Eps 132: A conversation with Liz Haske about letting go of worry

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Today’s guest is Liz Haske, a mother, an international teacher and instructional coach and children’s book author. She has over 15 years elementary classroom experience in six different countries and is super passionate about empowering children to be their most courageous selves.  Her first book, When Worry Takes Hold, was released in November 2017 and aims to help young children cope with worry by using mindful breathing. Join us!

“It’s about a young girl who’s afraid to do different things and she realizes that she has the power inside her and if she puts her hands on her belly, she can be brave.”

 “Stories help us be better people if we are reading the right books”

 “We want to empower these little people to realize they can do it. They can develop the tools and they can be confident and they can face what is presented to them in healthy and positive ways.”

“Worry gets bigger and bigger the more that we do it.”

“We can be brave, and everyone has worries … whether it’s helping our kids be brave or us being brave to face whatever parenting challenge it may be.”

“Courage is just a deep breath away.” 

What you’ll hear in this episode:

·      The basis & inspiration for When Worry Takes Hold


·      Worry as a visitor and the power to ask it to leave

·      Acknowledging & expecting worry

·      Externalizing worry and setting limits

·      Following the why – getting to the root of big feelings

·      Manifestations and signs of worry

·      Addressing underlying worry vs. addressing the behaviors

·      Taking a wide view to problem solving worry

·      How not to take worry related behaviors personally

·      Why trying to talk kids out of their worries doesn’t work

·      Managing worry as a practice

·      Tools for managing worry and how they can be applied to other situations

·      Mindful breathing vs. “Let’s take some deep breaths”

·      The power of mindful breathing

·      How to know when to get professional help (duration, intensity, impact, age appropriateness)

·      Journaling worries to find patterns and icebergs

·      Liz’s upcoming projects on the horizon

·      The importance of exercising self-compassion

What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

I’m going to answer it in two parts. I’d say the first way, which is for me personally, is finally having the courage to do something I’ve been dreaming about for over ten years and the absolute joy of going through the learning process of taking an idea and turning it into something that kids can hold in their hands and hopefully read and become better because of it. So that is absolutely Joyful Courage.

But I think it’s also in the context of kids the feeling that they get when they face their fear and they realize how empowered they are. It might not be breathing is their strategy, but perhaps When Worry Takes Hold might be a book that just starts a conversation with them and an adult in their life that, “Yeah, you know what, I do get a bit worried. Let’s try this breathing thing.” And, “You know what? This breathing thing isn’t working for me.” But then, there’s now this opening for more tools to be introduced because it’s something that’s been brought to the surface.  

The book ends with, “Courage is just a deep breath away.” I think that when children can realize this, they’re empowered. There’s really a pure sense of pride and joy in being brave and finding courage and so that’s kind of what it means to me.  


When Worry Takes Hold

Where to find Liz:



Chaos to Calm

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