AN ex-teacher has self-published a picture book that she hopes will inspire children to believe in themselves and always persevere.
Michelle Zulsdorf's book 'Little Feet' is for children of all ages and follows the adventures of a caterpillar who never gives up on his journey to become a butterfly.
After teaching Indonesian in Bunbury for more than 20 years, Ms Zulsdorf was inspired to study a hypnotherapy course in early 2020 to assist a friend with Fibromyalgia.
"It changed my life and allowed me to heal myself from arthritis and trauma from the past including the effects of an old relationship. I developed both a growth and positive mindset," Ms Zulsdorf said.
Despite enjoying being a teacher, Ms Zulsdorf told the Mail it was difficult seeing children as young as four-years-old show symptoms of anxiety in the schooling system.
"Schools are doing everything they can, and even though I loved teaching and thought it was one of the most important occupations in the world, I was just feeling like I needed a change," Ms Zulsdorf said.
"I realised that the mental health situation with children nowadays is in a bit of a crisis and there's only so much you can do in a school. I wanted to give more back to the kids."
Ms Zulsdorf visited Crystal Castle and Shambhala Gardens in Byron Bay, New South Wales in 2020 which was where she was inspired for the idea of 'Little Feet'.
The message of Little Feet is to always persevere and believe in yourself. It's about having a purpose in life and sticking to your guns with that purpose. Your mind can change the world.Michelle Zulsdorf
"During a meditative walk I noticed a little caterpillar crawling along this path of wooden planks and rocks. And I thought, look at him. He's struggling but he's trying really hard and persevering and not just taking the path of ease. That was where the book was birthed."
"It has a lovely message. I went through struggles with lack of self esteem and not believing in myself. But now I've learnt self love and when you learn to completely love and accept yourself, the struggles just sort of go away," Ms Zulsdorf said.
Once 'Little Feet' reaches bookstores, Ms Zulsdorf hopes it can be put in school libraries throughout Bunbury as a tool for teachers and parents to help children believe themselves.
'Little Feet' was self published through Nannup-based Pick-A-WooWoo Publishing Company and will officially launch at Kidd and Co from 11am on August 14.
Community members can purchase a signed copy of the book as well as take part in a reading session and an activity.
For more information and to purchase the book, visit Shell Zed Services on Facebook or at https://shellzed.square.site/.
"The message of Little Feet is to always persevere and believe in yourself. It's about having a purpose in life and sticking to your guns with that purpose. Your mind can change the world."