March 10, 2019
I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship. –Brené Brown
Caregiving, in any form, can be exhausting. Roughly 30% of the staff in early childhood programs across the U.S. leave each year. Low wages and inadequate benefits are big factors that contribute to caregivers leaving their positions, and these issues are front and center in policy conversations about childcare in this country. A biggie that many rating systems or policymakers don’t pay much attention to is whether or not caregivers feel valued, respected and have autonomy in their positions. Of course, we need to make a living wage. But what helps us remain joyful, ready to get up every day and greet the children with enthusiasm and energy is knowing the work we are doing is valued — and this goes for parents, caregivers and teachers.
LifeWays North America exists to support you, to help you find the resources you need to fill your cup and sustain your energy. If you haven’t checked out our website in awhile, we invite you to do so. We’ve got in-person trainings and workshops to rejuvenate you, online courses to inspire you, and a wealth of articles and archived newsletters to provide food for thought. If you are feeling tired, depleted, or just plain worn out, treat yourself to a course or training from LifeWays. Connect with others who share your values. We know the work you are doing is not easy, and we are so grateful that you do it. Thank you.
Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog editor
Do you love the convenience of energy bars, but not the heavily processed ingredients in most of them? Here’s a recipe from Wellness Mama that is coconut based, nut free, grain free, and a healthy alternative to sugary snacks. We shared this with the participants in our Living Arts Through the Seasons online course in January, and it got great reviews!
Finding Sleep in a Constantly Awake World
Sustaining your energy requires restful sleep. Rudolf Steiner had a lot to say about the necessity of sleep for our physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, but many of us find it challenging to go to sleep and stay asleep. LifeWays’ executive director, Cynthia Aldinger, wrote a great article about Finding Sleep in a Constantly Awake World, and you can read it here.
According to Dr. Steiner:
- “We work over our whole life as it transpires by day between our waking and sleeping.”
- “Whether we become stronger and more powerful in our soul, or perhaps have to reproach ourselves, we labor at all of our experiences so that they become lifefruit.”
- “… we learn lessons which we need for all the rest of our life here, and beyond death into the next incarnation.”
- “That is why sleep is a helpful image for death [sleep is sometimes thought of as the younger brother of death], because during sleep [as in death] we are also withdrawn from the arena in which our destiny waits for us.” (Click here to read more.)
The LifeWays Early Childhood Certificate Training in Connecticut
Do you need a boost in your parenting, teaching or caregiving?
Do you wish you had a deeper understanding of child development?
Do you long to connect with others who share your values?
Consider joining us in Connecticut for the LifeWays Early Childhood Certificate Training. This location is so unique, we are thrilled about it! You can stay on site, you can get there easily from anywhere in the country (simply fly into New York and take a train to Westport, CT), and pamper yourself with inspiring content, delicious healthy food, and good friends. Register by March 15th and save $225! If you’ve been wanting to take the LifeWays training, why wait?
The Root of Inner Wisdom
Feeling drained or depleted by all of the demands on you, but can’t figure out how to let go of any of the projects or expectations? Consider these words written by Thomas Merton, writer, theologian, mystic, poet, social activist, and scholar (1915-1968):
There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful. ―