You Are Everything
“In the beginning,
before there were any stars
or any suns
or any sky,
before there was any place
or any thing,
there was YOU.”
You Are Everything is the third children’s book by Iranian-American mystic and teacher Omid Arabian, who teaches classes in Los Angeles in English and Farsi about Persian mysticism and is the founder and director of the Youniversal Center, a nonprofit offering courses on mysticism to adults and children.
Like his previous two children’s books, You Are Everything is based on a poem by the mystical 13TH century Persian poet Rumi, who has been described by the New Yorker as the bestselling poet in the United States.
Through beautiful thought-provoking graphite illustrations by contemporary Iranian artist Shilla Shakoori, the story takes readers through the journey of their creation, introducing them to the pantheistic notion that we humans are all one with the universe and everything in it. It is a meaningful and honest way to answer your children’s questions about how they and their world came to be that does not invalidate their curiosity with unrealistically fanciful explanations or indoctrinate them in the tenets of organized religions whose complex nature they cannot possibly understand.
You Are Everything follows the transformation of a being that just is to one that becomes the entire world and universe, imparting recognition and appreciation of the holistic nature of everything around us, including ourselves.
The book also reminds its readers of the importance of taking moments out of their busy lives to be still and contemplate: “If you can stop doing what you’re doing and just BE,” the story concludes, “you might remember that you are not just a kid sitting here, reading a book—you’re also EVERYTHING ELSE in the world.”
Just as Rumi’s poetry has lifted the spirits of millions of adults—including notable celebrities like Madonna, Tilda Swinton, and Coldplay’s Chris Martin—Arabian’s adaptation of Rumi’s work for children serves to bring spiritual security to children in a gentle and engaging way that will surely benefit their adult caretakers as well.