Women Of The World Contributor – Meet Ruth Foulkes

I am a mother of three, which makes me immensely proud; proud of the role I have played in their lives, proud of the wonderful young adults they have become.

I have spent most of my adult life working as a teacher which is a privilege and a joy. I have witnessed parents weep on their child’s first day of school…and known that I have to make a difference, as I vicariously share the highs and lows of family life through the hearts of their children.

I have worked with teachers who have given more to the children they teach than to their own children…and watched as the demands of the job take its toll.

Now I have the honour of working as a facilitator in many different schools to support principals and teachers in their role to better meet the needs of their learners.

I have also been following a passion, or perhaps it is a calling, and this week I graduate with an MA in Arts Therapy.

Arts Therapy uses the creative and expressive arts for transformation and reparation by naturally bringing in implicit sensory and body-based elements to psychotherapeutic dynamics. I have experienced its power and become determined to make it more accessible to others. Currently I volunteer with a women’s group, but I can see the value of bringing arts therapy into schools. In New Zealand we have a relatively new government who acknowledge the need for greater mental health support and a growing approach of holistic well-being.

I live with my husband and periodically our children as they come and go embracing their own futures as young adults. We have a small lifestyle block in rural Waikato with two dogs, a few chickens, sheep and pigs, and every day, even on those less than splendid ones…of which are more than there should be…I am thankful that I have my very own little piece of paradise.

If I was to sum up in one word a way to be in this world…it would be with grace.

Grace evokes for me a sense of humility, strength and wisdom so as to learn from every encounter and every experience.

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