to be oblivious. Tonight, while putting him to bed we had a talk and what came out of that talk was truth.

His main concern is that when he says things with the intent of being funny, others don’t find him to be funny. He was teary eyed and visibly upset by this because he’s feeling invisible. We talked about it a bit and then I told him that when he is just being himself and he says something that he thinks is funny, it generally is funny. But when he tries to say something funny to get attention that’s when everyone looks at him like he has two heads and you can hear the crickets. I further explained that it was my greatest hope that he would feel comfortable in his own skin-so that when he thinks something is funny he will laugh whether others find it funny or not.

He looked at me and said, “I just have to be myself then, right?” Of course I replied with a resounding YES. Yet in my heart I’m not quite sure he totally gets it yet.

Our children are constantly comparing themselves to others and looking for approval outside of themselves. We have taught them this in our society without even thinking about it. We ask them to ‘measure up’ in school, we push them in athletics to be only the best and we make too many choices for them instead of with them.

I know for certain that the first thing we will focus on tomorrow in camp is loving yourself because if you can’t love yourself, who can you love…really?

My goal this week for this boys camp is to empower them to look in the mirror (figurative and real) and see the best qualities of themselves. Not qualities in others that they wish they had but instead their very best. My intent is for each of those campers to love themselves and-

See the Light Within!

I will certainly keep you ‘posted!’

Lots of Love & Tons of Light,

Vicki

Release Your Pain & Be The Light

Why can you not become enlightened? It is because of the obstacles in your mind and because the root of your pain is deep.” ~Hui Neng

As many of you know, I am currently writing a book to educate, enlighten and empower children and adults to be their absolute best. The writing process is quite interesting. It is truly an ebb and flow journey that causes you to soul search deeper than you ever imagined you would. For months I wrote fairly freely and everything was rolling along quite nicely and then I came to chapter 3 and experienced what is known as ‘writers block’.

This particular chapter is a very important chapter because it introduces the concept of core beliefs and helps us all to understand how beliefs we formed in childhood shape who we are today.

Instead of getting frustrated with my lack of free flow writing I removed myself from the computer for a while and began to ask the Universe for guidance. A funny thing happens when you ask the Universe for guidance…you get exactly what you’ve asked for!

According to Abraham-Hicks (The Law of Attraction, Esther & Gerry Hicks), “A belief is a thought that you simply keep thinking.”

We all have beliefs. We have beliefs about the world and how it works. We have beliefs about people and how they function. We have beliefs about ourselves and what makes us tick on a daily basis.

Chapter 3 of my book focuses on beliefs that formed in early childhood that we have validated over time. These beliefs were born from thoughts that we had about ourselves or life in general and they dwell deep within our hearts–at our very core.

A core belief that I have struggled with my entire life is that I am not good enough (another way to say this is not worthy). Many people look at me and think ‘I’ve got the world on a string.’ They have always seen my accomplishments as monumental, yet I have struggled to feel good about my own successes.

After a difficult, but enlightening lesson from the Universe (that I asked for) I can honestly say that I totally get where this came from now…

 

When I was a child my mom never sent me to school without a pretty dress and complete hairdo. I was made fun of for this because I was ‘too perfect’.

As the years went by I poured myself into art. I won several art contests and was made to feel that I was ‘favored’ by the art teacher because of my ability.

More time passed and I found my inner voice and became an accomplished singer. You can guess that this brought criticism from my peers as well.

I was just like every other kid, I wanted to be liked and I wanted to fit in, but it was becoming increasingly obvious that in order to do that I had to dim my own light.

As an adult, I am saddened to say, that I am still experiencing these ‘hits,’ so to speak when I accomplish something or speak my truth.

For the past few weeks this core belief of unworthiness has come up for me fairly strongly. I’ve been very hard on myself and unfortunately ‘dimming my own light’. Tonight I asked myself why I do this? Why is it that I cannot get past this obstacle?

The answer was within the pain of this belief.

As a child I learned to downplay my successes so that people would not make fun of me or cast me aside because they felt that my light was too bright. I’m sad to say that as an adult I was dimming my own light for this same reason, but who am I really helping if I am not being true to myself and beaming my own inner light?

Marianne Williamson teaches us that, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
― Marianne WilliamsonReturn to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

I’ve come to realize that I am no longer that little girl who needs people to like her. Instead, I am a woman who has learned to like herself and love the little girl within.

I understand that no-one truly ignites their own light by dimming another and I hope you will see the same by finding your own inner light.

Don’t play small. Be who you are and allow all of your magnificence to illuminate the world because the only person, place or thing stopping you is…YOU.

I think it’s safe to say that I asked for guidance and the Universe delivered. I’m no longer ‘blocked’.

With Lots of Love & TONS of Light,

Vicki

 

Childhood is Too Precious to Ignore

 

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.  ~Graham Greene, The Power and The Glory

Childhood is a short period in our lives that begins at birth and ends at puberty.  According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, it is defined as; 1) the state or period of being a child. 2) the early period in the development of something.

Birth to puberty is not a very long time and yet it seems as though the span of childhood is diminishing right before our eyes.  Has anyone else noticed that children are not allowed or encouraged to be children in today’s society?

For some reason, we spend most of our time; ‘racing to the top’, expecting children to be mini-adults, and constantly doing this thing called life, instead of living life.

As a teacher and advocate for children I am appalled when I hear people say, “Well, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

I question what is happening in our educational system when we are spending more time documenting our teaching than actually empowering and teaching our children.  I wonder just how terrific technology is when I walk into a restaurant, and see every person in the family on some type of electronic device.  I shudder when I notice that seven is the new nine during childhood and yet people are still saying, “There’s nothing we can do about it.”

We complain that children don’t pay attention in schools.  We say that there is a terrible break down in the family, and we throw the word bully around like it’s a new catch phrase, but what are we doing to change these things?  We need to do something about it.  It’s not a nicety, it’s a necessity.

Looking at the current life span, you might conclude that childhood is somewhat insignificant in the whole scheme of things, because, let’s face it, it’s brief.  However, the truth is, childhood is the most critical time period of our entire lives.

When are we going to wake up and realize that we are pushing the most precious time of our lives right out the door?

I started teaching fourteen years ago.  I knew, even then, that I was different.  I had a holistic perspective on teaching where I believed that we should embrace childhood in the midst of educating, enlightening and empowering children.  I always felt that in order to be successful academically, you had to make a true connection with the children in front of you.  I strongly believe that you cannot teach the mind of a child, until you touch their heart.  I have spent fourteen years in the public education system teaching children to believe in themselves, speak their truth and LOVE learning.

Now, we are racing to the top and banging on the door of total catastrophe.  If we thought we had a bullying issue in America before this new plan in education came down the pike, we better buckle up because when you make a child feel inadequate, you bring out their fears and anger raises its ugly head!

A few weeks ago I was putting my 7 year old to bed.  We had just finished reading a story and he turned to me and said, “Mom, it’s just not fair. I don’t get it. I’m only in 1st grade and all we do is work, work, and more work.  We never even get to play!”  I looked into his eyes and took a deep breath.  I too teach 1st grade and I try my best to keep the fun alive, but it’s getting damn hard, even for me.  When my son spoke those words, I understood more deeply than he even realized that something BIG was going on here.  I realized that this is another dent in childhood.  I totally understood that we were trying to force our children to become human doings, instead of human beings at a very young age.

Of course! That’s exactly what’s going on because if we are human doings ourselves that’s exactly what we teach our children.

You know you’re a human doing when…

  • You have lists of things to do every day
  • You can’t even seem to put a thought together by the middle of the day because you’re already overloaded
  • You are constantly focused on what you have to get done
  • You forget simple things like brushing your teeth
  • You look at the clock and realize that it’s already bedtime
  • You look at your children and they are grown and you wonder where the hell the time went

Is this what we really want for ourselves? Is this what we really want for our children?

Childhood should be a time when we gain a strong foundation so that we can navigate the waters of life successfully.  If we continue to diminish childhood by expecting our children to act like mini-adults and do more, more, more, we are certainly headed for disaster.

Let children be children.  Children have a beautiful curiosity that is totally natural.  Why not tap into that to educate them?  And what is education anyways?  Instead of teaching children what we want them to know or what we think they should know, maybe we should we teach them how to think for themselves and speak their own truth?

If you asked me, I would say that childhood should be extended instead of diminished.  I’m really not sure why everyone wants to grow up so quickly.  What exactly are we running to?

I’m going back to being a kid and I suggest if you have children, teach children or care about children, you should tap into that energy too.

Childhood is too precious to ignore.  If it’s true that ‘there is always one moment in childhood that opens the door and let’s the future in,’ then let’s give the future some hope…

Teach children to believe in themselves, speak their truth, and above all BE.

 

The Reflection I See

This past week was truly an amazing week…  I had the distinct privilege of empowering 35 young ladies (ages 7-9), presented a Live Online Hay House Event on the 7 Essentials to Creating Strong Foundations for Children & Adults, and had the opportunity to look in the mirror, at myself, in a very different way!

Every year, I run a few camps in the summer with my good friend and colleague, Stephanie Liberty, to empower children to believe in themselves, speak their truth and be their absolute best.  We started our camps about 4 years ago because we were both teaching 2nd grade and had a ‘difficult’ class.  Our classes had more boys than girls, several children that needed our extra attention to help with behaviors, and very shy, introverted girls.  Towards the end of the year, Steph and I looked at each other during a conversation about our classes and we got that bright light idea look on our faces.  We both felt that our  ‘quiet girls’ may have been cheated during the year and we wanted to find a way to give them a little extra attention, so GIRLS RULE Camp was born!  The first year, we kept it simple.  We had about 10 girls in the group and we ran the camp at Stephanie’s house.  We did crafts, yoga, meditation, danced till we dropped, and produced our own skit/performance for the parents.  Our intent was simply to give the girls a little extra attention and let them know that they in fact, were very important to us.  What came out of that week was oh so much more…

Stephanie is one of those amazing people who always smiles and says in any crisis situation, “Its okay, we can work this out.”  She’s got a light inside that glows even when she sleeps!  Steph loves crafts and she can choreograph a group of girls to perform like they’ve danced for years like nobody’s business!  I, on the other hand, am a very non-conventional teacher, who believes that it’s critically important to teach kids 7 Essentials to build a strong foundation in life (Sign up for my email list to receive the 7 Essentials in a bookmark).  We both LOVE kids and are feisty when it comes to doing what’s right for them, so when you put us together…FIREWORKS!

There’s nothing more powerful, than watching a child learn to love themselves, speak their truth and believe in their overall power!

Each year, a beautiful theme organically arises as we begin the camp.  This year, it became apparent very early on, that our theme for this year was, I Am Important!  On Monday, the girls and I had a discussion on feeling invisible.  One little girl said, “Mrs. Savini, you’re telling us to feel our feelings, but sometime’s adults tell us we don’t have those feelings!”  I probed her a bit more, and she revealed something that we should all stop and listen to for a moment…

Well, sometimes, I am sad or upset about something, and when I tell a grown up, they say, Oh, you’re alright, but I’m really not alright in that moment.”  The room fell silent as all of the girls shook their heads in agreement.  I suddenly flashed back to my own childhood when I heard those very same words.  Sad to say, I’ve said those words to kids a few times, but I can guarantee you, that I will think twice the next time those words come to mind.  I then gave the girls a tool for their ‘toolbox’ (an imaginary toolbox we create to help us through life)… The ‘That’s NOT True Tool.’  We decided that when someone else tries to tell us what we are feeling, instead of pushing that feeling down deeper, we would say that’s not true and then use an ‘I Statement’ to tell how we really feel.  For instance; let’s say that the little girl who brought this to our attention were to tell an adult that she was sad, and adult said, “Oh, you’re alright. Don’t be so dramatic.”  She would respond with, “That’s NOT true!  I feel sad when you tell me how I feel, because I know what I feel inside, and what I really need, is for you to NOT tell me how I feel.”  Whoa…EMPOWERING!  That was only one segment…believe me, you have no idea how much inspiration occurred in the last week! It gets better…

As I stated, the girls create a skit/dance performance for their parents every year that illustrates the lessons that we learned during the week.  Stephanie and I allow the girls to choose an empowering song each year (with a little guidance), and this year the song they chose was, “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful,” by One Direction.  As Steph was choreographing throughout the week in front of the mirrors (we were at a dance center), I kept having this vision.  All I could see was the girls, walking toward the mirror and talking to themselves as they recited the words, “Baby you light up my world like nobody else…you don’t know you’re beautiful.”  I couldn’t get it out of my head, so I asked Steph to put it in.  Sure enough, as I was videotaping the dance and the girls walked towards the mirror saying those words, the tears ran down my face (and several other moms too), because…

I wished someone had taught me to love myself when I was little.

Sure, I got a lot of praise.  I won tons of art contests, singing competitions, and even pageants.  I was noticed, for the things I did, but I never really learned to LOVE myself for just me, without seeking approval, praise, and acceptance from others.  I realized that on Tuesday evening after finishing the LIVE event with Hay House.  I thought I would feel totally exhilarated, but I didn’t.  Instead, I felt let down.  I felt sad.  I couldn’t hear the clapping noises in the audience.  I didn’t receive immediate feedback from others, and then suddenly I realized that I too needed to dance that dance that we taught our girls to dance in the week!

When you look at your reflection, what do you see?  Do you see your flaws?  Do you see what others tell you they see? OR, do you see YOU?  This week shifted my perspective in a way that I cannot explain…

Love yourself…no, I mean really LOVE yourself.  Not, love yourself when others tell you that it’s okay to do so.  I mean love yourself, even when you don’t feel like you’re at your best.  Just LOVE YOU, totally and unconditionally!

With Love,

Vicki

You ARE Important

Don’t you just love hearing the words, “You are important?” Take a moment to say them out loud…

I AM Important

It’s like the sweet taste of nectar for a bee…it’s heaven for a human being here on Earth…

I am important is by far, the most empowering phrase a child can hear, know, feel and believe.

This week (and many weeks this summer), I am running a camp to build self-esteem in young children with my partner, Stephanie Liberty.  We strive to teach kids to believe in themselves, speak their truth, and understand that we are all connected.  Each year, we learn something new by running these camps and we hear that kids and parents love our camps too! (We LOVE that)

Every year, a theme seems to naturally arise… The running theme this week is,

You are important.”  

A few days ago, we were talking with the girls about feelings and the importance of feeling your feelings, one child said, “Sometimes, adults tell us we don’t feel what we feel though.”  Ouch!  Just hearing those words made me cringe.  When was the last time your child, or a child you care for said, “I’m scared or I feel sad…” and you responded with, “Oh, you’re alright.

The truth is, we often do unintentionally ignore their pleas to share their feelings.  Especially, if we are busy in that moment when they are desperately trying to tell us their very important story…

 How many times have we told our children, “Just a minute hun, I just need to finish this up,” and then before you know it, an hour has passed.  How often, as teachers, have we had children come up to us in the morning or after lunch (or any random time of day) and start to share a story they just can’t keep in?  Several, for me.  If I think back far enough, I can remember this happening to me as a kid too!  It’s hard to remember the actual incidence or what I was talking about at those moments, but I can remember the pain of feeling invisible or unimportant like it’s happening right now in this moment, and I bet you can too.

Now, I know we certainly cannot always stop everything that we are doing and listen to EVERY story that our kids have to share, but maybe we could inventory how often we are stopping and looking right at them and totally focusing on them while they share what is important to them?

Likely, not enough.  I am guilty of this myself.  However, running this camp this week has truly opened my eyes.  Maybe, we can make a little pledge to each other, that we will…

Never again tell a child that their feelings are not real.  

Never again will we say, “Oh you’re fine.”  Instead, we will take a moment to ask them about their feelings and help them to deal with those feelings in a healthy way so they know just how important they are.

Today, while teaching the girls how to use an “I Statement” to discuss their feelings, it became apparent to me that when children feel unheard, they not only feel invisible, but they feel totally unimportant, and that makes me sad to even write.

This has made me take a step back and analyze my interactions with my students, my son, and come to think of it, every one I come in contact with!

No-one likes to feel invisible.  No-one deserves to be over looked.  We don’t necessarily set out to do this, but when we get caught up in ‘doing‘ too much, we lose sight of who we ‘are‘ (Hint: we are Human Beings, not human doings).

Take a moment now to close your eyes and imagine how good it feels when you feel seen and heard.  How amazing it is to feel important.  Then, when you open your eyes, open your eyes to a new perspective and make it your goal to make every person you come in contact with, just for today, feel important, especially your kids!

Ya never know…you just might like it so much that you keep this practice up daily.

By the way, thanks for reading this…

You ARE important to me!

Lots of Love,

Vicki

Check out my upcoming classes on the 7 Essentials for Creating Strong Foundations in Children & Adults