Helping schools & organizations empower kids to turn self doubt, anxiety, and isolation into self compassion, confidence, & connection
“Mike Iskandar has created an extraordinary experience. I have watched students marvel at their younger selves and get excited about what the future might bring. Parents regularly report the transformative enthusiasm their children experience in this ‘time travel’ class.”
50-year middle school teacher
Are you a parent or educator looking for new ways to help kids replace self doubt and anxiety with self compassion and confidence? Let’s talk:
Parents and Educators, hear me out…
It’s time to rescue kids from the silent struggle of self doubt and anxiety that strikes far too early in childhood and lasts far too long into adulthood. The suffering is mind boggling (or as one of my 7th-graders puts it, “WTF?!!!”)…
- 45% of teens report low self esteem.
- 7 of 10 girls believe they are not good enough.
- Teen anxiety and depression have increased 70% over the past 25 years.
- Teen suicide has increased 56% in the last two decades.
Enough is enough. Let’s shake things up and try something different.
Introducing Time Travel Journeys, a radical new path to self compassion that helps kids avoid decades of insecurity, anxiety, and depression. Through a fun, engaging journey, kids connect to the most meaningful qualities of their past, the most inspiring aspirations of their future, and the eye-opening awareness that their present self is far greater than they ever realized.
This is a grand, novel idea grounded in principles of Social Emotional Learning and Project Based Learning that foster not only greater self compassion and self confidence, but practical skills in self-reflection, meditation, creative thinking, writing, research, interviewing, and goal-setting.
Time Travel Journeys is the experience I wish I had as a kid, and that so many kids need today. So let’s do this together– for the children in our lives and for the inner child within us.
Your Time Travel Guide,
Middle School tennis coach, guest teacher, and alumnus at Carolina Friends School (Durham, NC)
2002 graduate of Journalism and Sociology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
How It Works
Whether it’s a class, a workshop, a summer camp program, kids embark on a fun, emotionally-engaging Journey through their past (who was I?), their future (who will I become?), and a new view of their present (who am I?),
Step 1: Time Travel Launch
Step 2: Baby Steps (age 1-2)
Step 3: Preschool (age 3-5)
Step 4: Elementary School (age 6-9)
Step 5: Middle School (age 10-13)
Step 6: High School (age 14-17)
Step 7: College (age 18-21)
Step 8: Career (age 22+)
Step 9: Retirement (twilight years)
Step 10: Return to the Present
Along the way, participants engage in a series of activities and exercises that will awaken their creative imagination, playfulness, curiosity, optimism, ambition, and other qualities that come from connecting with the past and future.
Hands-On Challenges: get ready to play with Play-Doh, build a fort, and map out a vision for your future
Journal Profiles: capture who you were (personality, fave foods, toys, songs, hobbies) and who you’ll become.
Writing/Discussion Prompts: hmmm (i.e. If you could go back to any age, what would it be and why?)
Photo Sharing: collect photos from each life phase (warning: you may see questionable past hairstyles)
Guest Interviews: tap into each phase by interviewing guests from age 5 to 15 to 85
Time Travel Passport: Create a final scrapbook representing the vision of your life
Self Compassion: increasing self love by appreciating the whole self, past and future
Self Confidence: replacing doubt and anxiety about the future with excitement & clarity
Self Awareness & Reflection: more deeply understanding who you’ve become and who you want to be
Connection: getting to know yourself and your fellow Time Travelers on a deeper level than ever before
Creative Thinking: removing the blinders of the present time and thinking from new perspectives
Writing & Journaling Skills: developing written communication skills through regular journaling and prompts
Research & Interviewing Skills: preparing for and conducting interviews with people from all phases of life
Goal Setting & Career Planning: exploring future aspirations and potential career paths thru real-life mentors
"These Experiences are Simply Unbelievable"
Feedback on Time Travel Journeys…
“… Mike Iskandar has done an absolutely *AMAZING* job with the Time Travel course. … These experiences are simply unbelievable. The whole course has been amazing.” -Middle School Mom
“This class has given us a lot of opportunities to reminisce about my son’s wonderful qualities as a little guy–his passion for learning, inquisitiveness, generosity, honesty, and ability to make a friend anywhere he went! Most importantly, he and I talked about his struggles as a little guy and how they were not his fault but just the way he was developing at the time. Thank you for this opportunity to connect with our boy!.” -Middle School Mom
“I have been able to reconnect with so many good parts of my life.” -Middle School Student
“What an uplifting experience in the face of challenge and sadness on other fronts.” -Assistant Principal
“It’s been pretty cool to look back on the different ages that I’ve experienced, and it was fun digging through old photos to find pictures of me as a little kid.” -Middle School Student
“Thanks so much for your creative and deeply engaging approach to learning.” -President of an education consulting firm
“Mike demonstrates brilliant insights into what each age’s developmental levels are all about–the positive, the negative, the challenging, the celebrating. Parents regularly report the transformative enthusiasm their children experience in this ‘time travel’ class.” -Middle School Teacher
“Mike put an incredible amount of time and personalized attention in maintaining communication with the kids, their families and the surrounding community. While it isn’t reasonable to expect every educator to execute to this degree, it is certainly worth pointing out Mike’s sense of entrepreneurship and professional savvy.” -Middle School Dad
Journey Behind The Journey
I was 38 years old, in the midst of a meditation session, when there he was, standing right in front of me: my 12-year-old self. But this wasn’t a happy reunion. What I saw in this kid was pain, which initially perplexed me… until I remembered how poorly I used to treat this kid.
In that moment, I said something that was beyond my immediate understanding. “Listen, we’re going to start over and we’re going to do it all again, but this time around, I’ve got your back.”
I reflected on this idea of going back in time and doing it all again. This was not just a random daydream, it was something I had to do. And that’s when my mission was clear: in the year leading up to my 40th birthday, I was going to interview 40 people from ages 1 to 40 about what it’s like to be the age that they are.
Something profound emerged from these interviews. I discovered that when I took the time to explore the experiences and perspectives of my younger years, it sparked an awakening of the qualities that came naturally to me as a kid. As I traveled back in time to age 2 and 5 and 7 and 10, I remembered what it was like to be fearless and imaginative and playful and curious.
By exploring who I was in my past, I was inspired to look ahead at who I could be in my future, and it ultimately changed the way I saw myself in the present, bringing out a broader more self-compassionate look in the mirror.
“My son has really enjoyed his time in your class. He spontaneously brings up conversations and reflective queries. -Middle School Dad
Building off the magic of my own experience, I designed a class, workshop, staff development retreat, and individual coaching program for others to experience their own Time Travel Journeys. The laughter and engagement is off the charts as they share photos of their younger selves, eat baby food, play with Play-Doh, build forts, interview with career mentors, and document the joys of past ages and excitement of future ages.
Along with my time-travel work, I coach middle-school tennis and hone my cheesy sense of humor on the p.a. as a flight attendant and culture ambassador for Southwest Airlines.
**DISCLAIMER: The content covered in this course is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment. I do not hold any medical licenses and am not a mental health professional. (I don’t even play one on television).