That’s an expression I have heard to instill self-esteem and self-worth among young kids.
When babies are born, everyone gazes at them in wonder. People are enthralled with the slightest action from the little ones. Cooing. Gurgling. Smiling. Wiggling. Even burping is deemed adorable.
“How precious” is a common remark, as are “Oh...so beautiful” and “Just darling.”
Somewhere along the way, the layers of positive praise and adoration dwindle. The negatives creep into the cuteness. Remember “Denise the Menace?” Labels like “problem child,” “learning disabilities,” “ADHD” or “on the spectrum” define and separate our children. It may be well-meaning, but kids sense they are being distanced from the total perfection that they were — and still are. No wonder our society is troubled with a lack of self-esteem, self-worth, and unconditional self-love.
School teachers, kids, siblings, parents, family members, neighbors, and friends of families seem to forget that all lives are perfect and precious. All children are worthy of admiration and applause.
A child’s first frequently blurted word is often “no!” Unfortunately, that’s the most common word for a baby to hear. Granted, parents usually say it to protect the child from dangers. But the caution builds up inside.
No. The negatives. The admonishing. The warning. The criticizing. The comparing. The underlying two letters symbolize “you are something not perfect, not utterly beautiful, not mega-talented, not a genius, not helpful enough, not all-knowing.
Children are sensitive. They absorb, repeat, and believe what they hear. According to Dr. Rick Hanson, author of “Hardwiring Happiness,” the negatives stick with us like Velcro. On the other hand, the positives slide off like Teflon. (Watch my IGTV and FB Live Virtual Book Club chats about Dr. Hanson’s book.)
It’s all too common for children to think they’re the only ones with the brick walls built around them full of huge blocks that shout out "NO! Forget about it. You can’t. Not for you." Fear rises and permeates and stays with them through adulthood. I have repeatedly seen, in myself and my clients, that most of us still have so many layers of fear we need to shake off.
Think about it. In a classroom or a family, the child internalizes all the negativity. How many times have you heard the remarks, “she’s the teacher’s pet,” or “my baby brother was the favorite.” It’s assumed that others don’t have those same roadblocks of unending “No. No. No.” Others get the green light to pursue whatever they want.
Comparison. Too often, kids (and adults) don’t view everyone as equal. How many kids view themselves as a superstar? Aside from in their dreams. In real life, they compare themselves to others. Grammy artists. NBA stars. Role models appear perfect on a TV or movie screen. Not even realistic comparisons. Plus, they don't realize that even the stars questioned their worth, and had to repeatedly jump over unbelievable roadblocks, or blast them away.
Regina Louise, in her third and latest book, “Permission Granted” shares stories about her unfathomable life that was made into a Lifetime movie. As the reader, her amazing talent, intelligence, creativity, and wherewithal, are crystal clear. Yet, it took her most of her life to overcome those barriers from childhood.
Her first two titles were memoirs. “Permission Granted: Kick-Ass Strategies to Bootstrap Your Way to Unconditional Self-Love” is a self-help book. The sub-title makes it clear this work is all about learning to tell yourself, “I Am Something.”
For several years, I’ve offered First Love Yourself workshops. My next iteration of them will incorporate some of the tips and exercises from Regina Louise’s book. If you’re one of my YouTube subscribers and Instagram followers, I’ll extend a BOGO through November 30. Buy my FLY workshop and bring a friend, free. In-person at www.TheNamasteGetaway.com, or via Zoom.
I confess. These therapeutic workshops are my favorites. In 2019, I offered these fee-based special treats at The Namaste Getaway and at local yoga studios. In 2020, I began offering virtual workshops designed to stimulate self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love.
Each session includes restorative heart-opening poses, poetry reading, guided meditation, and introspective exercises.
Contact Deborah to schedule your BOGO, or inquire about other workshops or private sessions. Most all options are available in-person, or via Zoom. Reminder: I am a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT) trained in many holistic modalities. I am not a licensed psychotherapist.