My co-teacher wrote a post about my work with our children that demonstrates how we practice moving through the gifts of the seasons to turn upset into joy. This work of changing the stories we tell is powerful and the children make it look easy. I offer her words to you here in hopes of explaining some of the work we are doing together.
While playing, Professor Worm feels powerful with sticks that he calls bombs.
By hiding behind grown ups’ legs, Lightning shows us that she feels fearful that Professor Worm intends to explode Everything. Power and fear are both winter traits.
Katie steps in with a plan (spring) to recreate the story. The new story leads everyone into laughter and the joy of summer. The sticks could now explode bubbles, which still allows Professor Worm to feel the power in the story, and it is reframed in a way that allows less fear and more joy for others.
This is a brilliant example of Katie leading the children through the gifts offered by the cycle of the seasons. In this way, she helps them both feel comfortable, without taking away what they needed in the moment (power AND safety). She brings them into partnership by partnering them both during the conflict.
Katie’s plan was to ‘tell another story’, which is a technique from her Masters work in Transformative Leadership and Social Change. Creating many stories that retell an upset moment in many different ways can help us let go of being stuck in upset.
Adults can practice this skill with amazing results. So can children.