Katherine Earl has spent twenty years designing curricula and programs for children of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. She has conceptualized and brought to life over 200 renowned arts based community development programs over the span of 15 years. Katherine is a consultant, certified teacher, program director, visual artist and mother of two. Her most recent accomplishment is creating My Life Playbook, an arts based mindset journal for kids promoting self awareness, self love and mindfulness. The book became the inspiration for her product based business – My Life Creative, which launched in April of 2021. My Life Creative focuses on products for kids that build resilience using creativity. Katherine has been featured on CTV News, CBC News and Global News providing tips on how parents can support their childrens’ emotional wellness. Katherine’s life’s mission is to use the arts to create fun and interactive experiences that promote resilience, emotional wellbeing and personal growth in everyone, but especially children.

In this episode:

  • Finding the right juggle for you. It can be a journey of trying different options and deciding what feels right with some bumps and detours along the way. 
  • Take time to recognize and celebrate the little things both personally and professionally. 
  • Strategies to manage the juggle include a routine with a mix of structured time, unstructured time, and connection time, self-compassion, and practicing mindfulness. 
  • Creativity and resilience go hand in hand. Creativity promotes positive emotions and mindset, gives our mind a break, can be an outlet to channel our emotions, encourages problem solving, and normalizes making mistakes.
  • Encouraging creativity in our children: Let them be bored, create an environment where creativity is available, step back and don’t interfere, encourage the mess, praise the process, and ask questions about the process. 

 

Connect with Katherine:

Katherine Earl is the founder of My Life Creative which focuses on products for kids that build resilience using creativity.
Connect with Tiana and The Part-Time Jungle:

 

CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS

Katherine talks about taking time to celebrate the small things and the small wins. “Right now, the successes are all about those small little things and that’s really helping me with my own mindset and also, just helping the general vibe in the house overall.”

As a mom, Katherine is celebrating:

  • Her kids being able to get their own snacks.
  • Her older daughter being able to help our her younger daughter with virtual school.

 

In work, Katherine is celebrating:

  • Somebody reposting something that she has shared on Instagram.
  • Being able to have an uninterrupted Zoom meeting.

 

Remembering to acknowledge and celebrate the small wins is definitely something that I need to be better and more intentional about.

Katherine Earl, of My Life Creative, defines mindfulness as checking in with yourself and knowing when you need a break.

MINDFULNESS

“Mindfulness means checking in with yourself and knowing when you need a break. It means being aware of what you’re feeling and what you’re sensing and not judging yourself. It is taking a pause and taking the time you need.”

This can be looking out the window at the trees for a little while after spending the morning on Zoom. It might just be taking a few deep breaths. It might be going outside, leaving your phone inside, and drinking a cup of tea. 

Other strategies that are helpful to Katherine include: 

  • Having routine with a mix of structured time, unstructured time, and connection time with her family
  • Naming self-compassion, practicing self-compassion, and teaching her kids about self-compassion

Katherine Earl, of My Life Creative, says that resilience if like a muscle that we can train, flex, develop, and maintain over time.

BUILDING RESILIENCE 

“Resilience is like a muscle that we can train, flex, develop, and maintain over time.” Building resilience and being resilient helps us to look past our problems and to come up with healthy solutions. It involves decision making, building healthy relationships, and self-awareness. 

Things can change really quickly. Things can change on a dime. We want to arm our kids with strategies that they can use to build up their inner strength so that they can navigate their lives. As well, they can be a part of the positive change and positive growth within our society. Ultimately, our kids are going to be leaders who see us through this next phase.

 

Katherine Earl, of My Life Creative, creates products for kids that build resilience using creativity.

CREATIVITY & RESILIENCE

Creativity and resilience go hand in hand.

  • Creativity promotes positive emotions and mindset.
  • Creativity gives our minds a break similar to meditation.
  • Creativity is an outlet to channel both our positive and negative emotions.
  • Creativity encourages problem solving skills and normalizes making mistakes.
  • Sharing our creativity allows us to experience vulnerability.

KIDS & CREATIVITY

Our kids are naturally so creative. In general, kids are creative through their play. They are flexing their decision-making skills, their leadership skills, and they are learning about conflict resolution and healthy relationships. There’s not a lot that we need to do, as parents, to set them up to be creative. 

 

ENCOURAGING OUR KIDS CREATIVITY

How can we encourage our kids to be creative: 

  1. Let them be bored
  2. Create an environment where creativity is available 
  3. Step back and don’t interfere
  4. Encourage the mess… 
  5. Praise the process and ask them questions about the process

We want them to own that process. We want them to understand that they grew through that process. 

 

CREATIVE PROJECT IDEA: AFFIRMATION JAR

  1. Find a container or jar of any kind.
  2. Have your child personalize it and decorate it. 
  3. Have your child write down positive things about themself on pieces of paper and put them in the jar. (E.g. I am kind. I am a good helper.)
  4. Provide ideas for your child as needed.
  5. If your child is feeling sad or down, they can read through their affirmations that are written in their own writing. 

This activity teaches your child about self-worth, the power of positive self-talk, and how to use affirmations to support yourself. 

CREATIVE PROJECT IDEA: KINDNESS ROCKS

  1. Send your child outside to collect medium sized rocks. 
  2. Have your child paint them in bright colours. 
  3. Write positive statements and words on the rocks. (E.g. Love, Unity, Respect)
  4. Go for a walk and leave the rocks for other children to find. 

Katherine Earl, of My Life Creative, creates products for kids that build resilience using creativity.

BEG, BORROW, & STEAL FROM KATHERINE

  • Go-to meal on a busy night: 
    • For her family: Pasta with a premade store-bought pesto and some cut up veggies or 
    • For just Katherine: Stove popped popcorn cooked in coconut oil
  • Favourite family activity: Family walks
  • Favourite books: 
    • We Should be Millionaires by Rachel Rodgers
    • You are a Badass at Making Money by Jen Sincero