The Four Doors: A Call to Love and Trust

A few years ago I attended an early childhood conference where Richard Paul Evans was the keynote speaker. I have to admit I was a little unsure of what he would be speaking of in regards to Early Childhood.  What he did was beautiful and unexpected. He provided each of us as educators with a gift. Something to help lift us up – four ideas to help each of us have a better life filled with more joy and accomplishment. As caregivers it is SO easy for us to focus solely on the needs of others. Unfortunately if we don’t take time to step back, reflect and take care of our own needs, burnout is the inevitable result. I hope each of you – parents, caregivers, educators – will take time to contemplate these ideas and give yourself time to dream.

Following is a summary of what he talked about.  He discusses these principles in more detail in his book – The Four Doors.  I have found as I have focused on doing these things in my life, it is richer and more fulfilling.

  • Believe there is a reason you were born and that you are where you are right now. You are not a mistake of God or nature.

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  • Free yourself from limitations. Don’t stop daydreaming. Step out of victimhood, consider that your trials are actually gifts. More often than not we succeed not in spite of our challenges, but because of them. This one can be hard. I’ve had multiple situations recently that make me question this belief, but ultimately, I realized I have to TRUST that I’m here now with the dilemmas and struggles I have for a reason.
  • Magnify your life. Engage your Imagination. Consider the question – What If? Take riskful action. How much do you care about your dreams?
  • Develop a love centered map. Love is all that matters and should direct all our actions and choices. The map for our lives should always be centered around love.

I know the old adage of the airplane oxygen mask is a bit overused perhaps, but I believe it applies here as well as any place.  Caregiving, parenting, teaching – each require so much from us.  We are constantly giving.  We have to find a way to take care of ourselves and live our dreams, so we can then show others how to rise up as well.

If you want more details about the principles discussed in The Four Doors, it’s available for purchase on Amazon, or at your local library!

Have you read this book? Would you recommend it to parents or caregivers? What’s your best tip for taking care of yourself as a caregiver or parent?

*Post contains an affiliate link. This post was adapted from an article I wrote for The Professional Family Child Care Association Newsletter in May 2015.

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