As our microphones connect over zoom, I hear Andrew’s South African accent for the first time and I can sense his light, cheery presence on the other end of this call. He is kind I immediately deduce when he offers first a polite “thanks” for being a part of this podcast even before we begin. I smile internally. Kindness is my love language and Andrew is clearly full of kindness. We need more people in the world like him. I think his body of work will help us accomplish this.
Andrew’s life journey is fascinating, it’s multi-faceted, and it spans multiple continents, careers, and humanitarian work. He is candid and honest about needing healing on his path to evolve into the person I am speaking with today. At twenty-seven, he walked away from the security and stability of a familial business, to pursue a creative and authentic life. He did what many of us do on the path of spirituality and personal development.
He listened to himself.
He honored a calling, without having clarity or a clear vision in that moment but he found the courage to change course and set off in a new direction.
In honoring his calling and his personal work, he came to create Conscious Bedtime Stories. A collective of fourteen books (and growing) that teach children how to center themselves at night and set an intention for the next day. Each book provides a story about a character on a fun journey that will help them become more peaceful and conscious. At the end of each book is an interactive guide to spark curiosity and connection with their parents.
Andrew begins to recite the Snuggle Breathing Mediation, I relax instantly and it reminds me of the Buddhist Metta meditation (or loving-kindness mediation). The Snuggle Breathing Meditation hits all the high notes, calling on connecting with yourself, your parent (or partner), connecting to one another, and connecting to the world and everything that is.
In our interview, Andrew begins to speak into existence, what he hopes his legacy will be with these books and he says he wishes to bring about a new revival of the bedtime ritual for children. He recognizes in our modern society something about this sacred ritual has been lost. For many different reasons we have fallen away from the ritual of evening prayers, or nightly mediations. But mostly because we are a very busy society, with parents juggling a lot each day. Settling your children into bed can sometimes become more chaotic, than one would expect for the act of transitioning into relaxing sleep. Andrew wants to change this.
He is changing this.
In his Tedx Talk, titled “Why the last 20 minutes matter” he explains how creating this space and support at the end of the day allows parent and child to start the next day aligned and balanced. Andrew is invested in creating deeper connection, stability and belonging, in the family unit through this bedtime practice. He has a zest for writing books that convey really important life and spiritual lessons, distilled down and elegantly articulated for our little ones to comprehend and put into practice.
When researching Andrew and his books I was struck by the possibility of the downward stream effect his books will have on this generation and its descendants. This idea felt palpable and important.
To be human is to need healing. To heal a lineage, divine.
What if we had the tools, skills, and language to aide in our immediate wounding, set backs, and general up’s and down’s our human experience dishes out to us? To heal ourselves and our lineage in real time.
What if we were taught from a young age to breathe, to not disconnect from ourselves, to listen to our heart and keep it open? What if we loved the body we were born into, and never rejected it? What if we never forgot, we are all one. The Earth, the stars, the oceans, the trees and all the animals. All one. What if we never forgot the divine is us, and we are the divine?
All of this is true and possible through lessons and tales of each Conscious Bedtime Story.
Andrew ends the podcast episode, in the fullness of his cheer and light returning to remind parents across the globe of what a good job they are doing. Every day. Even if things are not perfect, or your kids shirts are inside out, or the beds didn’t get made.
He says: “Well done!”