Appreciation is the smallest, easiest step to lay a foundation for great peacework. From the family level up to international relations. “The one thousand miles journey starts with the first step” says the well known Chinese proverb. One appreciation circle every day goes a long way to establish a foundation of harmony in any family, developing emotional intelligence, a vocabulary for emotions and needs in a safe space to express, share and be seen.
“Queen Rain Kind Wind: The Practice of Heart Gardening” – a children’s book for people of all ages – brings appreciation as harmony building practice at family level. A felt art illustrated story about elves that take an appreciation game up to King Wind and Queen Rain.
An appreciation song accompanies the story to inspire daily practice. That is all it can take. A daily dose of appreciation to bring magic over any situation.
My senior editor said this story is for “enlightened parents” and I got worried. Another children’s author called it “esoteric” for mainstream American children’s books. Well, the intention was not to niche down only to people who are already into alternative practices from mindfulness to meditation, to alternative education or nonviolent communication. What family cannot use a little bit of perspective when dealing with emotional issues? And what is enlightenment anyway? Awakening to see the reality is not an easy to do thing. We could all use a bit of family and community support to awaken to a joyful life that is right here, every moment. Also re-awaken once fallen back to sleep.
“What do you have to do to reach Enlightenment?” asks the disciple.
“Three things”, answers the master. “Practice, practice, practice” (Zen parable)
Here’s a story to inspire a small practice for a great outcome. Daily. Heart Gardening season all year round. Queen Rain and King Wind are working together for the benefit of all beings.
“Queen Rain Kind Wind: The Practice of Heart Gardening“ – See description and editorial reviews here.
Sign up for the free appreciation song accompanying this story here.