She is the Door

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She is the Door

by Vince Gowmon From Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart   She is the door. She won’t let you in until you surrender to her, until you set down the tattered old baggage you have carried and worshipped these many years. Drop the illusions of your mind, the ideas of who you are: the bluster, the charm, the false pretense, the wild, well-versed stories you tell so well. The ones you have deceived so many others with. None will work with her, her piercing eyes see right through them. None will be the key that opens the door, that opens her heart. Leave them at the threshold, let them slip from your hand and fall crashing to the floor, leaving you naked, […]

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 […]

Inspiring Quotes on Child Learning and Development

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Inspiring Quotes on Child Learning and Development

For many years I have been a collector of quotes. I love how they convey so much in so few words. Since I began leading keynotes and playshops for teachers and child care professionals, I have grown a particular fondness for quotes on child learning and development. Below is a list of my favourites (and I have snuck in a few of my own quotes). I hope they inspire you to engage the heart and mind of children in loving and playful ways. *                   *                  * Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults Related reading: Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter Inspiring, Troubling and […]

Reclaiming Deservedness and Desire ~ Using Relationships to Heal Your Fear of Asking for What You Want

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Reclaiming Deservedness and Desire ~ Using Relationships to Heal Your Fear of Asking for What You Want

“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke As a child, Adam did not have many of his emotional and physical needs met by his mother. Basic needs such as listening and affection were hardly honored. Naturally, over time, Adam believed that his needs and desires were of no value. Anger and hopelessness filled his vulnerable being, and in an act of self-preservation he gave up asking all together. Continuing to believe that he could have his needs met was just too painful to bear. It was easier to just […]

One Simple Question to Help You Avoid Misunderstandings

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One Simple Question to Help You Avoid Misunderstandings

“The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci Assumptions and misunderstandings are a natural part of relationships. Communication is, after all, complex. Like relationships, it is not straightforward. There are plenty of reasons why we would mishear or misinterpret what the other person is saying, and veer off our desired course of discourse. Here are a few… 6 reasons we misunderstand “Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best.” ~ Bob Talbert Skill deficiency – Few of us have ever received communication training. We have been taught how to spell, count to 10, and to know who shot whom in 1910; we have been trained to run a database, create a business plan and file a […]

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, […]

The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice

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The Courage to Speak Your Truth ~ 5 Steps to Reclaiming Your Voice

“Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.” ~ Barbara De Angelis This may be you… At some point in your life you made the decision that it was no longer safe to speak your truth. In your early years, speaking up led to a scolding from your parents, or worse. Their censure caused pain and engendered a belief in you that speaking up would create even more pain. This belief compelled you […]

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 […]

12 Ways Children Live and Love Fearlessly (and Teach Us to Be/Do the Same!)

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12 Ways Children Live and Love Fearlessly (and Teach Us to Be/Do the Same!)

Children are closest to God It has been said that children are closest to God. Whether you believe in any kind of God or not does not really matter. What we can all agree on is that children embody purity, love and freedom. They move and engage with lightness, abandon and gentleness. They live with what seems like an inexhaustible amount of energy that is incredibly vital, curious and imaginative. In a nutshell, they live and express themselves with far less fear than adults do. They live lovingly as free Spirits! Our Spirit, our authentic Self, the God within, in my opinion is not fearful. Fear is part of the existing human condition. The ineffable Spirit we are all a part of lies beyond the fears […]

6 Ways Children Live in the Present Moment

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6 Ways Children Live in the Present Moment

One of the simplest ways to live in the present moment is to be ‪childlike. Children are such wonderful teachers. If we want to remember ourselves, and what life is all about, we just need to observe a child for a few minutes. It won’t be long before we appreciate the joy, simplicity and presence that the child exudes, and perhaps we may even wonder, “How can I be more like her?” The quality of being able to enjoy life’s simple moments is not far away. In fact, it is our natural state to do so (or should I say, be so!). Children in their innocence and purity are powerful mirrors that show us what is innately within, and what we long to reconnect to—a presence that […]