Transforming the School System Begins With Feeling its Heartbreaking Impact on Children, Past and Present

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Transforming the School System Begins With Feeling its Heartbreaking Impact on Children, Past and Present

Note to the reader: If you require a brief history of education to provide context for the first few sections, scroll further down to “A brief history of school”.    “Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things. Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal. Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions. Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart’s wisdom through it.” ~ S.C Lourie At the beginning of many of the talks I lead, the organizer of the event takes a moment to acknowledge the traditional and ancestral territory we stand on and the people it belongs to. It’s a brief period of time in which I pay my deepest respect and […]

What Adults Struggle to Make Room For Within They May Find “Too Much” in a Child

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What Adults Struggle to Make Room For Within They May Find “Too Much” in a Child

For adults disconnected from their power, a child’s unbounded, spirited nature can easily be “too much” – too much enthusiasm; too much spontaneity; too much imagination; too much anger; too much sadness. The greater the repression in the adult carried forward from childhood environmental failures, the more overwhelming an exuberant child can be. It takes a lot of playfulness in the heart of an adult to receive and encourage beaming amounts of playfulness in a child. It takes a soaring imagination in an adult to welcome a child’s imagination wishing to travel the galaxy. It takes much depth in feeling for an adult to safely empathize with the large emotions of a child. Indeed, what an adult struggles to make room for within s/he may […]

In Your Attempts to Be Positive Be Sure Not to Sacrifice Being Real ~ Feeling Your Way Into Freedom and Aliveness

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In Your Attempts to Be Positive Be Sure Not to Sacrifice Being Real ~ Feeling Your Way Into Freedom and Aliveness

“Perhaps if tearful little boys were comforted instead of shamed there wouldn’t be so many angry men struggling to express and empathize with emotions.” ~ Lelia Scholl Many of us have been taught that feelings such as anger, sadness and fear are “negative” or “bad”. The truth is, they are just feelings; they are an experience of energetic movement in the body; hence, e-motion—energy in motion. When we layer these feelings with the aforementioned limiting labels we deny our humanity and our capacity to be fully alive. Children demonstrate whole-heartedly, and often dramatically, how to feel fully. From anger, to sadness, to laughter, they quickly move through their emotions without inhibitions. They kick, scream, wail while pounding the floor, all followed by triumphant beams of […]

Maybe It’s Not Meant to Be Solved ~ Surrendering to the Heartbreak of Not Having the Answer

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Maybe It’s Not Meant to Be Solved ~ Surrendering to the Heartbreak of Not Having the Answer

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.” ~ Frank Herbert “If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” ~ Andrew Harvey Maybe the problems we face are not meant to, nor can be solved. Our determined beliefs tell us otherwise. We can solve our flat tire and painstakingly slow computer, and we are fortunate to have our broken leg fixed at the hospital. These are relatively simple issues to deal with. But the same linear, quick-fix mindset from which we approach these human dilemmas […]

In Judgment We Find Safety. It’s Where We Get to Keep Hiding.

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In Judgment We Find Safety. It’s Where We Get to Keep Hiding.

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ~ Wayne Dyer In judgement we find safety. If I can condemn that person in some way, I get to continue hiding. By making someone wrong, I get to keep protecting myself in “right”. In condemning life as “unfair”, I don’t have to ever start living. By judging someone’s artistic expression, I get to continue keeping my inner artist in check. By judging someone’s sorrow, I don’t ever have to feel my own. In judging, I get to keep scapegoating others for the anger and shame held in my self-judgment. Those around me become my screen, my vision of myself. I don’t see them as they are; I see them as I am. […]

Pause For Love ~ Remember Who You Are, Why You Are Here and What Matters Most

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Pause For Love ~ Remember Who You Are, Why You Are Here and What Matters Most

I was sitting with my book designer in her apartment, struggling through what seemed like another litany of hurdles that go along with publishing. But that day there was a new challenge we’d yet to confront. A fuse blew, killing her internet connection. We needed that connection if we were to do the research and share material between our computers. So she phoned her landlord. “Hi Nigel. I’ve blown a fuse. Can you come replace it?” Nigel? Nigel Williams? It couldn’t be. Yet it was. I could hear his old, familiar, distinguishably sluggish Welsh accent moaning through the phone; my long lost uncle who I’d not seen in twenty years, someone who’s had as difficult a life as anyone I know, and someone my family […]

Remembering the Wildness You Are

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Remembering the Wildness You Are

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~ Alan Cohen As we fear death, we fear life. And in fearing the emptiness that comes with dying we fear our native wildness. The two pairings go hand-in-hand. The impersonal nature of wildness is born in the space between our flurry of personal plans and agendas. There is comfort and safety in the stories of our lives. We grasp believing them to be “our” life. But just as we don’t “own” land, we cannot […]

Gratitude is Not Just About Giving Thanks, but Ensuring Those Less Fortunate Are Not Forgotten

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Gratitude is Not Just About Giving Thanks, but Ensuring Those Less Fortunate Are Not Forgotten

Gratitude is a beautiful practice of acknowledging the goodness one receives. It moves us from simply taking and consuming into a felt-sense of appreciation for the love and abundance in our lives. Gratitude is not limited to time and space. We can give thanks to our parents who have passed on or the kind stranger who came to our aid twenty years ago. And we can give thanks to someone we have never met who lives across the world. In expressing gratitude, however, we are not just feeling appreciation; we are offering an acknowledgement that we see another and that they matter in this world. This is the deeper part of gratitude few speak of. I was walking by a homeless woman who was collecting […]

Nurturing Goodness in Children and Ourselves ~ The Indigenous Nature of Soul

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Nurturing Goodness in Children and Ourselves ~ The Indigenous Nature of Soul

Years ago, while in the final moments with a life coaching client, I said something I’d never said to anyone: “You are goodness.” I was surprised at the spontaneous words that poured from my mouth. It was as though something in the far reaches of my soul knew exactly the unique acknowledgement my client needed to hear. For, at that moment, this erudite man of determined reserve leaned forward and began to sob. How dearly he needed to be seen. How dearly had he longed to touch his forgotten goodness. There is goodness in each one of us. Goodness is our true nature. Yet, for many, if not most, we have forgotten it. Inculcated with false ideas of what it means to be a good, […]

Lost in a Sea of Wild Grace ~ Dying in the Arms of Mystery

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Lost in a Sea of Wild Grace ~ Dying in the Arms of Mystery

“The more uncertain I have felt about myself, the more there has grown up in me a feeling of kinship with all things.” ~ Carl Jung It is perfectly reasonable and most natural to not know something. Being unclear is a gift. We remain open to the unexpected. We remain open to Life. My fulfillment does not lie in what I have learned; it does not come from what I have gained, knowledge or otherwise. Rather, my fulfillment arises from how much I get out of the way, have unlearned; how much I clear the heartache of separation keeping me from whence I came. *                   *                   * Fading away past stories, pain and the clutter of accumulated concepts I find myself opening further to something […]