This above all; to thine own self be true.
For me one of the most integral portions of The Culture Connection’s programs are the moral lessons our puppet Madame Annabelle Affirmation teaches during the sessions of our art workshop. The emphasis on interpersonal development and soulful messages she conveys each week are invaluable to the well-being of adults and children alike, especially in the world we live in today.
Guiding children about how they feel about themselves are dialogues that are not only worth having but necessary. The hurried pace that we all often commence upon in our waking hours and the hectic schedules adults often must exist in leaves little room for soul searching or as I like to think of self-awareness.
Puppet Annabelle focuses on cultivating in your children ideas such as: they are little creators, they are capable, they are special, they must believe in themselves, to stay true to who they essentially are, they are valuable, they are worthy, and they should respect others and never judge another for being who they are.
To me the most valuable lesson of all is to stay true to yourself and have a deep guttural knowing that not only are you exactly where you are supposed to be at the moment but that no matter what anyone tells you, you are perfect just as you are. When this mindset is in place, the rest will follow.
I have learned this through many years of not staying true to myself and have come to steadfastly know that this mentality of self-love although I believe is innate and dwells within in us from birth, is also like a muscle and must over time be developed. The earlier we start exercising this belief system the more grounded in ourselves and in our futures we shall be.
I have had firsthand experience with this on numerous occasions; staying true to myself, believing in myself. There were undertakings I intuitively knew I had to experience and different directions I took on my life path that I knew with everything in me I needed to take to be become all I could be and should be. Of course most times you think outside the box or make changes in your life you are met with resistance….. But when you delve into those very things that make you different from others, special and unique, you are building that muscle called self.
A couple of years ago, I embarked on a journey that most people thought to be frivolous, unnecessary and somewhat strange to do at my age. Most people at fifty are settled in and dreaming of the retirement phase of their lives. I went organic farming up in rural New England for several months with my dog. I am not a farmer, have been raised on Long Island and like to consider myself somewhat cultured and sophisticated (lol), but there was something inside of me tugging at my heartstrings telling me I needed this experience. So I went. Regardless of what others thought of my decision, I stayed true to myself. I believed with everything in me, this was the right thing to do and it was.
I came back changed, more aware, stronger, closer to my true essence and ready for the next challenge that was to be placed in front of me. I did not know at the time that it would be The Culture Connection but it is with full certainty that I can say that I bet The Universe knew………….