This is a practice I developed a couple of years ago. At first it was just a bit of fun, designed to see how far I could go with it. However, I quickly realised that this exercise could help me to confront all my fears about uncertainty in a relatively safe environment. It challenged me to literally step into the unknown. Even though I knew that I was safe doing so, the exercise brought up my fears very quickly and I was able to confront and soften into them.
The great thing about this exercise is that even though it’s safe enough, it will still challenge you very, very quickly. It will bring up all your fear about stepping blindly into an unknown situation, but without any major consequences for your life. It also provides a very effective way to deal with the fears that arise, so that when you do need to step into the unknown down the line, you are already hard-wired to be able to cope with it.
The other great thing about this practice is that it is so simple and so flexible that it is possible for everyone to do. It can be done alone, in pairs, or in groups. I do it mostly alone, but it can be very powerful in a pair too, especially as an extra safety net. It can be planned or spontaneous, for example when out for a walk in the countryside.
So here it is:
This exercise, when done fairly frequently, will give you a great tool for dealing with any situation which brings up fear of the unknown. Feel free to go at your own pace. You don’t need to complete all 9 steps each time. Feel free to make your own alterations to the exercise. Be creative, and have fun with it.
One of the hardest things in literature, and especially children's literature, is to portray death in a way that invites a less fearful or condemning attitude towards this phenomenon.
There are a few children's book that have sought to introduce children to death. How to breach such a sensitive subject to minds who are innocent and not yet understanding of the impermanence of life? It's tricky for sure.
However, I would say that 'Cry, Heart, But Never Break' has managed this in a magnificent way. While portraying the character, death as gentle and understanding it also does not shy away from the realities of death. This is especially great for kids who have or are experiencing the death of a loved one and don't know what to make of it.
Written by Glenn Ringtved and illustrated by Charlotte Pardi, the book is a masterpiece, and highly recommended for parents who have grieving children or who simply want to teach children about this delicate subject in a gentle and sensitive way.
One of the things I especially love about the book is the emphasis that death is needed and that it makes life all the richer.
For more information and another great review of this book, check out Cry Heart But Never Break: A remarkable meditation on loss and life.
My name is Richard. I love to write, and here you can find my general musings, observations and articles. Enjoy!
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