With stress in the air, some schools and universities recently cancelled classes, urging a day of self-care, or as Jesuit schools refer to it, cura personalis. This Latin phrase means “care for the whole person,” urging educators in that tradition to nurture students’ minds, bodies, and spirits.
How do you care for your whole person or the whole person of your children? Both physical and mental health need nourishment. These days, in-person disconnection accompanied by, perhaps, virtual overconnection, leaves care for the whole person a quandary. Our Paratus community has often spoken of a ready mind (you can access free ready mind printables here) that highlights the ingredients to help support our overall readiness.
So how do we discover the supports needed to help the children in our care feel ready for life’s next challenge or adventure? That’s why I brought the Be Ready Explorers forward, into homes and classrooms where they can inspire creativity and exploration and moments of togetherness between adults and children. The Be Ready Explorers can’t solve all problems children face, but they can help children be ready to confront challenges with emotional resilience.
How are you supporting yourself toward readiness for the adventures of each wild day?
Perhaps you feel like classic children’s literature character Max did after confronting the Wild Things: “And Max, the king of all wild things, was lonely and wanted to be where someone loved him best of all.”
Like Max, perhaps you long for care and a warm supper after an exhausting day. Many parents and educators, when thinking of cura personalis for themselves, may be tempted to laugh at the seeming absurdity of the proposition. How can we care for the whole person of ourselves amongst so many demands? How can we support our readiness for the “new normal”?
I hear a lot about the “new normal” and can appreciate the idea of accepting that our days have changed and it’s important for us to adapt accordingly. However, it’s also confusing to the mind as it suggests the “new normal” is a landing spot or destination that we can adapt to over time with just a few changes. The “new normal” is more of a moving target that requires ongoing resets and adjustments. And that is simply exhausting.
Parents, grandparents, and educators are working harder than ever to educate and support kids in a trying situation. It’s the unrelenting nature of the work that paradoxically demands you BRAKE for care. Whether that care involves time with hot tea and a journal, a hike in cool fall air, or a conversation with a friend, it adds drops of nourishing fuel to a tank that may feel on empty. And some days our active daily adjusting may look more like a whole lotta nothing. Sometimes we just need to eat some chocolate and stare out the window. Some moments might be to feel your feelings and other moments you might avoid them altogether. Give time for time to do (or not to do) whatever you need to feel and be ready.
Thank you for being here!