This week heARTful Kids stepped back into the classroom for the 9th year of running our signature program, Elements of heART, for K-5th grade students in schools and after school programs. (Add that to the classroom consulting, therapeutic play groups, and various other educational experiences I've had... that's over 13 years of service and deep growth! I'm stunned by how quickly it's flashed by.)
As we greeted our young heARTists with excitement, we also welcomed two new Creative Counselors to the team. They are in training for the next few weeks to learn how to bring our blended curriculum to life in their own unique ways. Both have tremendous experience with facilitating kids and creative practice. I couldn't be more excited for our growing team.
It's wild to think that this program was just a collection of ideas, hopes, and hard earned lessons only a handful of years ago. I've worked on it fanatically and depending on the day I'm either proud or humbled to say: it's my life's work.
At least so far.
While I know that our programs and services are making a significant impact on the lives of kids and educators, it can also be way too easy to focus on the wrong things as we grow. It's easy to focus on how far there is to go instead of how far we've come in sharing this mission and vision on my heart. It's easy to dwell on the mis-steps, the gaps, and the fear of not getting this program into more little (and big) hands...
But, when I can stay focused on the values that I unearthed in the pursuit of creating it... when I can connect with and rally other like-hearted individuals and organizations to partner in our mission, which I now see as a larger revolution in education... when I see the awe and triumph in the eyes of those young souls just starting their journey... it brings me back to what matters:
You see it's easy to believe that mindset it all about how we think and obviously, that's a significant part of it. But, navigating the spectrum between growth and fixed thinking also has so much to do with our hearts, our emotions, our inner truths, and our spiritual selves. This is why so much of our program emphasizes mindset and character.
Most days I can remember that I don't have to know each and every step behind the vision to know that the journey matters. When I can take my eyes off of the what if's, oh no's, and uh oh's of entrepreneurship and stand strongly in the knowing of who I have become in the process of building something from nothing; of sharing a road map and tools for navigating the inevitable bumps and bruises of life...I'm brought back to the heART of the matter.
Even on the tough days when all I see is a proverbial cha-cha or that we're merely inching forward on the larger mission, the right mindset and heART centered action unlocks the knowing that serving kids, families, and educators is a no-brainer and a win-win for humanity.