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 […]

Want to Be Spiritual? Change a Bed Pan.

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Want to Be Spiritual? Change a Bed Pan.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” ~ Mother Teresa I see so many people trying to be spiritual, yet failing to see what it means to be human. They can talk enlightenment, how to massage their chakras and how to make a great green smoothie, but can they be silent enough to hear what others are saying? Can they talk slow enough to offer space for the words of others? Can they offer enough empathy to simply be with another’s experience, without enlightening them? Can they rest in curiosity with another, asking question after question about that person’s experience, without turning it back onto themselves, their processing, their high-level perspectives? Can they refrain from giving the significant […]

Sinking into Truth. Resting in the Body ~ 6 Steps to Moving Beyond the Overwhelming Stories of the Mind and into Self-Compassion

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Sinking into Truth. Resting in the Body ~ 6 Steps to Moving Beyond the Overwhelming Stories of the Mind and into Self-Compassion

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” ~ Albert Einstein Sometimes it can feel like you are caught in a firestorm of overwhelming and uncontrollable thought. Concerns, doubts, “What if’s”, “Yes but’s” swirl through your mind pulling you into the fierce grip of anxiety. For the sake of simplicity, let’s call these swirling thoughts stories. If you pay close enough attention to your mind, you will see that it is a relentless and compelling storyteller. And sometimes it is difficult to know what is real and what is not. The bottomless pit of stories When your mind is bombarding you with images and thoughts that create anxiety, it may be tempting to […]

The Core Reason We “Ready” Children Too Early and Too Much

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The Core Reason We “Ready” Children Too Early and Too Much

The Guest House — by Jellaludin Rumi, translation by Coleman Barks  This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes. because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.   A playshop participant of mine recently told me how challenging it was for her daughter to enter grade […]

8 Ways to Tame Your Saboteur ~ Empowering You and Your Dreams

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8 Ways to Tame Your Saboteur ~ Empowering You and Your Dreams

“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: ‘Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.’ When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, the one I feed the most.’” ~ George Bernard Shaw We all have a Saboteur lurking in the dark corners of our psyche. It is there, ever-present, regularly offering opinions on how we should be and what we should do. It conjures up compelling images that shrivel our fortitude and distract us from what really matters, what we really want. Indeed, the Saboteur has a mandate—to keep us playing small, […]

Is it the Truth? ~ Question Your Beliefs and Expand Possibilities

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Is it the Truth? ~ Question Your Beliefs and Expand Possibilities

“Argue for your limitations and sure enough they are yours.” ~ Richard Bach Our beliefs define what is possible for us. They act as a lens through which we view and relate to the world. Our beliefs write manuals, curriculum and the news. They mark papers, define job descriptions, design policies and procedures, and outline meeting agendas. They decide how we should behave, what kind of person would make a good partner, and what really matters in the world. They determine what is right or wrong, good or bad based on what we experienced in the past. If we believe that silliness or messiness is bad, or that there is a “right” way to conduct business according to company policies, there is a good chance […]

The Only Thing You Can Carry With You, And You Can Never Leave Behind

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The Only Thing You Can Carry With You, And You Can Never Leave Behind

~ By Vince Gowmon It is not about what you have, don’t have, or the situations you find yourself in. It is not about your goals ambitions setbacks or milestones. These are all the little agendas in life that are transient and temporal. They are the gateways into the larger agenda- the agenda that really matters. This larger agenda lives in the present moment, and it holds the one thing, the only thing, that you can carry forward with you into 2015 and beyond; and the one thing that can never, ever be left behind. And that is your learning– the wisdom gained from your trials and triumphs, from your have’s and have-not’s. At the end of the day it is how you grow– who […]

Children Are Here to Help Us Birth a New World

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Children Are Here to Help Us Birth a New World

“When you are born into a world where you don’t fit in, it’s because you were born to help create a new one.” ~ Unknown One day, years ago, while walking down the street, I suddenly had an insight that was as clear and bright as the vast blue sky above me: Children are here to help us birth a new world. This thought made me feel incredibly excited! It encapsulated so much of what I had been teaching up to that point, and at the same time, it took all my understanding to a whole new level by making me realize more clearly the critical role children have in advancing the evolution of humanity. Children are not here to create the same things we have created. “Don’t limit a child […]