A Window Into Our Hearts

Today I'm grateful. And a little tense.
Probably because school was closed today due to
Tropical Storm Imelda and because
it has only been two years since a big storm
we know as Hurricane Harvey hit Houston hard.

The gratitude is because so far we aren't anywhere close to this.
But John's words as we were falling asleep last night echo:
It sounds eerily similar to how it sounded during Harvey.

So I'm grateful that we're safe and that, for now, 
the rain has stopped. And that we escaped flooding.

My empathy for our Harvey flood victims really elevated
this spring, when that pipe in our attic leaked
and made a big mess, in just two of our rooms.
Try as I might, though, I just couldn't quite know what
a whole house of that flooding must have been like.
And even though we helped clean out countless homes,
I never could feel exactly what they were feeling.
Still, I could only imagine ... 😳

Because, I'm told, switching places with someone else 
is technically not really possible.
But it's so incredibly powerful to try.

Empathy is, after all, a window into someone else's heart.

Feeling what they're feeling.
Wondering what they want.
Imagining what they need.

But not trying to fix. 
Just being there.
To support.
To encourage.
To love.

So that they know they're not alone.
To ease their anxiety.
To help move them from me to we.

So today, some empathy resources
that I think might resonate.

First is one that I helped with peripherally; click {here} for empathy book suggestions and instructions for these partner poses.

Click {here} for some creative icebreakers to build empathy.
And grab some ideas for empathic words/phrases {here}.

Oh, and this new book that combines empathy with mindfulness 
to pack a powerful me-to-we punch!
I'm so grateful to RP Kids for sending me a sneak peek of
Sloth To The Rescue by Leanne Shirtliffe.

I had the pleasure of reading this super-sloth October 15th release 
to Mrs. Hayes' second-grade superheroes via Skype yesterday
and meeting them sent my heart soaring.

We started with a song and then a question: 
Can a sloth even be a superhero?

Ethan thought that no, a sloth would be way too slow
to actually ever come to anybody's rescue.
Gwen, on the other hand, thought that yes, a sloth
could be a superhero because it would know that
you have to bring slow and calm to an emergency.


Gwen was on to something, because the sloth
in this story does know the power of Mindful Breathing and
intentionally pauses periodically to take Belly Breaths.

In this sloth saga, Patti, who visits Sloth at the Rainforest Rescue Center during the summer, {Sloth loves everything about Patti's visits.} is content to just sit and draw in her notebook. {His favorite everything is how Patti isn't is a rush to see the big, loud animals.} Sloth notices that when she heads back to school, Patti accidentally leaves her notebook behind. Knowing his limitations, {... she'll be in the eighth grade by the time he arrives.} however, he recruits the help of some sidekicks to come to the rescue with him.

Meet Peccary, Capuchin, Boa, and Ocelot
and journey with them to school to find Patti 
and to return her notebook to her.

It was so much fun to read this treasure,
especially Sloth's slow, rhythmic speech.
The students waited so patiently for me to read
each. and. every. sloth. syllable.
Until they couldn't stand it any more
and started reading it with me.
And then a little bit faster for me.
So stinkin' adorable!

Compare and contrast it with Sloth At The Zoom.

Do some Belly Breathing together to help remember to use the power of our breath to calm. Sing along with Elmo to practice.

Finally, use Sloth's story to talk about empathy, 
the glorious virtue that gives Sloth a window into Patti's heart.

*How does Sloth use empathy to come to the rescue?
*How does empathy help him as he gives his friends
certain areas of the school to search for Patti?
{The Animal Facts about each of these sidekick friends will help answer this question.}
*How does empathy (re)connect Sloth and Patti?

Check out this book for all the feels; I predict that it's a pick
 your sloth-lovers will want to read over and over
and ever-so-slowly again and again and again.

No comments

I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!