PAM: Welcome! I’m Pam Laricchia from livingjoyfully.ca and today I’m here with Anna Brown. Hi, Anna!
PAM: So, this month in the Living Joyfully Network, our theme has been Seeing the Magic. And I really loved bringing our focus back to cultivating these close family connections. After our last month of Navigating Family Gatherings with the extended family, I’m loving bringing our focus back into our own family, to seeking joy, to seeing the magic that’s right in front of us. It is such a great place to focus our thoughts and energy, too, as we move into the new year, isn’t it?
PAM: Yeah, so I’m really excited to dive into this with you.
I thought we could start with just talking about how focusing on our connections with our kids is what helps us see the magic in our days.
As we connect and engage with our kids, that’s when we’re more open to seeing the wonderful things that are happening. And then we see these things, we’re connecting, we’re engaging, and that brings us closer together. And then we see more and we connect more deeply, and then it’s just this beautiful spiral that gets us closer and closer. So, just by focusing on our connections to get started, that is so helpful.
The other piece that I wanted to bring up first is that it’s also helpful for us to recognize, as we’re going to our kids and connecting with them and engaging with them, to recognize that we might be holding an idealized vision of what that connection should look like. So, it’s not about those picture-perfect moments, but about the real kids that we have in front of us. And that every connection piece with them has value.
It’s not about creating these moments of, ‘Oh, this is fun and connection and magic.’ This is every day, right in the thick of things, magic.
ANNA: And for me, I feel like kids really lead the way, because they’re naturally in the moment. They’re finding fun. They’re getting excited about things. And they just have this ability to see the magic all around them. And when we choose to be with them, to join them, then they can show us that magic, too, that maybe we sometimes lose sight of.
And I think it’s also a chance to learn more about them, finding out what they’re excited about, and why, and really listening. We just learn so much. And taking that time to pause from the list or the to-do’s or the things, and connect, it just brings us these amazing moments, like you’re talking about, throughout the day. And it just helps us set the stage for recognizing all the magic that’s around us.
And I think that being that we’re about to move into the new year, it will be fun to start off connecting and having conversations. What are we excited about in the coming year? What are we excited about right now after we’ve gotten through the holidays and all these pieces?
So, I love starting with the focus of, let’s just dig back in and reconnect and have those conversations and just join in.
PAM: Yeah. First off, we can often get stuck in autopilot. When things are going well, our kids are busy, they’re doing their things, we’re doing our things, and then it is easier during the holiday season to get a little bit disconnected. Because we have a bigger to-do list. It can also be a time when we’re distracted by thinking about these beautiful moments. We’re trying to create these wonderful, wonderful moments.
So, I think it is, exactly, an awesome time to just focus on reconnecting and just being together for a while and getting to know each other again. That is the wonderful piece is when we’re connecting, we get to learn, again, about our kids. Because, you know what? Just like us, they grow and change and their interests may have moved on a little bit. And this is just our reminder to get back in.
Another piece that I thought was really interesting that you had brought up was considering personality types. Because, when we’re thinking about how we like to connect, it may not be how our kids like to connect. So, if you’re an extroverted mom and you have an introverted child, we can be thinking lots of talking, lots of doing, is a way to connect. And we can feel like we’re disconnected from our child if they’re not reacting in the same way.
So, I thought that was a really important thing for us to consider at the same time is to think about your child’s personality alongside your child’s interests. So that when you’re connecting, it’s also recognizing WHEN you’re connecting. Because your kids might be trying to tell you things. They’re detailing what it is about their interests that they love and they’re sharing that piece with you. But if you were thinking more big emotions and all this kind of stuff, you might think, “Oh, they don’t really care. They’re not really connecting with me.” There’s just so many beautiful pieces to it.
But when we get in and engage and we think about them rather than ourselves, it’s so much more fun. That’s basically it.
ANNA: It is!
Because I think people can carry a weight around about that. “Why aren’t we connecting?” Or, “We’re not on the same wavelength.” But really, that’s just about recognizing that there’s differences and that you may have a verbal and expressive child, and maybe that makes sense to you. But then another one wants to do and show and be in the action with you, and you’re not sure about that.
But it’s really just about their personality and how they want to connect with you. And so, if you don’t bring that agenda, if you don’t have these preconceived notions, then we can just really be open and see the value of how our individual children want to connect to us. And then that gives us this greater understanding of who they are and it is fun and it’s beautiful!
PAM: Yeah, and I think the magic is in the fun. And that focus on fun takes us to those places.
And for me, connection is more about those moments when I am present in that moment and I’m truly seeing and hearing my child as they are in the moment, because then they feel seen, they feel heard. That’s where the magic is. That’s where the connection is. Because, their eyes just light up when they know that they’re seen and heard and loved for who they are. That’s where the magic is.
And it doesn’t matter the circumstances or the context of the moment. That’s the connecting moment right there, isn’t it?
So, this is another piece that I wanted to bring up around connecting. Instead of inviting our kids to join us, we can go to them.
This is another really big piece for me, because when we want to connect, it’s like, okay. I want to focus on connection with my kids. I want to get reconnected after all the hubbub and the lack of routine of the holidays. Just this exciting New Year energy. But what we can so often do is we’re like, okay, how would I like to connect with my kid? Oh, it would be so much fun! Do they want to come bake some cookies with me? Do they want to come and play this game? Because I like this game.
And so often, we’re going out and we’re asking them to come and join us. And this is our idealized version of what we think connection looks like. Not that it’s bad. That’s wonderful. But it’s just our idea. And if we are wanting to connect with another person, we’re making that connection the priority. Instead, when we choose to go and join them and doing what they like to do, again, that’s where the magic is.
Because it’s so much more work if we’re asking them to come join us, because they were in the middle of something. So, they have to find a place to stop. They have to transition. They have to think about what we’re offering. They have to decide if that’s something they want to do. They have to stop what they’re doing. And there is just so much more processing that we’re asking them to do when we’re inviting them to come and join us.
Now, it doesn’t mean we never do it, but when we’re putting the priority on connection right now, and we want to learn and reconnect with our child and who they are, we get so much more, I think, right now by choosing to go and join them. Right?
ANNA: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s really common to do that. Inviting, “Let’s take a bike ride,” “Let’s go for a walk,” “Let’s bake the cookies.” And really, I want to say that those invitations are wonderful. They can absolutely have their place. But if you find that that’s the main way you’re trying to connect, you really might want to shake it up a little bit and see how different it is when you go to them and see what they’re excited about. Because it does feel so great when someone shows an interest in what we love.
And again, you’ll learn so much more about them. And if you’ve been getting a lot of no’s to your invitation, because sometimes that happens, the parent will feel that it’s a sign that things aren’t going well. They’ll come to the group and they’re like, “This isn’t working. They just keep saying no to everything I’m asking about.” But really, I think what you’ll find when you genuinely connect with them through their interests, is then they’re so much more open to that connection in general, but also open to joining you and learning more about you, because there’s no agenda. And so, I think this is a really important point.
When you’re inviting them to do something, make sure that’s coming from an authentic place and not from a place with agenda to teach or direct, or this is how we should be spending our time, or, “Wouldn’t it be better if you were outside with me?”
But instead, share something that delights you, something that if they say no, you’re still gonna do it anyway. And I think that is kind of the litmus test, because kids sense an agenda.
PAM: I love that. Would you continue doing it if they say no? Go for the bike ride or bake the cookies? Yeah, because there is just so much in there. If we wouldn’t do it, that is a great clue to peel back some layers there. Because who wouldn’t like the cookies? Or, you can still enjoy the bike ride or, even if you can’t do it in the moment, because you have to wait until somebody else is there to be with the kids …
ANNA: Yes. Is it something that genuinely excites you?
And I think families starting out can get frustrated thinking, “Well, we don’t have these connected relationships that you’re talking about.” And so often, I think this is the issue. We’re trying to connect on our level, in the way we want it to go, instead of truly being open and curious and going to them and learning about them and valuing what they love and seeing that spark and understanding why it’s there.
And when you’re really listening, you learn the language of their lives, whether it’s related to games or books or hobbies or their passions. And so, then you can ask real questions. You can follow up on things that you heard about. And that just shows them that you’re interested.
“She remembered I was on this level. She remembered the name of this Comic Con place that I wanted to go, or this thing that really interests me, or this World War III craft that I was talking about.” These things excite someone when you realize that they’ve heard you. And so, I think when we see that frustration from new families, definitely look at this. Are you connecting in the way that makes sense to you? Which is totally understandable. That’s what we know and that’s what we do. But just this little switch, this little paradigm shift, can make a huge difference in those connections with another person.
PAM: Yes. Yes. I love all those pieces. That being able to go to them says that we see them for who they are, like you said. And we value what they’re choosing to do. So, it becomes about the connection and less about us and our perspective. And sometimes we think, well, we’re giving ourselves up to do this, but that’s not it. We’re making our world bigger.
ANNA: Bigger. Yes!
PAM: Yeah, exactly. We’re making our world bigger when we still hold our stuff and the things we like to do, but we’re growing it by seeing the stuff that they love to do, too. And seeing that that can all live side by side, all valuable. So, it really is about making the world bigger when we go to them.
And the other thing I love you mentioned, seeing what lights them up and learning that language and the things that they’re interested in. Because also that helps us bring more of those pieces into their lives as well. So, not only are we validating for them that this has value, because they’re interested in that, their world gets bigger too, when they see in our eyes and in our reactions that what they’re interested in is valuable. It just helps them feel much more seen and then they’re sharing more with you and then you’re learning so much more about them.
And then, you can bring more things that you might not have thought about beforehand that they would be interested in, but when you see the bits that light them up about the thing. So, it may not really be just about the game or whatever it is that that they’re doing. It can be a deeper thing. Like what aspects?
There are so many different aspects to even a toy. Is it the color? How do they use it? How do they play with it? How do they engage it? Are they bringing humor to it? Are they creating art with it? Are they setting up tableaus with their stuffed animals? Are they telling stories with them?
There are so many things they’re doing with anything that they’re engaging with. So, you’re learning more about them when you see what bits light them up as they play with whatever it is.
ANNA: And like you said, that helps us expand their world, because if it is the art that’s attracting them, you might know a way to find some other art that’s in a similar vein. And if it’s the story, then it’s like, oh, we could try this. Or maybe you want to write your own story and I can help you with that. Or whatever it is, but when you have that true connection, when you’re sitting back and really listening and hearing, then that’s when the ideas can start flowing.
Because I think so many times parents think, well, but I know more. I have a bigger view of the world or whatever. And of course, you and I have both seen that actually, no. They really lead the way.
But when you’re really listening and see them, you can bring your experience to that in a really authentic way that is well received, because you’re listening and you’re hearing and you’re understanding.
PAM: I love that, because, yes, we can feel like, oh, well, if we’re just focusing on their stuff, we’re not bringing our experience to it. But, oh my gosh, no. That’s where we get to bring it. It’s in expanding their world in the way that it’s going to truly expand their world, because it has value. That’s how learning works, which is fun. Learning that isn’t even learning.
Because when we talk about unschooling, we say that learning just happens. But it’s so true, it just happens when things are connected, like the next thing and the next thing, and, “Oh, that’s really interesting, mom. Thanks.” And then, and then if they say, “Oh, nope,” or they put it aside for awhile, that is totally good, too, because now you’ve learned a little bit more. Oh, that wasn’t quite where they were thinking about it. Let’s try something else.
And that’s exactly what we mean by seeing the magic. You’re in the moment of the day, just with them. This is everyday stuff. There is magic in everyday stuff, which is a great transition to the next point.
Let us talk about joy, because for me seeing the magic in our days is woven tightly with that undercurrent of joy.
That is kind of how I see it, how I felt it. Because for me, joy is about mindset really. It’s how I’m viewing these moments, because in that energy, I found that’s where I make better choices as a person, and as a parent. It’s that open, compassionate, graceful space where I can truly see what’s in front of me and I can hear my inner voice engaging in that moment.
I was going to say there’s no layers. There are always some layers. It’s not something that we’re trying to strive some for some perfect picture or way to approach our moments, but it is just more authentically being there.
One of the big things for me was thinking that I needed to solve all the things so that I could clear off my plate and then I could finally just show up in the moment fully myself. So, I had to do all the things, get all the stuff off my plate, and then I could feel good. And there I was. But, that really doesn’t happen.
You’re never going to empty off your plate. There’s always going to be things, and that’s okay. So instead, what really helps me is to just start with small, simple bits that bring me joy, that give my inner voice a chance to pipe up, because then it’s like, oh yes, I am being me. And now I can, again, more authentically just show up in that moment and I can see the joy right there in those little moments.
ANNA: For me, this has been such an interesting topic on the Network. And you mentioned on the Network, and of course in your Unschooling Journey book, how we’re learning a whole new language when we move fully into that life. And I thought that was such an important point.
Because as we’ve been teasing out the nuances with this discussion, people found that they did have some preconceived notions about joy and what it meant. And they really felt it wasn’t accessible to them, which I thought was so interesting. And a lot of that was thinking that it’s this big energy, this kind of spackling over of real life with this fake joy.
And that isn’t what we’re talking about at all. Exactly what you were just saying, we’re talking about tapping into our inner voice and accessing the little moments of connection and joy and finding the things that ground us, and bring a smile to our face. And as we start collecting those moments during the day, we can change the course of the whole day. We can change that story.
And I think we can put a lot of barriers between ourselves and joy. Just like you were saying, we think we have to clear our plate of the to-dos or we have to solve all the problems that are in front of us. We can’t have joy if our list is a mile long or the kids are fighting or something tough has happened that morning, but those are the times that I most want to look for the little spots of joy. Because those are the reminders to me that even in the darker times, there is still beauty and magic. And it’s available to me. That is exactly when I want to take these steps.
And, I thought it was interesting, because the idea of permission came up, too. And this idea that maybe we’re not worthy of joy, that we haven’t done enough, that we aren’t good enough. And I thought that was really interesting.
And if someone is feeling that joy isn’t accessible to them, I think that’s an important place to look. Are we holding any old beliefs that don’t serve us? And then thinking, who would we be without those thoughts?
And for me, I think it’s that time to look at our kids again, because they naturally come to this. So, even after an upset, they center themselves right back to joy. We have all seen it. I just guarantee every one of us has seen the big emotional event. And then five minutes later, they’re laughing. And we’re kind of like, help! What just happened? And feeling spent by it, but it only took me a few times, maybe more than it probably should have, for me to realize that they were just onto something. That they get it out and they move on and they find their way back to their joy.
So, I could let those upsets wash over me, too, and find my way back to my center. And for me, that might be stepping outside, or joining them for a game, or it might be touching base with a close friend. Or a cup of tea or whatever it is, the more we learn to access those moments and find the magic, the easier it becomes to weather the storms and our kids just really lead the way with that.
PAM: Just ditto, big time, everything you said. That really is the meat of it. And I talk about it in the Journey book, too, how our kids are our guide, because this is just yet another example that they just keep coming back to the joy. And you’re like, how did they do that? How did they do that? But they do it so beautifully and it’s like, that is the permission.
So often for me, it’s like, it’s okay for them. I’m an adult. It should be okay for me, too. Why is it not? That’s where I can start to peel back all the layers from watching them in action. And yeah, that’s where I discovered, oh my gosh. Those pieces of, I feel like I can’t be joyful or have fun until I’ve got my work done. That whole message of work before play.
And that’s when I started diving into the idea of work and I came across the Thomas Sterner quote of, “Work and play is really just in our judgments.” It’s just how we define it. It’s a construct. It’s not an actual thing.
ANNA: That was great.
PAM: Then I got to this playful attitude, and then joy was a little bit more accessible to me. And then I would go over, oh, I need to solve the big problems on my plate before I can go relax and have fun and be joyful. Oh no, you know what? I solve one, and the next one comes up, and the next one comes up.
PAM: So, that’s not going to work. And then when you do have those moments of joy, and then you go back to the thing on your plate, it’s like, oh, this doesn’t look as bad as it did.
ANNA: I feel lighter! Right.
I feel lighter. I feel better equipped to handle this thing on my plate that maybe felt really overwhelming a few minutes ago. And something you just said I don’t want to lose, and we say this all the time, but it really fits here. Because I think when we make mistakes, that can be another way that we rob ourselves of permission for joy. Because it’s like, we just screwed up. We yelled, we did something. And so, we’re punishing ourselves and we’re thinking about it and, “Oh, we shouldn’t have done that!” And we just get stuck in a spiral.
But what we’ve seen from our kids is that when they make a mistake, it’s like, “I’m going to do it differently next time.” Or, “I’m going to make an adjustment here,” or, “I’m going to pivot over to this thing here.” And so, again, they lead the way. We don’t have to hang on to the upset. We don’t have to hang on to these things and spiral about them.
We can just say, “You know what? That happened. I’ll make amends or a repair, and then we’re going to find the joy together again.” And so I just want to throw that in there, because something you said just reminded me of that, because they’re so good at that. They’re so good at helping us see those pieces that we can kind of internalize and get stuck and that really colors our day.
PAM: Yeah, no, that is beautiful because it is. It’s all those little pieces, seeing them in action. Because then, yeah, you’ve got that layer of, “Geez. When I got something wrong, I felt so bad. I felt so judged.” People would look at you, “Why would you be happy just after that?” You would carry that weight for a long time, sometimes just because it was expected of you. Oh, that wasn’t so bad for you. People expect you to be sad and they would be approaching you that way. So, these are all learned reactions.
ANNA: Exactly. And even with tough news, I’ll get that. Because I do tend to pivot pretty quickly. And if I share with someone some tough news that’s happened, you do get this weight from them a lot of times like, “Oh, that’s so terrible,” and I’m like, “Well, you know, it’s what it is. And here’s what I’m doing.” So, those are the choices we have in the moment. And I think the more you look for these little pieces, the easier it is to access those choices in the bigger moments.
PAM: Yeah. Exactly. Exactly. And to me, I found this was the insight that had the most impact for me. And this wasn’t something that you could do quickly. It wasn’t something that I got to do immediately, because at first, I was worried all about the learning and how are my kids going to learn when they’re not going to school anymore?
But that literally is how I ended up calling my website, Living Joyfully. Because this was the route that had the most impact in our days, in our day-to-day moments, that I could shift to joy. I could see those little moments. And it was just so important for me to be able to quickly find that little smile, that little thing, because it helped me more quickly access or get back to that open, curious, creative, compassionate mindset that just helped me more gracefully move through anything that came up, just as you were describing. Yeah. That’s brilliant.
And then, think of joy, like everybody, think of joy. And then think of seeing the magic. And connecting. We talk about connecting with our kids, but connecting with your partner, connecting with your spouse, connecting with your family.
PAM: Connecting with yourself. Exactly. That is a magic, in those little things. And that is accessible to us at any time.
Like you were saying, even in the heavy moments, even during the challenges, it is helpful to take that moment to find some joy, to create some joy for yourself if you’re in a hard moment, because you know what? Most hard moments aren’t emergencies. They really can take a minute, take five minutes, 10 minutes to recenter ourselves, to reground ourselves, to find that spark of joy, to release a little bit of the weight. And we can just more gracefully move through that moment.
And talking about doing it for ourselves, that connection, that joy, that weaves together so nicely with that self-care piece as part of the magic of our days.
Because self-care helps us show up more fully, more engaged, which helps with all of that stuff. And what I love, when I was thinking about self-care, is that again, it doesn’t need to be the big things. Just like we’ve been talking about with joy, it’s not these big, spectacular “Hallmark” moments of joy and fun and love. It’s even in the hard moments. And these self-care pieces also don’t need to be the big things. They don’t need to be the weekend at the spa. They don’t need to be the big trip. There’s nothing wrong with those moments. But as they flow into your lives, it’s not about saying, I will be able to relax and take care of myself and find these joyful moments once I have that weekend at the spa, because that’s not going to always happen.
ANNA: Right, right.
PAM: Those can be cool and in the flow, but it’s not about pinning all your hopes on them or being martyrly and taking on all the weight until those things can happen. It doesn’t need to be the big things.
So, for me, I feel like the core of self-care is really understanding what feeds me, what recharges me, and adding those things in a way that works in my real, everyday life. And finding those magical moments and tapping into the joy that’s accessible to us, that helps me feel more grounded, more resourced. Like you said, we can come at our problems with this fresh view when we’re tapping into those little magical moments. And it just helps us stay connected. And from that connected place, the problems are easier to solve and more joyful moments emerge because our eyes are trained for that.
And as we’re moving into the new year, thinking about ways to keep self-care at the forefront, I think is really helpful. And just like Pam was just saying, remembering it’s not necessarily about these traditional ideas of getting away or time alone. It is finding those little moments in the day to recharge. The care of making and enjoying a hot drink.
For me, just even a few moments outside, especially if I can put my bare feet on the ground, helps recenter me. Or when it’s cold, that quiet of the forest, because we live kind of in the woods. But finding the moments of peace in the everyday: folding the warm clothes, listening to the giggles from the game that’s happening on the floor, the way the light is coming through the window. Whatever it is, seeing those little things as gifts for us throughout the day changes the energy we have as we move through the day.
And that’s an attitude we can cultivate as we move into this new year and it really will change things, because it really does just affect the fabric of every day when you’re looking for those little gifts and moments.
PAM: Yeah. And I think that’s the key piece is that looking for them or at least paying attention to notice them. And it really is important to take that moment.
For me, I feel the self-care pieces as releasing some weight. For me, that’s an image that works really well for me. So, even noticing the light streaming in through the window, in the winter, it’s like, oh. And I have been known to go stand there just for a minute, just to feel a little bit. And when you consciously process that, it’s just like deep breath.
ANNA: You feel it!
PAM: Yes. You feel it. You feel a little bit lighter after, and a little bit lighter after. I could have said, oh, look, there’s some light and walked right through, because I was running to the laundry to grab it. But no, maybe it is giving yourself permission to just take 20 seconds.
ANNA: Yeah, pause. It’s so true.
PAM: To recognize that moment and to bring it into yourself. That is cool.
ANNA: Yeah. The laundry is still going to be there. The whatever it is is still gonna be there. But if you can take that 30 seconds, that one minute, to just maybe gaze outside at the snow or look at the way the light is coming through the trees, if that just calms you as then you move forward to that next task, it doesn’t have that harried energy, that, “I’m always behind,” or, “There’s always too much to do,” it just has this, “Yeah, this is so beautiful. And I’m going to walk forward.”
PAM: Yeah. And I love that you mentioned hearing your kids laugh. Or sometimes it’s peeking in the door and just seeing them fully engaged.
PAM: Yeah. All those pieces.
So, it is a fun exploration for each of us to figure out what is it that lights us up. Exactly it. As much value as we give to helping our kids find things that light their eyes up, and how that is a great clue for us about them, find the little things that light our eyes up, that light us up, that lighten the load a little bit, and we can just bring more of those moments into our lives.
ANNA: Right. I want to say, find ways to sprinkle that in your environment even. So, I’m in my office. So, I’m looking around and I see there’s a hornet’s nest that a good friend saved for me, because he knew I would love it. And I did. And it’s there all the time, so I don’t always look at it. But if I just take that second to think, oh my gosh, he loves me. And he thought of me when he did that. And now I have this beautiful thing in my office.
Even just little gratitude pieces about the things that are in your environment, and filling it with a favorite cup for your tea, instead of maybe the old cup or whatever. Those are the little things that are accessible to us, and that’s not fake joy. That’s not putting on a fake face. It really is finding the things that make your heart sing and bring a smile to your face. It’s not big and dramatic. It just feels good. You know? It just feels good.
That’s how self-care and joy for me, they are intertwined, because the self-care pieces are little bubbles of joy for me. Joy is bigger, too, because there are so many other aspects of it that can bring those little moments. But they just so beautifully weave together and I love how you talked about just sprinkling them throughout our day. That is my favorite piece. I put little things out that make me smile. And for me, sometimes it’s lighting a candle just where I’m sitting, or whatever it is. But how fun to approach the new year thinking, oh, geez. What lights me up? What brings me that little sparkle?
I find it just encourages me to just take a full breath. It’s like, oh, that’s wonderful. And then move on. That full breath also relaxes my shoulders a little bit, releases a little bit of that weight. It is just so beautiful. And that’s where the magic is.
PAM: I love that so much.
Now, talking about going into the new year, I also wanted to let people know that as we move into 2021, you and I are going to walk through the Childhood Redefined Summit online workshop alongside the participants.
So, I just wanted to share a little bit of background for people, because maybe you have not heard of the Summit before, but this year we moved the Summit into the Living Joyfully Network.
And it is basically an online course that you and I and Anne Ohman put together a couple of years ago that focuses on our unschooling journey. So much of what we’ve talked about here, so much of what we talk about in the Network, it’s that deep, personal work of peeling back all these layers of conventional ideas, conventional wisdom about learning and about parenting that really can get in our way of cultivating this thriving unschooling spirit.
Even back to the definitions, as you were talking about, how we define our language, that was a big piece for me, because so many of these aspects, so many of these conventional surface views of things, can really get in our way of accessing those deeper layers of it.
So, it’s more than 14 hours of video content, which we also have as audio. We have transcripts, so we have it as text, so you can engage with it however works for you in the moment.
Now, when we launched a couple of years ago, we had a private Facebook group for questions, which kind of worked. Some people asked questions. But it did not work out as we hoped. It really didn’t lend itself to a lot of engagement.
So, having moved it all over into Mighty Networks earlier this year, and now we’ve gotten pretty comfortable with Mighty Networks and with its functionality, so when one of our Network members, Summit members, mentioned wanting to do a group walkthrough of the Summit content just a couple of weeks ago, you and I got really excited because we quickly saw how well that could work now with this environment. And we thought it was a great idea.
So, starting in the new year, that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to be going through the Summit content alongside any participants who would like to join us. It won’t be overwhelming. We’re just going to be doing short video pieces each week and we will be chatting about it in the private Summit group that’s part of the Network.
So, we’ll be focused on that Summit stuff. It doesn’t mean that people have to go slowly or anything like that. All the content is available for you the minute you join. But what I love is that’s another piece of learning. You can bring things in, but processing it with other people can just help us discover those little layers.
And that’s why it’s going to be super helpful, I think, for any existing members, people who may have gotten the Summit a couple of years ago, to revisit it, because as we have grown, we’ve learned, we’re going to pick up different things about it. We’re going to have different questions, different things we want to process, different ways of looking at it. Anyway, so I am super looking forward to doing it.
ANNA: I’m so excited about this, because I 100% agree, the Summit on the Network is such a great fit. It’s such a better place for it. The community there is amazing. And when that member suggested that, I just thought, yeah, this makes so much sense. And you know, she’s repeating the Summit. She had worked her way through it a couple of years back. And many members have done the same thing, and that is one of the benefits of it. You’ve got this Summit content. It’s available to you forever.
And like you said, every stage, every different step we take, we see different things. We get different things out of it. So, I love that we’ll be taking the time to move through the content and just have these prompts and discussions. And, what bubbled up for you about this? And revisit it. And you can work through it at that pace with us, or like you said, you can take it all in and then just pop in at different parts of the conversation.
It’s going to be very open in that way, but Mighty Networks, I think, makes it really easy for us to keep great discussions going and to keep track of them and to find them and to do. And so, I love all of that. I mean, the Summit contains so much for our unschooling journey. And I love the idea that we’ve talked about, that we’re kind of holding a light for your own unique path.
And I feel like the Network has really addressed this need of a community of people choosing those lives of connection. And walking our paths with others is just so powerful. And it has so much value, because we’re learning from their lives and we’re seeing the way they’re seeing things. And it’s never going to be exactly the same, but it brings things up in us. And then that’s where we can really start digging deeper into what are our held beliefs about this? What is causing me a block? Why do I feel a little rub here? And so, those are the kind of deep connections that we’re able to really dig into the meat of that with the Summit.
And I believe that it’s work that’s not only changing families, but it’s changing the world. The feedback we’ve gotten about it, it overwhelms me with feelings of gratitude and joy for all of these families that are choosing connections and changing their corner of the world. But we get to step back and kind of see the ripples of that, like how this has rippled out from them and how we have these people all over the world. I just get goosebumpy about it.
So, I’m excited to have this new place for the Summit and to really just open it up to people that are interested in joining us for this, because I think it’s gonna be great.
PAM: Yeah, I’m looking forward to it for myself, too, to revisit these ideas. And I’m going to be looking at them through my lens of where we are now, because so much of that work is this peeling back. This is really focused on this personal inner work that so many of us discover along the way. We first come to unschooling, it’s about not using a curriculum, it’s about learning through their interests. But as we dive into it a bit more and a bit more, we start to realize, oh, this really asks us to do a lot of personal work to really peel back the layers and understand how we work as human beings, how we naturally learn.
ANNA: And how valuable those understandings are. I’m thinking of a Network member who is like, “I want to shout it from the rooftops!” This is about understanding ourselves and how we can move through our lives in the world. That it isn’t about just the school or the education or whatever.
And that is what gets me excited, because I feel like that has this great reaching effect of all of our relationships, and our children’s future relationships, and how they interact in their jobs, and in their lives, and in their marriages, and whatever that ends up looking like. That’s the exciting piece to me and what keeps me here and excited about it, because it’s just really beautiful.
PAM: I know, and it’s something we hear on the podcast too, from a lot of guests. It’s like, “Oh, I had no idea this was going to be so beneficial to me, that I would be putting in so much work, but gaining so much out of it.” It’s delicious. And, like you said, the feedback has been incredible, through the Summit, and through the Network. And I am really, really looking forward to leaning into that next year and really embracing that. So, that is going to be a lot of fun.
If you’d like to learn more about it, there’s lots and lots of details about what is there at ChildhoodRedefined.com. It’s got the information. It’s got the way that you can join us for it. We’re going to get started in the new year, but of course you can join us at any time, because that’s the great thing about Mighty Networks. All of the stuff will be sitting there waiting for you.
And I want to thank you so much, Anna, for chatting with me today, seeing the magic. For me, that’s just a foundational thing. That’s the joy of unschooling.
ANNA: It is. It’s the time and the space to see the magic. I love it.
PAM: That’s brilliant. Thanks so much. Have a lovely day.
ANNA: Take care, everybody.