“We live in a world and time that is predominantly ruled by the head, performance-driven, and where children are exposed on a daily basis to a constant stream of external stimuli and demands. It is more urgent than ever to teach children from an early age how to stay centered in the body and use the body as a compass in taking good care of themselves.”
There is so much more well-being in the world when we take our bodies seriously, trust our bodies and listen to them. Our bodies speak to us day in, day out, every second of our lives. It is continuously working to take care of us and always wants the best for us. All we need to do to be and remain healthy and happy is to listen to these signals and act on them. This requires us to slow down, get out of our head and be present in our body.
For many of us that is a challenge, which is not surprising, because we are challenged all day long on our mental capacities and we are also overwhelmed by an abundance of external stimuli. This focus on our head and these stimuli prevents us from paying attention to ourselves and our body. Only when we are in contact with our body can we feel what feels good. Can we feel what is right for us, what is in alignment and what is needed. In short: we can take good care of ourselves.
My name is Esther Arends and I am the founder of the curriculum Journey through the Body. I graduated as a Social Worker (B.A. Social Work) at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. After my graduation I worked in child and youth psychiatry, youth protection, childcare and primary education. As you can see, my heart has been focused on supporting the well-being of children for many years. In addition, I have been a passionate dancer and mover since childhood.
A burnout in 2007 was an important turning point in my life. I was forced to listen to my body and start living differently. To start living a life ruled by my heart and no longer by my head. I started making different choices, choices that gave me energy. This conscious shift has caused many changes in my life.
I joined training courses and workshops in the field of personal development and various dance and movement techniques in which body awareness, self-awareness and mindfulness are central. And I started my own company.
I have made it my specialty to guide people in learning to listen to their body and to take control, sailing on their own compass. Because I know what it brings: relaxation, well-being and true fulfillment.
In 2012, there were two questions that occupied my mind that created the spark that led me to develop a curriculum for children.
1. Why do we only start listening to our bodies when we are older, and not from an early age?
2. Why don’t we learn about the innate intelligence of the body in school and that if we listen to our bodies we are better able to make choices that serve our well-being?
In 2017 the curriculum, book, and training Journey through the Body were launched. Since then I love working as an international trainer. I enjoy training professionals to become certified teachers in the method. Now children learn worldwide to listen to their bodies in a playful way and to take good care of themselves. A dream come true!
Every child is a star and deserves to shine brightly!