As exciting as it is – and it is exciting – it has been a long road to prepare Luna’s Woodland Adventure, our new children’s book, for publication.
As usual, the road took some twists and turns. I had no desire to be a children’s writer as I love words, lots and lots of words. I’m not creative when it comes to illustrations and can only be found in an art gallery if there’s a tea shop I can be left in to read my book in peace.
Having read every single children’s book for five/six-year-olds in my local library, my biggest achievements in the research phase were winning a minor altercation for the world’s smallest chair and managing to spend three consecutive days in the children’s section without catching a cold.
I do love a challenge though. Once an idea has settled in my brain, it has to be actioned. If it’s a challenge, then the desire to see if I can do it becomes stronger. Writing for five/six year olds is much more difficult than I thought it would be.
The idea was planted on one of my Canine Hope programmes. I was talking with the group about core beliefs; we all have them and for many of us, they’re a right royal pain in the arse. They’re the beliefs we have about ourselves, other people and the world around us. They’re not necessarily *the* truth but they become our truth. We accept them as true without question and we find ourselves basing our decisions on them, our responses are guided by them. They’re embedded in our psyche by the age of six and while they can be changed as we get older, that’s not an easy task. Trust me, I’ve done it and it’s very much a work in progress.
During a discussion about one group members’ core belief of ‘if people knew the truth about me, they won’t like me’ we talked about where this came from and the evidence she had to support it. With a bucket-load of evidence, we found that actually, it was a self-fulfilling prophecy, for a number of reasons. That’s not a criticism in any way, far from it, that group member was me.
Exploring these beliefs, we talked about how to change them. We talked about being brave, about doing our best in any given situation and about believing in ourselves first and foremost.
They’re some pretty strong core beliefs:
- I am brave
- I am doing my best
- I believe in myself
‘Wouldn’t it be great if we had those core beliefs embedded in our brains as children?’ I joked!
The rest, as they say, is history.
What if our social enterprise could use the awesomeness of dogs to promote positive core beliefs that serve us as we get older?
Well, never let it be said that I shirk a challenge. That’s exactly what Luna’s Woodland Adventure is designed to do.