Tapping inner resources using the Nurtured Heart Approach®
I believe each of us has unique inner gifts to share with the world. I want to:
  • inspire educators, parents and other caregivers
  • celebrate inner resources, and
  • share the journey of learning and living the Nurtured Heart Approach®.
In this issue I reflect on a few strategies I used to grow my greatness vocabulary in order to promote inner wealth. While the goal is to use NHA in every moment with authenticity and sensitivity, I found that I needed intentional effort with techniques like those below to guide me. My newsletter nuggets and resources are intended to be useful to any NHA® practitioner. This is NOT a substitute for NHA training. Subscribe now!
Greatness Posters
Pictured here are greatness posters that hung at the front of my classroom above a magnetic chalkboard. This offered ready reference and a process for setting personal intentions (see name magnets in photo).
When we introduced a trait, I projected the poster for students. Popcorn style, individuals read aloud one sentence at a time giving voice to their greatness. Access the poster files on the SFW website.
Above is an additional poster created by a ten-year old attuned to greatness and inspired to spread joy (Val Malina, 2016).
Tokens of Intentionality
The NHA answer when people question whether we should recognize youth for doing what they’re expected to do is: Absolutely! We know that at any time children can choose not to engage appropriately. This means adults need to be especially diligent when children are self-regulated, using their time or solving problems independently. I used times like this in my classroom to foster inner wealth and grow my greatness vocabulary.
During student work time, I’d approach a table of students with my tray of greatness words. Again, my goal was to single out individuals to highlight specific qualities I noticed and share evidence of inner wealth.
I might hand a child a 'helpful' disk and say, “I noticed you being helpful with explaining the directions.” I would look from the child to the tokens, grab additional examples and continue, “In addition, that is kind and supportive. And after you helped, you got right back to your work; you are on track!”
I might turn to the student who received the help and acknowledge her for being resourceful and motivated to seek out support. At this point, others at the table would usually lean in to look for qualities to recognize in themselves and others.

The kids knew I was trying to expand my greatness vocabulary and they were open to doing the same by joining in to recognize their peers. I made a point to get to every child and then ceremoniously collect the chips. 
As we transitioned, I asked the kids to claim their greatness when they placed their tokens back on the tray. Sometimes they shared all the traits, other times they selected one. “I am flexible.” “I am cooperative.” “I am determined.” “I am organized.” “I am focused.” “I am goal-oriented.” “I am thoughtful. “I am attuned.” “I am accountable.” “I am tenacious.” “I am resilient.” “I am on track.” “I am curious.” “I am responsible.” “I am humorous.” “I am productive.” “I am patient.” “I am persistent.” I wish I would have thought to record the powerful sound of these assertions.
Celebrate with Sticks and Stones

I am inspired by play therapists, Tammi Schwartz - Van Hollander and Lyra Tyler, who provided activities related to greatness at the NHA Global Summit last week. I love the idea of making mandalas from sticks and stones as a means of celebration. Pictured above are gems, sticks and Jenga blocks made and collected over the years. I’m imagining my former students contributing to a mandala of our shared greatness at the end of the day or work session.
Know Your Values
A key to energizing greatness is self-awareness and knowing what you value. Do this exercise (adapted from Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators by Elena Aguilar) using a list of traits similar to those in the images throughout this newsletter. Also available on the SFW website.
  1. Circle ten values you think are important to focus on in the home/school/work environment. 
  2. From the list of ten values, round it down to five. 
  3. Round down again to three values. 
  4. Ultimately decide on the value that resonates with you the most.
Recommended Reading:
Greatness Kids Initiative
I am honored to be part of Celeste Elsey's recently published Greatness Kids Initiative: Activities to Bring the Nurtured Heart Approach to Life in Education, Families, and Youth Groups (2019). In this rich collection of lessons, projects, games, facilitation tips and resources, Celeste emphasizes “being the approach” through authenticity, intentionality and attentiveness. Thank you, Celeste, for documenting your work with youth and compiling this valuable tool. 
See Shine From Within Newsletter: Props for NHA (or pages 161-165) for ideas I submitted for this book.
There's Still Time!
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August 6-7, 2019
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Madison, WI

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The Nurtured Heart Approach is copyrighted material belonging to Howard Glasser and the Children's Success Foundation.
As stated above, the material in this newsletter is not a substitute for NHA training.
Copyright © Paula Wick, PhD. 2019 SHINE FROM WITHIN CONSULTING, All rights reserved.

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