Where is your quiet, happy place?
“To exist and mix with our fellow men we must sometimes retire into solitude and acquire strength; only then do we look with love on the creatures who are our fellows.”
This quote seems particularly relevant this week. Sadly, children are not immune from the “stressure” of these trying times. In fact they are like little sponges, absorbing emotions from those around them. Thankfully however, they are remarkably resilient as well.
Where is your quiet, happy place? When asked to identify a place where they feel happy, peaceful, safe and loved, children are quick to describe it in great detail. Above are just a few of the hundreds of responses I have amassed from children between the ages of 4-7. If physical or social distancing prevents you from actually accompanying them to that special spot, simply recalling it in as much detail as possible is a wonderful way to restore equilibrium. Draw a picture or simply close your eyes and time travel together! Invite them to discuss the wonderful, warm feelings they associate with their special sanctuary. By rekindling those memories and emotions they’ll enjoy an almost instant sense of relief and peace… and you will too!
A few of my favorite children’s books on the subject include:
Leaf, Munro (1936). Ferdinand, Puffin Books, The Penguin Group, New York, NY.
He liked to sit just quietly and smell the flowers.
He had a favorite spot out in the pasture under a cork tree.
This timeless classic features a wise bull with extraordinary self-confidence and self-awareness. His connection to his own quiet, happy place in nature keeps him truly connected to his essential self!
MacLachlan, Patricia (1994). All the Places to Love, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, NY.
“What I saw first were all the places to love: The valley,
The river falling down over rocks, The hilltop where the blueberries grew.”
This beautifully illustrated story introduces children to the wonder and beauty of nature and place. Eli enjoys discovering his parents’ and grandparents’ “quiet, happy places” and identifies his own, on a bucolic farm.
Marcero, Deborah (2018). My Heart is a Compass, Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY.
“Her imagination became a blueprint, with her heart as a compass.”
Rose’s heart leads her on a quest to discover “something that had never been found” … and she discovers something very important about her own nature: She is an explorer, a pioneer and a trailblazer in her own right!