In 2009 I wrote my first children’s book. I was at a workshop on spirituality and trauma and the speaker said something that really grabbed me. He said that people can become lost in chronic self-criticism and low self-esteem, and that this is usually due to the fact that they were told as children that if they didn’t perform a certain way (or behave a certain way, or achieve certain things) then they would have no value. When people’s value is attached to what they do, as opposed to who they are, they will inevitably feel that they can’t measure up, and their disappointment, frustration, and anger will turn inwards. The speaker explained that the voice that was missing in this type of person’s life, was the voice that said, “I see that there is a problem (such as bad grades) but before we address that problem I want you to know that I love you unconditionally, and I respect you unconditionally, because I see the preciousness of who you are.” I found this idea deeply moving. I realized that unconditional love is something we talk about but don’t really understand, and I wanted to help parents and children find ways to explore what it means to love each other unconditionally.
Soon after that I wrote You Are Absolutely Precious To Me, my first children’s book, which was shortly followed by a number of other books on similar subjects. Some of these books are still being worked on, and I get ideas for new ones all the time. I love the challenge of trying to put spiritual concepts into language and ideas that children can understand, so that they develop a basic understanding of what it means to be a human being – to have feelings, thoughts, hardships, joys, and moments of awe – and can grow up to embrace the complexity of existence, rather than push it away.
If you are a parent or caretaker and you feel that there’s a need for a particular kid of children’s book, let me know! I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.