Many years ago I had the pleasure of seeking out and meeting Barbara Arrowsmith-Young. Barbara developed the Arrowsmith Program with the anchor school being in Toronto. I toured the school and watched children rigorously working away on clocks and was completely fascinated! Through Barbara's (and her brother Will's) hard work, programs are now popping up around the country and into the U.S.
She recently released her own book (after which this blog is titled) about her incredible journey on changing her own brain through a series of rigorous cognitive exercises. The change is based on neuroplasticity - that is, in short: 'the brain's ability to restructure itself after training or practice.'
Barbara tells of her journey here, in her very powerful TED talk.
I tried many years ago to bring the Arrowsmith Program to Ottawa and to have it offered through the school board. I won't recount my tedious journey but I heard the usual story about funding cuts and other misery from the powers that be. I was sorry, because, along with others, I wanted my own children to be able to take part in this revolutionary program. I hope, and will continue to hope (as Barbara always has) that someday everyone will have access to the Arrowsmith methodology and the program will be offered as part of the regular school system.
But what can we learn from Barbara's journey and from watching her amazing TED talk? Well, many of us might like to jump into the Arrowsmith Program - but if we can't, at least for now...what else?
I think the message is simple: Don't give up on yourself. Even when life is really lousy and all feels lost - never become resigned and never accept that you are without worth. Be tenacious and keep looking.
My mother always said "everyone has a place in this world" and I've believed it since I was a very little girl. My coaching is guided by the belief that everyone can find and bring forth their power. You just need to believe it exists. And I'm not talking about doing so in a resigned way, compensating strengths for weakness, I'm talking about truly finding your brilliance and owning it.
So take a moment today and ask yourself: What makes me feel really alive?
Then think about what you have that gets you there. Are you using your power of being creative, energetic, stubborn, funny, introspective, kind, rebellious, methodical? Really push yourself to discover the answer. Then call it forth and nurture it, allowing it to occupy a bigger part of who you are.
Whatever you find, believe that it can serve you....(picture the animal protectors on top of frozen icebergs defending baby seals - I think stubborn works well for them.).....and then really take some time to discover how.