Sometimes it’s the little things in life that keep us going. An act of kindness from a stranger, an unexpected phone call from a loved one or friend, or a note that surprises you. The photo you see above is a note a teenage girl left on my computer after a workshop I did at the STARS national leadership conference in Denver; a sign that gives just a little push to keep going with The Imagine Project.
As I go into classrooms, do workshops at conferences, or speak at schools, I continue to be amazed at the depth of the stories I hear. Even the second graders have stories that make you sit back, feel compassion for the reader, and realize how challenging life can be. At the same time, their resilience is remarkable.
Kids walk through life carrying heavy loads that are a result of something going on at home, at school, or even with their health. They keep going in spite of their challenging stories. You’d be surprised as to how many kids and teens are carry a story in their heart that holds them back. In the Imagine Process they write and then read their stories. As they read, they sometimes cry and then take a deep breath—and keep going.
They also listen to the other kids stories as they read them. It’s human nature to look at another person’s difficult situation and somehow feel better about yourself. I remember when I worked as a NICU nurse caring for very sick babies in the hospital. A mom sitting next to the bedside of her very sick infant and would look around and see another baby who appeared sicker, somehow she felt better, grateful her baby was not as sick at the others. That’s how these kids feel listening to the stories of the other kids around them, as if they are okay because they are just dealing with “their” story.
The Imagine Project process is a fascinating dynamic of healing by simply writing your story using the word Imagine. The kids love it and they are very anxious to read them aloud, even the middle and high school kids—something I didn’t expect. Watching their healing, and reading notes like the one above makes me smile and know we are on the right track.
If you want more information about The Imagine Project and would like to bring it into your school or organization, please contact me at Dianne@theimagineproject.com