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Marcelina Tatarynowicz – Fairy Sparkle


My grandma told me all sorts of fairy tales and stories. She would often begin these stories by saying that a fairy tale needs to be tucked in. Like being tucked under a warm blanket – which can give you comfort and relief like strong, supportive hands that cuddle you and help you calm down. When there is no blanket, shawl or something else nearby to tuck you in, you may chance upon such supportive hands that will help you calm down, even if they are made of plush. For instance, the plush arms of a very kind-hearted teddy bear… This you can discover now or very soon when you let yourself to be cuddled and tucked in.


You can feel how you are breathing now, how your chest rises each time you inhale and you can imagine at the same time that you are holding a warm cup of sweet tea, hot chocolate or delicious broth in your hands. Surely you must know how pleasing it is to breathe in the delicious aromas of hot drinks while you blow on them to cool them down faster and not have them burn your tongue. Inhale that delicious aroma from your cup once again and exhale it through your mouth. Inhale through your nose on the count of one, two and then exhale through your mouth on the count of three, four, five, six. That’s right … and try again on the count of one, two, three, four, five and six.


When your drink has just the right temperature, you can imagine how you are tasting it, how nice it is to feel the good familiar taste in your mouth, to feel the soothing warmth spreading through your body. From your mouth, tongue and throat … your chest and belly … to one hand and its fingertips. .. to the other hand and its fingertips … and then to one foot and the tips of the toes, and to the other foot and the tips of the toes. Now that you feel well tucked in and warm, or will very soon feel that way, you might want to hear the story of Lilia.


Lilia lived in a place she knew very well. She lived there with her mum, dad, brother and sister. She was the oldest child and enjoyed playing with her kid sister and brother once in a while, though not always. Occasionally, they would play together with her dolls, dressing them up, combing their hair, using playsets and enacting all sorts of stories. The dolls would once be princesses or family members – mum and her girl  - or would play parts in stories about fairies.


Lilia would invent wonderful adventure stories; she would draw coloured wings on pieces of paper and fasten them to her fairy dolls. Her favourite fairy was called Sparkle. Whenever she had Sparkle for company, time passed by much too quickly; there was hardly enough of it. Sparkle could easily overcome any difficulty by sending out sparks of happiness, kindness and serenity from her glittering wings whenever she wished. It was possible for Lilia to imagine the good luck charm Sparkle had given her once, the charm that could light up glittering specks of happiness, kindness and serenity in her own heart. A charm that would work whenever Lilia needed strength and peace of heart. It was up to Lilia when she wished to feel the powerful might of the charm and when she wished to use it.

One day, on a day very much like yesterday or the days before that, when Lilia was about to sit down and play with her dolls, something completely out of the ordinary happened. Some odd sounds came to her attention, sounds that she had never ever heard before but which she instantly sensed were very disturbing because of their dreadful rumble. She looked at her parents and noticed surprisingly that the strange noise had frightened them too, causing them to behave in a way they had never behaved before. Whatever they had been doing suddenly had become unimportant. They told her that they must run and hide.


There was hardly any time to pack their belongings. The pounding, rumbling, screeching sounds forced them out. Lilia and her family fled home together in search of a safe hiding. The roaring sounds grew weaker and weaker as they made their escape. They could not tell how long their escape had lasted, but after a very long time, after covering an enormous distance, Lilia, her mum and dad, her brother and sister, all reached a place where people spoke a language they could barely understand. The terrifying noises could no longer be heard, everything was strangely different, but not entirely different from what she had known before their flight.


She cowered and froze at the mere recollection of those blasts and roaring sounds. There, beside her now stood not only her family, but also Fear, with its wide-open eyes. Fear, which like Lilia, saw and heard everything. It jostled and stopped her from sleeping, but she reckoned that Fear would stay on with her one way or another and that she would stay on with Fear. Days passed by, one by one. Her bed now stood in a new place far from home, the home she dearly missed. With its wide-open eyes, Fear sat by her bed and saw to it that she did not close her eyes to sleep.


One day Lilia went outside with her parents, brother and sister. How nice it was to breathe the crisp, fresh air! As she looked around, she noticed a stretch of grass that reminded her of a lawn near her home. The grass she was looking at looked like regular grass. The sun shone just as it does on a cool, bright day. And for the first time in many days, Lilia gently smiled to herself and stretched her neck towards the sun, winking a bit, feeling the warmth of the sun on her cheeks and a slight breeze. She could feel her feet resting on the ground and supported by it…


As Lilia stood feeling the ground under her feet, something utterly unexpected happened. A beautiful, colourful butterfly sat on her chest flapping its wings. The flapping lasted only a short while – no longer than the brief moment in which two dear friends pat each other on the back as they meet after a long time ( here you can follow the Emotion Aid® instructions and do the ”Butterfly Hug” together with your child. If it is sitting on your knees, you can help it do the exercise for the first time by embracing its arms and making the movements for the child. Alternately, you can do the movements while you sit next to the child and let it imitate you. Cross your arms on your chest where the butterfly would sit and with the open palms of your hands tap yourself on the shoulders in an alternating rhythm counting up to 25. Next, take a deep breath, then another, and repeat the exercise. You can then continue reading this story.)


As she observed the butterfly flapping its colourful wings, Lilia realised that she had already seen them. How was that possible …? - she asked herself. She thought that it was a funny coincidence that the wings she recalled she had earlier seen belonged to her favourite fairy Sparkle. Lilia took a closer look at the colours and shapes of the wings and saw how they glittered in the sun . She heard the butterfly whisper: “Remember Lilia about the charm I gave you. If you have lost it, search for it in your breath; there you will find it.”

That night, as she lay in bed trying to fall asleep, Fear shuffled into her bedroom like it had often been doing lately. Fear which stopped her from falling asleep and which reminded her of the dreadful noises she had run away from. But that night Lilia recalled what Sparkle had said about the charm and about breathing. Without knowing why, she rested one hand on her chest and the other hand on her tummy. This is something you can do now: place one hand on your chest, the other on your tummy. Note how you feel now.


Lilia took one breath and then waited to see what would happen, and next took a second and third breath … and then, who knows when it happened, she felt the charm the fairy had given her glow in the space close to her heart and the tiny sparks glitter near her cheeks, running through her thoughts and tummy. Every moment brought her a calming, soothing, relaxing sensation. Fear stretched out its arms to catch a tiny bit of that glitter and calmness. Soon, Fear could feel that it, too, would be able to close its eyes that night, and even the night after that. Lilia had that same good feeling as well – she felt her top eyelids touching her bottom eyelids. How great it was to be asleep – she thought – and to see Sparkle and thank her kindly, to paint stories with countless colours as she had done in the past, to hear plenty of cheerful, peaceful sounds. How great it was to rest while asleep, to gather strength for living life to the fullest.


Next morning, Lilia woke a well-rested girl and placed her hand where her breath had hidden the charm. She could always reach for the charm now; she only needed to place her hand where it was hidden before she took a breath. Isn’t it amazing that you can always make use of your charm whenever you need it, that you can look at its glittering sparks and feel the soothing peace it brings? A new day had begun. Everybody, mum, dad, Lilia, her sister and her brother, they all noticed that something had changed. Although it was not easy to describe, they all sensed it was good and very helpful. Lilia asked her mum for some paints and painted heart-warming pictures of her dreams each night. Pictures of Sparkle, the charm she gave her and its glittering sparks full of countless sparkling specks, each bringing an entirely new story. Stories you can tell or feel their presence in your heart, tummy or thoughts. Stories you can dream. When you wake up in the morning, stretch in bed and open your eyes you will know that you have gained something that fills your precious heart with Peace.


And what about Fear? What became of it? It gained a whole lot of free time. Fear decided to share what it knew best – its ability to keep its eyes wide open… It was something that Fear could teach oh so well and even had some gifted students that really wanted to learn – such students as Excitement, Enthusiasm and Curiosity.

Here ends our fairy tale – in time for you to set off - together with Curiosity and wide-opened eyes – for yet another encounter with blissful, refreshing sleep.




The author is a psychologist, psychotherapist, prevention programme coach, community health prevention coordinator and supervisor trainee at the Polish Milton Erickson Institute.