During the Earth Art activity at camp, teacher and artist Janet Essley, shared an original story with the campers. The story was the basis for the Story Sticks made by the campers. We will be sharing sections of the story, along with photos of the making of the sticks.
A great story that will be told a long time from now, by your great grandchildren.
They will say-
It is said that in ancient times, all the plants, animals and people and even mountains, clouds, stars and rivers could talk to one another. This is the story of the Great Remembrance Times.
A long time ago, when my great grandmother was very young, it was a period of great change. There were many changes happening very fast. The air, the oceans, the whole climate was changing. The air was so gray that Mountain could not even see his feet. He was angry, he did not like this change. So he rumbled. Loudly. The other animals had to be careful. Pika came out from his burrow. Mountain Goat leaped to her feet, ready to run. Pika and Mountain Goat were very worried about Mountain. White Bark Pine heard them talking. The four-legged and one-leggeds of Mountain’s country gathered and a plan began to form...
CGPV believes that a child (or adult for that matter) who knows how to slow down, tune in and begin creating peace within is going to be a much more effective co-creator of peace at home, at school, with friends and ultimately in the wider world.
With that in mind, last August our Peace Heroes core class taught campers simple, powerful tools for cultivating that inner connection. I’ll be sharing a few of them with you via the Peace Village Newsletter. All of the tools we shared were easy, fast and if practiced regularly guaranteed to increase the peace quotient in your home.
The first tool is a Heart Coherence Meditation where we simply tune into the heart center and slow down and deepen the breath. This simple activity positively impacts brainwaves, the immune system, and emotional waves. We feel better when we’re in heart coherence. We feel less stress and anxiety. We slow things down and step aside from the mental and emotional spin that can send us off track.
Once children are ready for it (have gotten all their wiggles out) they love this practice. Life for many kids can be fast paced and full. That can be good some of the time but also overwhelming, and stressful. To allow for stillness and rest for a few moments within their inner landscape is a gift.
This kind of tuning in can provide clarity, and focus to decisions and projects and grounding and re-balancing when children are feeling fearful, nervous or worried. I highly recommend practicing this with and in front of your kids. Watching someone else take a moment to breathe reminds and inspires us to do the same. A child watching a parent taking time for themselves to get centered is powerful modeling.
Heart Coherence Meditation: Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the ground. Close your eyes and place one or both hands on your heart. Send your attention and gratitude to your heart. Take a deep breath in. Slowly exhale. Continue to breathe slowly and deeply. In your mind count up to 5 or 6 for each inhale and the same for each exhale. Continue for a few minutes or as long as you like.
Options: Choose a word for each inhale - something you want to receive (peace, love, clarity). Choose another word for each exhale - something you want to release (stress, fear, confusion). Choose a color that signifies peace, gratitude, or acceptance and imagine that color surrounding you and filling you during the meditation.
-- Karen Murphy
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