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Here you will find captivating case studies, disruptive discussions, and thought-provoking blogs that will equip you with a deeper insight into our charity and what we’re about.
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In one of Roger Hargreaves adorable Mr Men books, we meet ‘Mr Topsy-Turvy’. We learn how, for this unfortunate character, everything is either upside down, inside out or back to front – in fact, it’s always topsy-turvy! As a result, life is very challenging for Mr Topsy-Turvy and everyone around him. He talks backwards; walks ‘up’ the ‘down’ escalator; gets off the wrong side of the train; and generally creates havoc wherever he goes. And to top it off, the poor chap has no idea why he creates such bedlam! For most of my childhood, teens and early adult life, I felt a lot like Mr Topsy-Turvy.
About six years ago I heard Terry Rubenstein, iheart’s founder, speak at a conference in London about how to find resilience in the most challenging situations and I was so impressed. I was a teacher in a school at the time and realised this would be so valuable to be able to teach these concepts to my students. So my involvement goes back to the very beginning in 2016. A group of us realised that it would be very helpful to reach younger people to prevent lots of suffering before they became older. That way, we could be preventative, instead of managing people’s problems as adults.
The illusion could not be more prevalent. It is in our love poetry, on our football pitches, it’s in the teddy-bear we’ve had since before we could walk. It’s under the bed at night, in every embarrassing memory, every worst-case scenario, the run you cannot go without, the dress you have to buy. It’s in our fear of lateness, of ill health, of disaster, decimation, spiders, responsibility, you name it. It’s in the excitement for your birthday gifts, dependence on your partner, relief at the good weather. It’s in our quest for “positive thinking” and deep-seated fear of being unhappy.
Recently I have been reflecting on a strong inner desire that I witness – not only in myself, but also in my friends and family. The desire to ‘make it better’ or ‘fix it’ for the people we care about. There’s my mother with her 90-year-old sister in California who is gradually losing her mental capacity: My aunt phones my mum to ‘off load’ telling her how horrible life is and how she wishes she could just not wake up tomorrow. When my mum puts the phone down, she is full of angst and big feelings that she finds hard to manage. There’s my friend whose daughter is struggling with an eating disorder.
The iheart family is so terribly saddened to share the heart-breaking news that after battling her illness so bravely for so long, Shoshanah Kahan passed away this past Friday night, surrounded by her beloved and adoring family. Shoshanah leaves us at the far too young age of 54. Shosh, as she was fondly known, was a dear friend to so many of us – a wonderful colleague, a brilliant teacher, and above all, a remarkable human being. She had countless friends, students and people – young and old – whom she supported, influenced, cared for, taught, mentored, and for whom she did extraordinary acts of kindness.