"Lion I AM validates and assists children to experience emotions in a conscious manner -- essential to learning and gaining self-knowledge. Scientific research has demonstrated that even more than IQ, your emotional awareness and abilities to handle feelings will determine your success and happiness in all walks of life, including family relationships. Abracadabra and Yummy Me Feels So Good will help you and your child learn to be “Lions of Love,” to consciously choose and express effectively what you are feeling. Being watchful and strong like the Lion brings acceptance and maturity in the ever changing world of feelings. Then everyone can share this "feeling of magic” and joy with others."
Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D. N.Y. Times bestselling author
About Lion I Am
The author Lion I Am Dan lives on a beautiful island with lots of trees and animals. He likes quiet spaces in nature just like his animal friends. He enjoys talking to the turtles, dolphins and whales when they're around him.
Like the Lion he enjoys relaxing in nature and listening to the sounds of the birds and animals and that of the wind in the trees and bamboos. He especially loves walking along the beach by the ocean surf.
Lion I Am draws and writes and loves music.
One of his favorite things is swimming in the strong waves in the ocean.
He loves playing with children and animals. They help him laugh at all his passing
Me’s and his funny moods. The children and animals remind him to be grateful
for his life here on this beautiful Earth. On a good day he's like the relaxed
watchful lion who watches things from his resting place of Self love and wonder.
He loves to visit with teachers and children who read the Lion I Am books together and share their feelings
and playfulness together. The animals at Funny Bird Productions sometimes takes messages for Lion I Am but it takes forever since they all really enjoy playing around and relaxing. Some people call this "island time" Sometimes though grabbing a ripe banana off a nearby tree and smiling at a passerby can be the most important tasks for our day .
The mop top birds who sing "All there is is Love, Love is all there is. Love is all there is, All you need is Love" know what is important. They are very smart and happy birds.
From the "Feelings Jungle" for professionals, parents and adults:
Feelings and emotions are like waves in the ocean which constantly change. Children seem to navigate this ocean and let go of their feelings easier than adults. Since a lot of children's actions and feelings are spontaneous and "not thought out" they have a beautiful clarity and innocence to them.
Children can easily rest in a place of wonder and self love in that “feel good place” between passing emotional storms. We all remember this feel good place and we can practice making it our default home. "Yummy Me" is that place beyond words. It's the felt wonder, and gratitude of just being alive.
Adults and Parents wanting to be more aware about children’s feelings can help the child navigate the surges of energy in their little bodies by watching, waiting and giving more time before reacting to emotions. When children feel this a beautiful opportunity arises to interact together with the parents in playful and different ways. In learning to wait and not immediately react when dealing with emotions adults model behaviors which can useful to children as they learn how to express their own emotions cleanly.
Naming feelings and attaching judgements to them are ways adults try to control the natural ebb and tide of these energies. This strategy can be scary to a very sensitive child. When there is resistance to a feeling or it’s expression unconscious patterns develop so as not to deal with it. That’s like giving the keys to the car to the wild children playing hidden in our unconscious mind. It is through own unconsciousness that they stay alive. This happens through the energies of blame and shame which they feed on.
Children copy what they see and feel and they can be very confused about what they feel in the world around them regarding the avoidance of feelings and their coming out "sideways" or not cleanly. When we come from places of honesty and curiosity by acknowledging emotions and feelings this opens space for everyone. When we completely feel and acknowledge feelings there can be less chance that emotions will be used in manipulative ways by our unconscious little “me’s” or inner children.
Children are highly sensitive. They perceive energies very deeply. They are very conditioned by the people and the world around them. As a child, it is through their heart and nervous system that they feel the emotions, attitudes, thoughts values and unresolved energies of their parents and culture(s). Just because something is named doesn’t mean that it’s energy has been honored and allowed to move on in a more conscious way.
Children learn that their safety and potential for success lie in their being more like other people than themselves. Slowly, they are ‘conditioned’ to think, feel and act like the people and world around them. They begin to forget their own beautiful innocence, passion and unique nature. They can wrongly intuit that being how others expect them to be is the best way to receive Love and acknowledgment.
Children innocently align with parental and ancestral energies from the moment they are conceived. They align at a very deep level with what ‘the others’ are thinking and feeling and then they innocently and wrongly believe that is who they are or suppose to be. Many of us strongly identify with our feelings . This is what a child experiences when they are around us. This is how they start to build their "me” identity(s). As we grow up our unconscious inner chorus of little “me’s" repeat the messages of our childhood and sometimes let them try to run our life. Since they are voices (we unconsciously created) we believe will they will make us feel better and take away all the “owies” or “ouchies" The unconscious mind has it's own mysterious agenda.
Children do not have the capacity to feel the feelings of trauma in their nervous system, so they shut down, freeze, “leave their bodies”, etc in order to survive and cope. They make up rules and belief systems about themselves and life in order to protect themselves. These beliefs and self made rules control their lives until they are realized as the band aids they are. When the trauma is faced and felt a deep healing can take place at a safe time in their lives (because they weren't safe as a child)
These traumas remain unresolved and acted out over and over in the adult. This is what the child “picks “ up in their parents. Early trauma. Kids feel and because it is preverbal- they have no words for these feelings as adults do. Very young children feel the same feelings we do in a vibrational or "pre language" way. It is when we label these feelings as right or wrong that they become "sticky" and don't move through our system as freely as they do in children. We then unconsciously teach our children to hide from uncomfortable feelings and to judge themselves. Some inner voice said “it’s not OK to feel yucky feelings” and this feeling bad about one’s self becomes a coping tool. It steals our life force and authenticity. The inner critic is born and starts plundering our bank account of self love.
Children have so much energy because they haven’t yet developed so many pain coping strategies that rob them of their life energy. These can turn into unhealthy complexes - subtle feelings of pleasure associated with self blame that are so rampant in the adult world. Some studies show these unconscious patterns are passed on in our DNA as ancestral "hand me downs”
We should become our children's' students at times to learn their natural authenticity and spontaneity. If we can wait and truly feel the energies moving through us they might not turn into such deep traumas.
"Matching and mirroring” is one way animals in the natural world learn survival skills from their parents and pass this on through their genes. Children do the same, unconsciously. Through adults children can become exposed to complex and “undigested” feelings and energies and also those passed down from their ancestors. Some of this is done pre birth before the children have been able to learn through experience that all feelings are not always theirs. Feelings exist in the collective human unconscious and children are very sensitive to them. They learn to define themselves by them. They feel that these feelings are all theirs and then develop guilt and shame for feeling them.
The adult emotional realm is very complex and hard for children to process in their young and sensitive nervous systems. Feelings that have strong judgments, are traumatic or have complicated stories attached to them can be challenging for children to process. This can be especially true when adults keep carrying unresolved feelings within themselves.
The way a child empaths undigested or unprocessed feelings that belong to a parent or adult is to mirror them back. They innocently and lovingly take these strong energies into their little nervous systems to clear the air for everyone. The way children search for Love is a very mysterious process. By mirroring back these partially unfelt or undigested feelings the child in his or her innocence is looking to “make things better” or "make my parents happy" and hopefully receive more LOVE and acceptance.
In their feeling body they energetically take on and align with other’s feelings in an attempt to calm the emotional atmosphere, distract the focus and to make everyone feel better. This is a gift of their love and innocence.
A lot of times, in this process, they unconsciously mirror back the unresolved,”stuck" or heavy feelings and this can be very disturbing to adults. If adults looked more closely, they might see a reflection of feelings within themselves that they really don't want to deal with.
This transmutation/ reflection of feelings by children is a tremendous unconscious gift of their LOVE and innocence to the adults around them. The finer vibrations of love are natural in a child’s operating system. Some are so subtle they ask for nothing in return. In most cases this is not recognized, understood or appreciated. As the child mirrors the “unfelt or incomplete” feeling, it can be very disturbing to the parent or adult. The child may be punished, rejected, or shamed for expressing such an unacceptable emotion. This in turn can create an inner unconscious self blaming “me” and strategy(s) for pain relief (or revenge on the parents)
In some situations the child's unconscious creates self punishment patterns as a way to make the parents feel uncomfortable. They can do this to extract revenge on the adult world of feeling avoidance, ambiguity and or blame. Blame is a poor band aid for wounds not completely felt or allowed to heal.
All these emotional patterns and reactions create great confusion, hurt and a sense of rejection in the child. We as adults, by slowing down our reactions and tempering them with curiosity and respect can create a more loving, understanding way of being with emotions, Emotions always come and go. We can see the transient nature of emotions and not be so identified with them.
Challenging and negative emotions have their place. They bring a depth to our human experience, a wisdom and a level of compassion for ourselves and others. As our feelings-library grows so can our levels of compassion and kindness.
Our reptilian brain has a negative basis for operation. In the animal world negative experiences taught us survival skills. That is why the human brain is said to have a hard wired negativity bias. The memory of painful experiences kept us from repeating them. Unfortunately that makes it easier for us to remember negative feelings than positive ones.
Respecting the transient nature of emotions and recognizing the patterns we create to avoid pain is an ability we can all nurture. This is something we can keep learning together with our little ones.
Living is full of a great variety of feelings. Some feel great, others feel funny or comfortable and others feel bad, and uncomfortable. We truly have the power to affect how we feel. Nurturing positive and happy emotions is a skill we all can work on to create more loving relationships and a healthy world. By consciously remembering positive feelings and savoring happy times we build up neural networks in our brain that support our well being. This radiates out to everyone and makes everyone smile.
The Dalai Lama beautifully says
“Negative emotions - like jealousy, anger, hatred, fear - can be put to an end. When you realize that these emotions are only temporary, that they always pass on like clouds in the sky, you also realize they can ultimately be abandoned. The way to overcome negative thoughts and destructive emotions is to develop opposing, positive emotions that are stronger and more powerful. One has to try to develop one's inner feelings, which can be done simply by training one's mind.
This is a beautiful reminder. We all can learn to exercise our "Happy Muscles" and make magic with our feelings. By relating feelings to animals we can all better understand the changing nature of emotions and learn to relate to them more playfully and watch them eventually pass on by.
Lion I Am