We Stop Dogs From Play Fighting Because We Fear Our Own Wildness

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We Stop Dogs From Play Fighting Because We Fear Our Own Wildness

“You were wild once. Don’t let them tame you.” ~ Isadora Duncan I’ve written much on the importance of letting children, and ourselves, play. But what about animals, namely dogs? Today I was walking through forest trails with my friend and his dog, Koa. Like many canines, Koa is full of energy and bounces up and down in excitement when another dog approaches that he has a connection with. While walking amongst the tall cedar and pine trees on the gravel and dirt path, Koa came across a gorgeous white and brown Australian Shepard. Immediately, they leaped onto each other with pure joy, as if old dear friends. Never have I seen two dogs play for as long as they did without a break, which […]

The Adventure We Long For Lies in our Childlike Heart and in Feeling the Unexpected

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The Adventure We Long For Lies in our Childlike Heart and in Feeling the Unexpected

“Tiny humans see magic and possibility where big humans only see mess and responsibility. May we see the magic again through their eyes and rediscover all the possibilities life has to offer.” ~ L. R. Knost A child is excited to wake up in the morning. Open to surprise, she wanders through her home and yard drawn to the next thing capturing her attention. Maybe it’s the dog, or her new magnetic toy, or the bright golden dandelion blooming through the sea of green grass. Each moment is filled with wonder for this young one, a bubbling awe leading her from one fascination to the next. Each moment is an unfolding adventure. As people depart the wonders of childhood for the predictabilities of life, however, […]

Your Fears and Beliefs Create the Edges of a Child’s Playground, and Your Own

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Your Fears and Beliefs Create the Edges of a Child’s Playground, and Your Own

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” ~ Grace Murray Hopper  Child safety has become obsessive in our society. Children are being controlled to the point of having their natural play-spaces and freedom ripped away from them at an alarming rate. For instance: “…nearly 20 homes on Esgore Drive, in (Toronto), were threatened with $90 fines from the city if they did not remove hockey and basketball nets from their street in the next 20 days.” The article goes on to say that, “A bylaw… states that ‘no person shall play or take part in any game or sport upon a roadway and, where there are sidewalks, no person upon roller-skates, in-line skates or a skateboard, or riding in […]

We Pine for Fridays Because We Live Separate from Ourselves and Life

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We Pine for Fridays Because We Live Separate from Ourselves and Life

The act of throwing ourselves to the pavement and into a frenzy because, at long last, we’ve reached Friday is outdated and needs ending. This myopia says much about the maturity of Western society, and how much we compartmentalize our lives, separate ourselves from joy, family, friends, nature, our gifts, values, intuition, a deeper calling, and much more.   Personally, I am glad I no longer crave Friday nights, nor loathe Monday mornings. I am grateful I cannot separate work from play, professional from personal, and that I continuously fail to know if it is a statutory holiday. Each day unfolds into the next as though it is one continuous movement that cannot be broken down into fragments that split me apart, leaving bits of me shattered and […]

The Disease of Being Right

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The Disease of Being Right

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” ~ Rumi It’s well known that when children are abused, emotionally or physically, often, if not usually, they believe it’s their fault. They did something wrong. This was true for me. I took to heart the various abuses inflicted on me when young. It was if a sword was pushed deep into my heart. The deepest wound is to the human heart, a wound that perhaps can never fully heal. It was not just that I believed I did something wrong, but more so, I believed that I was inherently wrong. There is a distinction here, an important one. We are not human doings, after all, but human beings, deeply […]

There is Knowledge, and then there is Knowing ~ Learning to Trust and Make Space for Your Inner Wisdom

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There is Knowledge, and then there is Knowing ~ Learning to Trust and Make Space for Your Inner Wisdom

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” ~ Sandra Carey There is knowledge, and then there is knowing. Knowledge is finite. It is the facts of life: a butterfly has two wings; Earth is round; the sky is blue. Knowledge has defined edges, beginnings and endings, a specific this is it; it is information the mind grasps in completeness… until it doesn’t; for our understanding of things evolves. One day we live in a geocentric solar system, and then the next day it is the sun, not the Earth, the planets revolve around. One day our knowledge informs us that we must spank children. The next day this is considered cruel. Like a monkey, […]

Beyond the Need to Prove Yourself in Sports and Life ~ A Journey of Healing “Not Enough”

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Beyond the Need to Prove Yourself in Sports and Life ~ A Journey of Healing “Not Enough”

Those doing soul work, who want the searing truth more than solace or applause, know each other right away. Those who want something else turn and take a seat in another room. Soul-makers find each other’s company. ~ Rumi Like many boys, I participated in organized sports. I had my name on many rosters including those of soccer, rugby, hockey, basketball and volleyball. It was soccer, though, that was my first passion. I was a goalie, a good one. I generally excelled in most sports, and my bedroom was graced with a collection of trophies to prove it, but it was in soccer that I shone the brightest. And like many kids, I was competitive. Very competitive! I was hard on myself. A goal let […]

The Co-Revolution: Teaching Kids to Self-Regulate is Not Enough ~ It’s Time to Heal Our Own Trauma and Co-Regulate

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The Co-Revolution: Teaching Kids to Self-Regulate is Not Enough ~ It’s Time to Heal Our Own Trauma and Co-Regulate

“I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.” ~ Haim G. Ginott The new buzzwords in child development and education are self-regulation, trauma and attachment. Thank goodness! I’m so glad we are recognizing the burden of pain, depression and anxiety kids are carrying, and the support […]

Offer Fear a Place to Sit…and Let Creativity Come Out and Play!

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Offer Fear a Place to Sit…and Let Creativity Come Out and Play!

“A new idea is delicate. It can be killed by a sneer or a yawn; it can be stabbed to death by a quip and worried to death by a frown on the right man’s brow.” ~ Charles Brower During a recent playshop, we decided to offer Fear a place to sit. Fear’s presence needed to be acknowledged. It didn’t serve anyone to pretend it was not in the room. Fear, after all, is one of the great impediments to being playful and creative. We fear being judged, doing it “wrong”, looking too silly, failure etc. Fear doubts the innate artist within, demands perfection, and devises unnecessary plans to ensure we avoid unexpected pitfalls and looking “stupid”. It works us hard! Today’s kids have become so fearful of […]

The Moonlit Forest Path of Inquiry ~ 8 Questions to Nurture the Heart and Creativity of Children

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The Moonlit Forest Path of Inquiry ~ 8 Questions to Nurture the Heart and Creativity of Children

“Who am I?” “What is the purpose of life?” “What brings me joy?” “What are my gifts?” “What really matters?” “What do I know for certain?” “What is it to belong?” “What is it to love?” To nurture the Heart and Creativity of children, we must travel down the moonlit forest path of inquiry asking ourselves the eight questions listed above. These are not questions many of us were encouraged to explore, and so the path may seem dark, strange and unfamiliar. And yet, what are the consequences of a society that only travels 100 feet, a few yards, or stops at the trailhead? How might our reticence impact how we perceive ourselves, life, how we treat children, what we deem as being important? And what […]