The word religion comes from the latin religare, meaning to reconnect, to reunite. But reuniting to what? To a kind of inner quietness which is at peace with itself, to a dimension of calmness and to a feeling of happiness, which we do experience spontaneously from time to time, and that’s the same calmness that gives space to healing and energizes the being.
At Inspiring Reads for Kids we do believe that we all have the ability to re-connect to this kind of peace that allows us to feel our inner guide.
When we truly act from that space of connectedness and with true self acceptance, we surprisingly discover that somehow we know what to say, what to do, where to be and so on. Some people will call this inner guiding peace God, and some won’t. In any case, with or without the G-o-d word, this internal peace is where all the paths of self development are trying to lead us, be them spiritual or religious or conventional, eastern or western.
In fact, both the religious paths and the psychological-therapeutic ones mean to lead us towards a state of inner harmony within ourselves, and help us break free from the conditioning of unhealthy thinking patterns.
This is what Jesus meant when he said that we have to become like children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. He didn’t mean that we have to regress to being naive and to reject general knowledge and embrace ignorance. Rather, he meant to come back to a more primordial clean state of mind with less worries and judgmental thoughts. The more the mind is clean from repetitive-automatic thinking, the closer it will be to the Kingdom, meaning to true genuine happiness.
Very similarly, in Buddhism, (to look at a path which is not a religion and which doesn’t have a formal God) the Buddha simply said that a calm mind is a happy mind. It is known that mindfulness originated from Buddhist meditation methods and nowadays its practice has started to be applied even in some primary schools. This was thanks to evidence which demonstrated that the practice of meditation leads to a decrease in violence, an increase in concentration, and even an improvement in test scores.
In the self-development path outlined by modern Psychology, we thoroughly analyze our pasts. Long, assisted, in-depth conversations are the tool used to free ourselves from negative beliefs that have rooted in our psyche and fuel the thinking patterns which prevent us from moving on.
So, in the first path the practice is through prayer, in the second one through meditation, and the third is through conversations deeply investigating the content of our subconscious mind from where our thoughts and behaviors operate.
Children too can awaken to the experience of inner peace and self acceptance, and we believe that we can help them connect to it through stories with positive and soothing messages.
These days, young ones are very concerned with questions such as ‘’How do I look’’; ‘’What do they think about me’’; ‘’What will they say if I do this or that?’’ They experience a lot of social pressure, peer comparison, and they fall pray to false expectations promoted by commercials. No wonder why many of them can feel lost and confused.
At the same time though, we may be surprised to see how well they already understand what’s good for them, if only we show them how to slow down, breath calmly, and listen to themselves.
Just like for us in order to reach that, it’s necessary to calm the negative voices of the mind a bit and encourage positive thinking.
While for adults this is possible through disciplines such as those mentioned above, for children it’s also possible by exposing them to encouraging positive content, and this is exactly what we are creating at Inspiring Reads for Kids.
Childhood is the time in our life in which the mind is shaped in a very substantial way. Many of our conscious and unconscious perceptions of the world are based on our childhood experiences.
For families interested in reading a different illustrated audiobook of ours for their kids every month, we are now offering a no-commitment monthly subscription. Besides being able to watch & read our inspiring illustrated audiobook with music, your child will also receive a monthly mindful gift, and you’ll get an article on a relevant topic as well.
Therefore the kind of thoughts and beliefs which we cultivate in our youth are very important. That’s why childhood is the best time to expose them to and fill their world with positive content which will positively influence the way they see the world.
By nature the automatic voices in our minds are focused on diminishing our sense of self-worth by comparing us to the outside world. When we learn to calm them down, we will be amazed to find how much energy we were wasting! We can direct that precious energy inwards to discover by ourselves who we want to be and what we need, thus learning how to live in peace with ourselves and the environment.
There is a big difference between a child who feels like ‘’If I am not as good as others, I won't make it’’ and a child that can say ‘’I know I’m good the way I am, and I take inspiration from others to improve and surpass myself’’.
The first child is busy comparing herself to the outside, while the second one is speaking from a solid ground which is sustaining her from within. One is fearful and will find it hard to express herself, while the second one has learned to experience inner peace and therefore external circumstances will influence her less.
That inner ease is the kind of peace I mentioned above. It’s a healing peace and when the child learns how to connect to it, she’s more ready to bring her light to the world.
So, we are not religious in any formal way. Though, grounded in many years of practice, we do believe in religare, this coming back to our inner therapeutic peace which is the base for self-confidence and self-love.
From my experience, everyone can feel it no matter the age. It already exists in us and sometimes we just need a small ‘’push’ to awaken to it. Our illustrated children tales are meant to help parents and kids in this process.
Thank you for stopping by, in Religare,
Ori and the team