Smartview Stories™ is a children’s empowerment book project that was birthed on the new moon of July, 2018. This came quite by surprise, I simply woke up that morning and knew I wanted to do this, that all of me was onboard, and that this project would unfold all in it’s own ripe timing. It feels like it comes from a place within me that has observed Self-in-Presence and has opted to team together in a way that models this way of being. Earlier in 2018, I had a strong felt sense image of groups of me coming together in team-like huddles and this is one joyful, confident team gathered here for this project.
I was first inspired by a concept of helping people everywhere find the Safe Place within us that we practice as Focusers. As we move ourselves toward Self-in -Presence, we are bringing safety to our inner world. Each time we find a way for this situation or this challenging moment to feel seen and accepted to be itself, we bring safety. We may not be able to do this in every moment, however we practice and it happens more often. When we feel a tenseness, a tightness, discomfort of any kind, we pause, tune into the environment and our situation and find something around us to rest into as a safe place. My daily walks in the woods reminded me of this. I noticed all the safe niches that ecosystems create within themselves. We can do this too.
The first story I wrote is called A Puddly Kind of Day. I wanted to show how a common shaming type of experience that might happen in our youth, would be handled differently if you and the people around you had an awareness of Focusing skills. Early on, I shared this story with two people close to me who are both Focusers and have editing skills. One is my daughter Jenny Vicenzi and I continue to be grateful for her editing support. The other person is Inge Smith Terrill, a local Floyd Focuser. Well, something much larger happened with Inge as we moved into 2019. She fell head over heels in love with the project and is now my co-conspirator. Together we see more of the potential directions we could go with this. We are both natural connectors. No doubt to either of us, this will be a community project, lots of people will help along the way. We believe every person we have ever shared this project idea with is alive here in what emerges. The joys and challenges facing humanity, from tiny to huge, are here too. Thank you world for weaving the beautiful and strong ground this project stands upon.
Inge and I are so happy to be in this co-creative dance with you right now!
Sandy and Inge – co-creators of Smartview Stories™, at the entry sign to the Smart View Recreational Area, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in SW Virginia.
Smartview Stories™ holds a vision of self-empowerment, healing, connection and community development around the globe.
Self-Empowerment: Our stories illustrate innate human relational skills (i.e. Focusing skills) that both children and adults can practice and apply to any life situation. Each book will include three stories around a topic that could be referenced by teachers, counselors, parents. Our stories are applicable to both youth and adults.
Healing: Smartview Stories™ meet people where they are. Aspects of our societies are very broken. Our characters will embody our cultural traumas. We will witness how to heal ourselves and be a healing presence for those around us. The stories will lead the way forward, in the same way our own bodies know how.
Connection: Focusing skills are the experience of connection. They apply to every relational encounter; self, others, or environment. Three super hero characters will help readers notice where they currently are in their brain: right hemisphere, left hemisphere, or this bigger space we create for neurons to connect freshly. In this bigger space, we have access to aha’s, new perspectives and fresh solutions.
Community: A real-life intentional Focusing community is a dream for Focusers around the world. The stories explore the realities of what their lives would look like by doing this. Our community will also illustrate the values of the Appalachian area where we live with emphasis on music, dance, arts, small organic farms, herbs, nature, and simple living outside of time.
“Stories are medicine….They have such power;
they do not require that we do, be, act anything–we need only listen.
The remedies for repair or reclamation of any lost psychic drive are contained in stories.” ~Clarissa Pinkola Estes
There is so much about this project that is still a mystery to us. If you are familiar at all with Focusing, you know that an important skill we practice is becoming comfortable with ‘not knowing’. We love how this picture of us goes in and out of focus, like something was playing tricks with us. If you look closely at the picture, an edge forms at every place where clarity meets foggy. Every Smartview Story will give this sense of an edge, where we know ‘this much’ clearly, and this other part, is not yet clear. Edges can be very uncomfortable in real life. Most of us have all sorts of protective behaviors in place to avoid them. We might change the subject, move out of the room, get something to eat, turn to our smartphones. It is very important to understand that edges are also where our brains take in new information. If we think we already know the answer, as in we only notice what is comfortable and clear already to us, then we miss an opportunity to learn something new. A younger child is naturally interested and curious about life. Sometimes we say kids are like sponges they learn so fast. And somehow, slowly, this sponginess gets stiffer and we are not so open to learning new things. Our stories will encourage using our brain in ways that support life long learning habits.
Life becomes a real adventure when you are willing to explore what is happening within/among/around you right now, freshly. It could be, this moment now, you will choose to do something new, something you’ve never done before.
We certainly are! And we hope you join us!
Sandy and Inge exploring the home site area of Grampy and Grammy in our stories.
ADVENTURE AHEAD? LET’S GO!
Smartview Stories™ are in process. The first book was published Sept 7, 2021. Our next steps include completing two more books, also featuring the Poplar Family. We’ve had to switch illustrators for the people. Despite that, we expect book 2 to be available by January, 2022 and book 3 before spring. Next in line after the Poplar Family, we’ll be writing about the Oak Family. We will get to include some of the interesting history about this land and the Floyd area in these stories and make some new local friends in the process.
We are not expecting to sell the books here initially. We suggest you purchase directly from our printer/distributor Vervante.
Our books are also available on Amazon’s Marketplace, these are also supplied directly by Vervante.