Why, As Adults, We MUST Help Our Children On Their Sanctuary Journey

October 4, 2018

Helen Joy Butler - Aware Child quote 2

As a child I grew up in the country. The town we lived in was small – only 3000 people – with pretty much everyone in the community knowing everyone else. As an adult I can see how that could be “interesting” but as a child it felt wonderful. There was always someone we knew keeping an eye on us, making sure we were safe, whether that was our parents, grandparents, or family friends. Of course as teenagers we weren’t so happy about this at all!

My Dad arrived in this small country town at the age of one, the eldest of seven children, living with his parents in a tent just outside the town for some time before enough money became available to move closer in. As the eldest child I am sure my Dad had a lot of responsibility growing up, to help his parents and siblings live a life which helped sustained them all.

I also know that my parents – and perhaps yours – had no idea of the concept of Sanctuary. And, importantly, they had no idea of how to help their children connect with Sanctuary. I mean, it just wasn’t a factor right? Parents worked and brought up their kids; kids grew up, went to school and tried to stay out of trouble.

And so it is that my generation – the one where technology has exploded and ‘busy’ has become the norm – have no idea how to bring about Sanctuary in our own lives. Technology and the speed of life has fast outgrown our brain and body’s ability to make sense of it all, let along reflect at length on the impact it may be having on our physical, emotional or spiritual health. I’ve spoken at length about this in my books and on the HJB blog.

So today I’d like to talk about the children in our lives – whether they are ours biologically or not – and why we, as adults, MUST encourage and support them on their Sanctuary journey.

And beyond all of this, how we bring about Sanctuary for the Aware Child.

Because without Sanctuary the Aware Child may grow up like me, and perhaps you – as a child who was misunderstood for her innate wisdom, stumbling through life wearing the “black sheep of the family” label very poorly, and often battling her own negative self-talk because of it.

So – our children.

The biggest asset we have as a community and society.

And yet, what do we do with them?

If I was to sum it up in one sentence I would say that we box our children up from birth, to fit the mould that we/our parents/grandparents/society taught us, doing a great job of breaking their spirit along the way .

Now take the Aware Child.

I know I haven’t shared my definition of an Aware Child as yet – I will definitely do that in a few weeks – but at this stage the word ‘sensitive’ might help you understand the concept a little. Those of you who have heard the words “you’re too sensitive” know exactly what I’m talking about. And those of you have said these words to someone else in your life do as well – you just may not understand the impact those words had when you said them.

So the Aware Child.

The Aware Child has come into the world, into your life, for a reason. Our own Aware Child is 12, but there were many born before him and many born since.

The Aware Child has a deep inner knowing; a wisdom beyond his or her years.

A wisdom that, if encouraged and supported, will bring about the change we often talk about and want to see in our world. In nature. Within the science community. Across social justice causes.

But how can this Aware Child make the difference he or she is here to make, if as adults we don’t encourage, support and advocate for them to do exactly what they know they are here to do? Yes they may be young and not have the vocabulary of an adult, but that doesn’t mean they’re not passionate about causes or people or things that interest them from a very young age.

I’m not saying we should encourage poor behaviour in our children. I’m not saying we should pander to their every demand. In fact, I’m saying quite the opposite.

Because you see, this Aware Child is an old soul. And this Aware Child has a sense of empathy and compassion for others that runs deep. And so it is that the Aware Child doesn’t tend to show poor behaviour in the way a ‘naughty’ child does. I’m not saying the Aware Child doesn’t throw tantrums or get upset or go through hormonal angst as a teenager – they do. It’s just that they have a better understanding of their emotions and feelings than the non-Aware Child, with an inner compass that knows how society expects them to behave, even if they feel inside that it makes no sense whatsoever.

This is why we need to allow our Aware Child to connect with their own version of Sanctuary.

Because this disconnect with how society expects them to be and their inner knowing of who they are at their core is at war.

They are often battling the two and so it is that the Aware Child can become stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, sick, because they have no way of getting this disconnect out of their body.

This is why as adults we need to guide the children in our lives toward Sanctuary. Because if we don’t, who will?

So what could Sanctuary look like for the children in your life, whether you feel they are Aware or not?

  • Sleeping in
  • Going to bed early
  • Soaking in a bath tub
  • Playing with a loved pet
  • Travelling to the seaside
  • Walking in nature
  • Sitting against a tree
  • Daydreaming
  • Reading
  • Watching a movie while cuddled up to a loved one
  • Breathing deeply and learning meditation
  • Using essential oils
  • Having a close circle of friends
  • Building / creating with their hands
  • Using up physical energy in a way that feels right for them
  • Being heard
  • Eating healthy meals that support their system
  • Brushing your hair
  • Holding your hand
  • Helping you in the garden
  • Being near water
  • Climbing trees
  • Laughing
  • Being tickled
  • Holding your face in their hands
  • Having their back rubbed
  • Singing funny songs
  • Wriggling their toes in the grass or sand
  • Taking the day off school

Your Child, no matter their disposition, needs to be shown, guided and directed down the Sanctuary path.

As a parent you are the most important guiding force in their lives.

So how do you find out what will bring Sanctuary into your child’s life?

Firstly, you get a feeling for their Sanctuary Language. And then you ask them!

Sit with your child and say:

“What would you like to do today that would help you feel calm and happy?
What would help you relax / unwind / de-stress from your day and help you feel connected with your body?”

Ask these questions in an age-appropriate way. I know you know the words to use. And I know, whether you’ve been happy to connect with my Sanctuary message for yourself before or not, that you know deep in your heart its importance when it comes to your children.

And then please share with me the answer/s you receive. Because by sharing them with me you are sharing them with other parents reading this blog post as well. And without knowing it you are helping to create a community of people who understand deeply the importance of Sanctuary in their children’s lives, and their own.

I will see you next week with another article in this series.

With much love,

Helen xx

PS There are a few articles on the Aware Child that you may like to read. If you’d like to continue this journey with me, please join us in the Sanctuary Inner Circle – it’s free!

Are You Sensitive? Or Just More Aware?

When Synchronicities Gently Guide You Down A Different Path – A New Sanctuary Message To Share.

Helen Joy Butler - Sanctuary Creator and Elemental Space Clearing® practitioner


  • Celia

    Everything you described is what my son likes to do. He is 10. He asked me what he can he do to deal with stress! He was acting up a bit at school and said it was because he was stressed out for a few reasons and they were valid. I suggested drawing, painting, playing his guitar. He is very crafty and talented and likes to build things with LEGO’s and now robotics. I hope this helps. He also likes to watch videos that make him laugh.

    • Helen Joy Butler

      Oh I LOVE these ideas Celia, thank you for sharing them! I love hearing our son laugh – it brings me so much joy. I’m sure you feel the same with your beautiful boy. Xx

  • Nicole

    Helen, my now grown (24yrs) son is one of these children. Like Celia’s son, use of LEGO and allowing him space on his own was essential for him. I’d also say the point of singing funny songs and seeing Celia’s guitar playing song, expanding the idea of music in all its forms.
    Music is a language of frequency and vibration which for a sensitive human (child or adult) to use as listening, playing, creating, any form of it. Sound heals. My son loves listening to music of all kinds (classical was his choice in high school along with an ongoing love of jazz), was introduced to piano about age 4 or 5 then moved to the trumpet during his primary years of school then took on the saxophone with the trumpet in high school. He has (for packing purposes) taken his trumpet (saxophone is with me) overseas to his new home/experiences where he sourced a soundproof room and music teacher to keep his music connection.

  • Sand

    Dearest Helen,

    Just lead into one of your newsletters and ended up looking into all that you’ve been into lately, thus a big cheer for all the lovely things you have so creatively expanded into. I just had to tell you how happy I am to see how things are evolving for you coming from a place of gratitude for being my mentor of sanctuary, from whom lessons learnt are dear and near and so lovingly practiced and valued. The other day I asked my boy (5 years) what he thought of mommy doing best as a conversational starter and he ended up saying “books, dancing and relaxing” and I felt that I really owed it for you, if I am a role model for my son today, who too is an “aware child” who choses world music, a book or blockplay as his way of practicing sanctuary! Looking forward to all that you have to share on this series of writing and cheering you on the sidelines as always. Love, Sand

    • Helen Joy Butler

      Gorgeous Sand, what an incredible comment for me to wake up to and see. Thank you so much! I’ve absolutely loved sharing the Sanctuary journey with you, and so appreciate that you can see its importance in our children’s lives – particularly our aware children. I look forward to sharing more of the journey with you. <3

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