Changing the Narrative of Childhood Development with Conscious Stories - SE2EP17 - Andrew Newman
Today, we're joined by Andrew Newman, author of Conscious Stories, a collection of mindfulness books for children. Andrew's mission is to help families connect amidst the chaos of everyday life through his stories. Andrew's vision is to assist parents in nurturing their children's spirituality early on, aiming for a future where children can avoid the missteps of previous generations. Andrew's stories are gifts of wisdom and understanding, intended to foster family connection. Join us today as we delve into Andrew's journey and the impact of Conscious Stories on parenting in this digital age. Links: Website : https://www.consciousstories.com/ Instagram : @consciousbedtimestories Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/consciousstories This Episode is brought to you by Skill Samurai – Coding & STEM Academy www.skillsamurai.com.au
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Speaker 1 (00:08): Welcome to the Parenting in the Digital Age podcast. Many parents are concerned that their child might be falling behind. Others are just looking for ways to help their children thrive, not just in the classroom, but socially and well into their future careers. Each episode we explore the challenges facing parents in the modern world, from behavior, education, and nutrition to device and gaming addiction. We interview a range of leaders in the area of childhood development to help you successfully navigate parenting in the digital age. Here is your host, Jamie Buttigieg.
Jamie (00:01.72) Hello, parents, and welcome to Parenting in the Digital Age, the podcast where we delve into the unique challenges and opportunities of raising kids in today's tech-driven world. Each episode, we bring you insightful conversations with experts, educators, authors and parents who shed light on the ways technology shapes our children's lives and our role as parents. Now, today we're joined by Andrew Newman, author of Conscious Stories, a collection of mindfulness books for children. Andrew's mission is to help families connect amidst the chaos of everyday life through his stories. Andrew's vision is to assist parents in nurturing their children's spirituality early on, aiming for a future where children can avoid the missteps of previous generations. These stories are gifts of wisdom and understanding intended to foster family connection. So join us today as we delve into Andrew's journey and the impact of conscious stories on parenting in this digital age. Andrew, welcome to the show. Please tell us what you do and what you are passionate about. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (01:03.23) Jamie, thank you for having me. It's so good to be here. You know, I come from a therapeutic background and it seemed like madness to me that all of my adult clients were resolving their childhood issues. And it just made more sense that if I was going to try and help, that I help the little people by giving them... a better pathway so that they have less of a therapy bill later in life because they've been able to thrive from a younger age and a younger start. So I took the insights and things that I'd been learning and personally resolving for myself in my 30s and 40s and started catching themes that seemed to be consistent across most humans. And these became these stories, right? collection of kids books that started growing out of a creative hobby into more of a service-based business. You know, the hug who got stuck here. We can teach kids to access their hearts and get free from sticky thoughts, right? The little brain people where we can introduce the neurotransmitters to kids and lovable characters that they can... immediately fall in love with and start to understand some of the mechanisms of their own working body. And so this is what I spend my time doing. I do a lot of story times, I do a lot of creative writing and then chatting to see like what are parents struggling with, what is it that we can help with because there's a lot of overwhelm in the parenting space. It's a 100% of the time type of job. I didn't want to add anything to that. I wanted to, if anything, streamline it a little bit by catching that moment at the end of the day when you're already putting your little one to sleep, when you're already doing story time, that you can layer in some content that really meets and delivers to some of the other values that are important for the home that you're trying to convey to your kids. Jamie (03:11.616) Yeah, that's fantastic. And these books are powerful. And I'm gonna say that you've sent me a couple of these already prior to the show. And I started reading these with my granddaughter. And admittedly, she's a little too young. She's only 18 months old. And she will, the messages and the way these are written is truly unique. When I first got these, I'll be honest, I kind of got them and thought, oh, he's another author on the podcast. And when I started to read it, Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (03:37.381) Hmm. Jamie (03:39.492) particularly this one, this one really resonated with me where you've taken those neurotransmitters, those brain chemicals, you've personified them into amazing characters to teach kids how their brain works. And most adults don't know how their brain works. Most adults don't get their brain sabotaged. And I think this is tremendously powerful to have kids learning some of this stuff at a young age, as you said, potentially avoiding some of our issues later in adulthood. So. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (03:49.932) Yeah. Hehehehe Jamie (04:09.344) This is a pretty innovative approach in my view. Can you maybe elaborate, maybe let's talk about this book firstly on how the tips and tools provided in this book can help children achieve balance in their day-to-day lives. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (04:16.225) Yeah. So the little brain people, the characters in the story, which all takes place in the world of the brain, they end up... they end up going through fight, flight, and freeze as the three brain states that we, you know, that's more common language, we know about that. But we particularly introduce dopamine and serotonin as the two little characters. Dopamine's yellow, serotonin's pink, and they have slightly different functions that we get to learn. Like, dopamine is very good at solving puzzling problems and making challenging choices. So if you're running low on dopamine, those tasks get harder. And serotonin was best at growing feeling of love, joy and happiness. So you can see the value of them. But now as parents we can see when our kids go into fight, flight or freeze. Hopefully we even notice that in ourselves. And the book has in it this wonderful character of antioxidant and she's the calming neurotransmitter who helps the little ones come back and settle into themselves. And there's an all clear reset button that we have. Each of the books has both a breathing practice at the start of the book called the snuggle breathing meditation that really just transitions nicely into story time. And then at the end we have an activity page and in this book it's the brain balance barometer. And part of my vision on this is that at some stage we might have this item sitting on the fridge as a little. a little gauge that you can use at home and you can see then how are you doing? Are you feeling safe and loved? In other words, your brain is calm, focused and happy. Or are you having a yucky brain moment, which is a fun language that we can start to talk about where you're frightened, fighting and frozen. And then we know how to restore calm by sighing, breathing and relaxing. So we're all looping through all of those positions all the time. in our lives and our ability to thrive as a function of being able to restore calm faster once we're in a yucky brain moment. And so we have to know where we are in order to know what to do next so that we can get back to feeling safe and loved and open and curious and creative. Jamie (06:52.212) And what's cool, like, you know, each of these books has not just the what, but the how, like kind of giving the kids and adults some of those reset tools to reset those states and regulate themselves, which I think is pretty cool. Now, each of your book does contain powerful lessons for kids and families. Let's Actually, let's go back a step. I'm gonna save this one for a minute. The unicorn who found her magic. This is another really cool book and let's come back to that a little later. Let's go back to the beginning for a minute. This all started with you writing a poem. Is that right? So tell me about the journey. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (07:20.632) Yes. Right. Yep. Well, that was me and my journal bunkered down on a windy Scottish day on a hill and I wrote a poem and I thought it needed some pictures. I went to a friend who could draw the pictures and we made the first book. It was really nothing more than a hobby and it didn't get shared. It really was a very private project. A few years later I did that again and then I had three or four or five of them that had just sort of happened. And at that stage my life changed and I knew I was coming to live in the States and both of my parents had passed. And it was just like a big shift in season for me and I had by this stage gotten many years under the belt in my therapeutic training, in my healing world, I've been working with clients and I was like, what is this? story is tied into my healer ship. and what it is that I want to offer. And that was the stage where I did some strategy. I got on the plane and went to Frankfurt Book Fair. I learned about the industry. And I thought, how hard can it be? I'll just go to America and start a publishing business. And that's exactly what I did. It's like I just followed one step after another. The stories kept coming. They showed up on their own accord. I didn't really feel like I was intentionally looking for them most of the time. and I learned about farmers markets. I learned how to print books in China and stick things in warehouses and I tried to learn things about the internet and you know it I got my first experiences at those farmers markets in Boulder, Colorado of meeting my potential customer who I had assumed there was a need I'd sort of really felt quite intuitively about it that Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (09:18.186) that the parenting space was moving towards this language at this time of like, what is conscious parenting? That term had just been coined by Dr. Shafali releasing a book. And she's Oprah's favorite parenting expert. So there was a little bit of language coming into the space about it. And I said, okay, let's keep going. And then I started hearing back from parents by doing the markets repetitively. And it's like, I would get parents coming back books and once a month later I was there again and there they were again and then the kids would come and they wanted to find the next story and then they wanted to tell me what their favorite part was and which story was the best for them and we'd started to get these little snippets of what I would say quality, the quality of connection that was happening, the aliveness that was happening. between the parents and kids when they were doing story time with these books. And it just, you know, kept and still keeps lifting my spirits to be doing the, you know, there's a lot of hard work in the background on running any business. And I'm so grateful for the team of illustrators in South Africa who are fantastic. I've got an amazing business partner, you know. Now we've kind of popped out into being a fuller business in its own right. And you know, here we're chatting to you in Australia, we've got books in Australia and Canada and US, and it's like, and the vision is still coming. We're like really here to find the families that want this type of content. Jamie (10:59.084) Yeah, and you mentioned your talented team of illustrators and the illustrations, they're original, they're remarkable, they're colorful, they're engaging. Like actually a little later, I think you're going to do a storytime for us. So those who stick around to the end of the podcast are going to get to see one of these books inside and start to understand these are truly different, different creations. Parents and our role. So share. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (11:08.258) Yeah. Jamie (11:27.54) Like what role do you think parents should play in fostering their children's spirituality in this digital age? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (11:34.216) Yeah, that's a fabulous question. Our kids are love seeking sponges. They'll take, they'll assume and define what love is by our actions, more than our words, particularly our actions and how we come present with them. If we want to nurture values and spiritual values for our kids, whatever spiritual means then you have to be living them and modeling them. And then it's so important that we also have a sense of congruence between what we say and how we act. Now, I mean, I grew up in apartheid South Africa, and in church education, where what was said inside the church and what was lived outside were totally at odds with each other. And it creates confusion. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (12:40.166) So one of our jobs is just really to be very congruent and then to keep exposing our kids to as much as we can so that they start to learn their own values around things. And I think that it's important to be doing it together. Jamie (12:57.559) Ha! Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (13:01.694) I think this is one of the things that storytime does, is it lets us sit with our little ones and enter story together. And it's part of why story is so connective and storytime, because you're no longer the authority that's saying, here, you need to do something, like brush your teeth and put your pajamas on. We're now the person who's alongside them, and we enter this world together, and then we go on the adventure that happens in the story together. And we do that exercise page at the end together. Hey, what are you grateful for? What are you grateful for? And now all of a sudden we've created some aspect of togetherness. Now it's part of our parenting job to help our little ones metabolize what they experience in the day. And that togetherness is the medicine for doing that metabolizing. Jamie (13:56.136) Yeah, yeah, well said. So how do you see the future of conscious stories and your role as an author in the evolving digital landscape as kids are consuming more tablet kind of devices? And I'm not saying it's a good thing or a bad thing, but how do you see, like, is there a plan for your business to evolve or is it always in hardcover books? Given the way the landscape is changing digitally, how do you see your business and your role as an author changing? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (14:25.938) Yeah, I would really like it to be. always available in hardcover books. I think that there's a certain something about that I grew up with and I bet you grew up with. I know there's another generation here and they're happy to have a different experience. And we might need to flex into that and to meet it and to offer more digital content. At the moment, we're going to explore a little bit of e-book reading opportunity. One of my opportunities is to use my voice more, my riveting South African accent, and to be doing story time in an audio version more. I think that as a sleep tool and again a transition tool. I don't know yet fully how that's going to go. I'm also very interested in... You know, just behind me, and I'm not talking about the things on the wall, but like behind this front face of all of these hardcover books, and you're already talking about the activity pages in, is I've just got a whole host of ideas on some good things that kids and parents can be doing together to help regulate, calm, center, create safety and a sense of belonging. And I think that some of our video platforms It's like, let's do a whole lot of five-minute meditations. Kids actually love little meditations. If it's what they grow up on, then it becomes a very natural thing for them. Whereas for me, I had to learn meditation in my late 20s, and it was like, what is this thing and how does it work? I didn't actually know that I was dysregulated or that I could choose to become regulated. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (16:29.416) young age. Kids get it so quickly. This is the origin of that story, the little brain people, as I spent some of my time studying with Dr. Becky Bailey. Her body of work is called consciousdiscipline.com and it's a brain state trauma informed model for the whole school family. So it supports the child, the kid to kid relationship, the teacher to kid relationship, the teacher to parent relationship and the whole space. to recognize that behaviors that we see on the outside are a function of a brain state shift and that if we can do the right action to attend to the brain coming back to its executive function, then the behavior will change. So it was a high opening for me. I mean, I'd never been exposed to that as a model and so glad that it's so active around the world. Jamie (17:31.572) Pardon me. Back to this book, The Unicorn Who Found Her Magic. This was also a favourite of mine. Maybe you tell me a bit about this book in your own words. What is it about? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (17:36.79) Hmm. Yes. Well... Well, unicorns are so super special. Actually, this is what's behind me on the wall here is the sequel to that story. But in the story that you're holding, there's this young unicorn called Alchemy, and Alchemy needs to go on an adventure to find her special kind of magic. All the other unicorns know what their magic is, but she hasn't found hers yet. And she goes out and she travels from where unicorns live all the way down to Earth, and then she tries some things like really hard trying. And she hopes that she could make heart-shaped apples and that doesn't work and then she hopes she can make starfish sparkle And then that doesn't work and then and then her last attempt just goes horribly wrong and she ends up with heart-shaped starfish apples rainbow colored, you know and It's a great a great moment in the story and in the end she finds herself sitting under a tree feeling You know but like lost and confused and who's also hiding in the tree, who's also feeling a little bit like hiding. And they make friends. And through their friendship, they uncover that all Alchemy had to do was to be herself and to be smiling and friendly and chatty, and it brightened up everybody's day. And that was her special kind of magic, was just being herself and helping kids to smile and be happy. So she's an ambassador for that in the story. And the little exercise at the end is to help kids find their own, connect and chat to their own unicorns, which is a super fun game and activity. Jamie (19:37.824) Yeah, so this is a very powerful message and one that in my opinion is important to teach kids early because kids today suffer from tremendous social pressures and more so than any other previous generation with access to technology and the social media channels, and they're often afraid to be themselves because of these social pressures. So you just mentioned the activity in the back of the book which kind of looks like that. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (20:05.365) Mm-hmm. Jamie (20:07.016) So, you know, this is some, it looks like a playful activity to help children connect with their inner magic and to discover who they are themselves. How did you develop that activity? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (20:18.878) And that activity actually comes on the back of an earlier book in the series, which is an animal whispering story. And this is a story that folks might know because the YouTube documentary of how Diablo became spirit, you know, it's had close on 10 million views. So there'll be people in your community that have heard of it and go, Oh yeah, I know that big black leopard. And for the writing of that story, I learnt from my co-author, how one does some animal communication. And the principles are very much the same in the way that we've set up the connecting with the unicorn and actually it doesn't matter, they would be the same principles if it was you and I wanting to really connect and drop in and go a little bit deeper. We would be slowing our breathing, we'd be coming more into our heart center, you know, we might have some eye to eye connection, all of these are the things that start to build connection and so we just mapped them out again and made them available for the unicorn activity. Jamie (21:29.undefined) Yeah, yeah, what wonderful exercise and I like that it's more than just the moral of the story or the what this there's a lot of the how and how kids can become more connected to themselves. And these are, you know, some of these activities are great to use as adults, and not just for kids, in my view. So well done. Like there's some cool stuff. And it certainly is more than a book. So maybe a bit of a selfish question for me. Can you tell me about the process of writing one of your books? So like, where does the initial concept come from and getting it all the way to publication, just a bit of an overview of what, what the process looks like for you as an author. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (22:05.838) So, yeah. Mostly for me, people say, where did the idea come from? And I'm like, it's just there. Just like I just reach up and I just catch it. You know, it's like, if you needed a, you might need a butterfly catching net to swish and catch yourself an idea. But I'm not the person who has any shortage of those. I know in some of my creativity coaching work, some people struggle to find their idea. But usually what we find is that there is an idea that's got a hint, follow that hint through and it's one of the things that I learned early on was that I really to not to not to let the foot to let the first spark of creativity live unedited and When I get an impulse or an idea for something I just start writing and so it doesn't matter if it ever goes anywhere It doesn't need to come out clean and fully formed Sometimes I've been lucky enough that it does is a story in the collection called the boy who searched for silence And I did a four-day silent retreat not thinking anything about right story and got to the end of it and I wrote a story in five minutes that was fully formed. Once that's down, I tend to let it simmer a little bit before it goes across to my editor. I co-work with my editor rather than bounce things backwards and forwards. There's a little bit of shaping so that we can start to imagine where the page And usually a picture book is 32, 40 or 48 pages and that's to do with the printing presses on the other side of the world. And And then we have a typesetter who lays out the books. Now we've got a standard now. We know what our font is. We know what our positioning is. We've got some rules that govern that. That doesn't happen when you're making your first kids book. You know, when you're making your first kids book, you do what I did, and then you go to the illustrator and you make them become a copywriter and probably an editor, and you get them all to, you mishmash it all together and you work it out. And there's a lot of people doing that, and I think it's great. You just like it, you know, it's a fine way to start. But we put our words on the page before we give them to the illustrator. And there's always a creative tension between the words and the art. You know, the art wants to have the whole page and the words want to have the whole page. Now we've got to work out who gets what and how they're in partnership and who's saying what because there's so much that's said through the illustration that's not said through the words. And... And what's behind me is a proof up on the wall here, is I only print the book out once down at the local FedEx and then it goes up on the walls and that's my check before we print a couple of thousand copies. So we're going to make sure that everything's looking right. No pencil lines left from the original art and things like that. And then it's off we go. You know, the making a book these days is something that's relatively simple. There's a lot of people who prepare to help you and get you published in the self-publishing space. I think the real challenge in the industry is selling books. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (25:34.438) and typically a bestseller never sells more than 3,000 copies. That's an industry statistic. So we're sitting here with 23 books in the collection now and over 150,000 books sold. So I'm out of the self-published band, but I don't really fit into anything else. So DIY over here. Jamie (25:59.581) That's wonderful. Thank you. Thank you for sharing. So coming back to sort of tech and a bit of a theme of our podcast is what advice would you give to parents who are trying to balance the digital influences in their children's lives with more traditional forms of learning and spiritual development? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (26:01.837) Yeah. Yes. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (26:20.81) Yeah, I don't want it to be a competition, but I think it is a competition at times. And, you know, we can't all... If we can get outside and jump in the car and leave the device and go and be out in the wilderness or exploring something, then that becomes more interesting than the device and the allure of what the pull is different. Frankly, these devices help us as well as parents because we also really benefit from our kids having some quiet time and them being engaged in something that's of interest on the screen allows us an opportunity. to focus on whatever else we have to work with. So we've got to get the balance there. I think that this is about fun in some way. And if you're competing for something, in terms of your kids' attention, kids like fun. And if you're able to build a relationship that includes fun, includes play, includes games, includes stories, And then, consistency and rhythms are so important in the family home for kids to be able to know that they're going to get their time on a device. And then they're also going to get their time for story and they're going to get times when some things don't go their way. And Glenn and Doyle's whispering, you can do hard things. And there we are as parents being the... the, I don't know, mediators and adjudicators of those transitions. And I think that if we can attend and learn how to transition between things, then the smoother the transitions go, the less harsh, you know, the reactivity that comes into the room. And I think this is that snuggle breathing meditation. It's like going to sleep isn't switching a light off at the end of the day. You don't just go click and you're gone. It's a whole wind down and preparation. And if we can start to go, I breathe for me, I breathe for you, I breathe for us, I breathe for all that surrounds us. That is a transition tool can be used in different places. I actually start most business meetings using that. And we all just feel a bit better for it. Jamie (28:56.148) Yeah, wonderful advice. Thank you, Andrew. What we might do as promised at the beginning of the show is have you perform one of your book readings. And so for those who are listening on an audio device, Andrew is going to share his screen with the book, but this is still going to work just fine over audio. If you're listening, you can continue to listen. and you get to see some of the really cool stuff that Andrew and his team do. So I'm going to I'm going to hide my screen and get rid of my face and just leave it to you and the book reading for the next few minutes and then I'll come back at the end and we'll wind up the podcast. How does that sound? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (29:32.898) Jamie, that sounds great. The story that we're going to do is a story called The Hug Who Got Stuck. A little hug coming at where we're about to meet. This is for children of all ages. And I'm very good at putting people to sleep. If you fall asleep halfway through the story, my work is done and I claim a great victory. And which is just a comment to say, if you're driving and story time takes you in a whimsical path, drive safely. Let me share a screen here. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (30:18.918) And Jamie, just give me the thumbs up because I can't see myself. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (30:24.882) Have you got a big green hug in front of you? Okay, welcome to story time. This book is dedicated to all who hug. It's illustrated by Alexis Aronson. Of course written by me, Andrew Newman, and available from ConsciousStories.com. It's snuggle breathing time. So, four simple breaths, breathing in, I breathe for me. Jamie (30:25.364) Yeah, you... Oh, perfect. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (30:52.219) Ah. Breathe for you. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (30:59.054) Ah, I breathe for us. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (31:07.47) and I breathe for all that surrounds us. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (31:17.938) Once upon a time, on a very ordinary day, deep in the center of a very ordinary heart, an extraordinary thing happened. Deep in the center of this heart was a hug factory. The Hug Factory made the most warm, cosy, cuddly hugs. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (31:42.894) This is. quick tour of the hug factory for you. Hugs come zooming in the door of the heart. They get into a special room where they glow brightly. The love of that glow is caught by the solar panels. It fills up the big green battery with love energy that powers a light deep in the center of the heart where baby hugs are growing in a forest of trees that is hydroponically drip fed by star dust, rainbow light, and a basket of warm fuzzy feelings. And when the hugs are ready, they're picked through the encoding room and they go zooming out into the world. This is a little Willy Wonka-ish. Each hug was freshly made and specially encoded with just the right amount of love and care to delight the heart it was made for. Being a hug wasn't always easy. Sometimes a lonely thought or bad feeling would trap a hug in a sticky web. Uh-oh, in the web you can see nobody loves me. I'm all alone, anxious, who cares? So to help hugs deliver their love and care, it was a big sign on the factory wall. Reminders to being a great hug. One, breathe in love to glow brightly. 2. Focus entirely on the heart the lovers fall and 3. Don't pay too much attention to the web of sticky thoughts. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (33:13.886) On most days you could see streams of hugs entering and leaving the door of the heart, zooming away like bees from a hive. But not on this day. On this day, it was a problem. One special hug on its way out of the heart got stuck. Very, very stuck. Uh oh. This hug had forgotten the third rule. It fought against the web of sticky thoughts to get free, but every wriggle and squirm trapped the hug even more. Soon the hug ran out of breath and lost its glow. The pages are getting darker and darker. Inside, the heart became horribly congested with crowds of hugs waiting to get out. Unused hugs were put into boxes until every inch of space was filled up. Outside the heart, there was also a problem. A traffic jam of visiting hugs couldn't get in to deliver their special love and care. Soon the factory stopped making new hulks. Hmm. There was only one stuck hug in the center of one ordinary heart, but all around the world, hugs lost a little of their glow. Uh-oh. The hug sighed helplessly. Can we all sigh together? Ah. It stopped wriggling, stopped squirming, and stopped fighting. In that moment, something magical happened. As it stopped wriggling, it breathed in love and glowed brighter. As it stopped squirming, it remembered the heart it was made for. As it stopped fighting, it slipped right past the web of sticky thoughts. Free! Yay! The hug glowed brighter and brighter, zooming away toward the one special heart it was made for. The hug factory clinked and whirled back to life. A flood of hugs passed in and out of the heart, each delivering their special love and care. It was just one hug who got unstuck in the center of one ordinary heart. And all around the world, an extraordinary softening happened. The end. Give you a sneak peek of the... daily hug meter which is an activity page and we can chat about how many hugs did you receive today, how many did you give, what special ingredients do you put into your hugs, what sticky thoughts are bothering you, do you remember how to get free, let's do that now and who are you growing hugs for as you sleep snuggly tonight? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (36:08.278) That's the hug who got stuck. Jamie (36:11.116) Thank you. That's the first official live reading we've had on our podcast. I appreciate your time and your generosity there. Now, one fun question that we do love to ask all of our guests on the show is if we had a time machine and current Andrew could go back to perhaps your 10 or 15 year old self, what's one piece of advice that you'd give yourself? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (36:32.438) Ooh, um, hmm hmm. I might say speak up. I was quite shy, and I'd say to myself... speak up. And I mean that's not, don't take that lightly because there was a reason that I wasn't speaking up and it's like the environment and the being a sensitive kid and trying to work out my place in school and home and family and all of that. But I think that it would have served me to express some of the things that were on my heart that I held. And perhaps, you know, I could have, my parents weren't the super emotional types, but I had a lot of emotion and it's like, I think, like if I'd been able to share more of that, would have, I would have been seen more and met more and at those times would have gone easier. People would have understood more of what it was that I was, who I was and what I needed. Jamie (37:25.172) Yeah, wise words, important words. Thank you, Andrew. Now, I know you can get these books if you're in Australia from DIMX. Amazon, is that right? Amazon as well. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (37:35.194) You can get them from ConsciousStories.com. We, yeah, come straight to us. Yeah, absolutely. And yep, we've set up Australia. I've got rich, warm friendships there and it feels like a community and family, that part of our family. So yeah. Jamie (37:37.181) or straight from the website. Perfect. Conjurestories.com. Where can we find you on socials if parents want to follow you and your work? Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (38:00.946) Yeah, Instagram under conscious bedtime stories. And Facebook's the same thing, conscious bedtime stories. Jamie (38:09.132) Fantastic, Andrew. Thank you so much for your time and generosity today. Thank you for the remarkable work you're doing. These are some very unique books indeed. Hope we cross paths again soon. Cheers and bye for now. Andrew Newman www.consciousstories.com (38:21.278) Yeah, thanks Jamie. Aloha from the islands.
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