Unleashing Your Creativity ~ 16 Practices and Mindsets for the Reluctant Artist

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Unleashing Your Creativity ~ 16 Practices and Mindsets for the Reluctant Artist

Creativity is something we tend to resist in ourselves. We grow up believing “I don’t have a creative bone in my body”, or “I am not an artist”. And with the forces of industrial civilization demanding that we do things just so, followed by endless assessing and reporting on how well we do things just so, we have all succumbed to what I call The Disease of Being Right. Wrong must be avoided at all costs. Such is the short leash on our creativity. In his book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, Gordon MacKenzie discusses how he used to go into elementary schools to teach students how to make sculptures from sheets of steel. When he began each class, he always started with the same question: […]

When Kids Long for Your Ignorance More than Your Knowledge

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When Kids Long for Your Ignorance More than Your Knowledge

“It’s only when we forget all our learning that we begin to know.” ~ Henry David Thoreau  A friend unreservedly praised her wise young daughter while proudly showing me a picture of this rising star. Only 18 years of age, she, at the time, had already left home, knowing, as she had for many years, exactly where she wanted to live—in the progressive community of Nelson, Canada, amongst others she held as like-mind. With a wistful smile, my friend recounted an outstanding mindset her daughter had which she relentlessly advised her mother of—“question everything”; to look beyond the literal, the surface features of life, and sense that lying beyond the veil of reality most in the West traditionally acquiesce to. This young seeker knew there […]

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, […]

Beyond Feelings it is the Unmet Need that Deserves and Desires Empathy

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Beyond Feelings it is the Unmet Need that Deserves and Desires Empathy

“Sometimes someone isn’t ready to see the bright side. Sometimes they need to sit with the shadow first. So be a friend and sit with them. Make the darkness beautiful.” ~ Victoria Erickson When feeling frustrated, angry, sad, overwhelmed, or any other unpleasant emotion, it’s because a need is not being met. A child disgruntled at school may have an unmet need to move. A parent overwhelmed may have an unmet need of relaxation. A person struck with anger may have an unmet need of safety. Anger is their response to not feeling safe. The feelings are signals for a very important human need not being met.  Acknowledging someone’s feeling is a beautiful gift. Saying, “I can see how sad you are”, or, “This is really painful, isn’t […]

Surrendering to the Business of Life

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Surrendering to the Business of Life

Surrender, and you’ll find that the real Business of Life does not lie in your hands, but in the hands of Life. There’s a time when learning the tricks of business development is important; when it’s wise to set a few goals, create a vision, set up a website and social media presence, and learn strategies from those more experienced in commercial enterprise. And then there’s a time when the rules of business must be set aside, for now you hear Life calling you more clearly, more urgently than ever, saying, “You’re ready. You’re working for us now. That period of your life is over!” Entwined in these words is a recognition that you’ve done the work. You have, through years of deep self-reflection, healing and many […]

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 […]

Awakening to Darkness ~ Feeling Below the Threshold of Pseudo Spirituality and Light Chasing

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Awakening to Darkness ~ Feeling Below the Threshold of Pseudo Spirituality and Light Chasing

It’s not about feeling better, but being better able to feel. Spiritual teachers speak of awakening to the light, but how many speak of awakening to the darkness, to the grim, bleak, utter vile parts of us that shudder at the thought of being seen? It seems so simple to point skyward and say “Transcend!” It seems so clean to rise above it all, to just meditate, do your chants and say your prayers; to drink your green smoothies, say your affirmations, wear your crystals, and live the life of your dreams. It seems so wonderful to be spiritually correct, nice and nice, with a sanguine look on life. But in my experience something far more raw and real is needed from us. Something much […]

Taming Veganism and the Recognition of Plant Sentience and Intelligence

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Taming Veganism and the Recognition of Plant Sentience and Intelligence

I appreciate vegans for their committed ethical stance on protecting animals from cruelty. We need more people speaking out on not only barbaric factory farming practices, but on the toxic chemicals and hormones fed to animals, our bodies, and environment as a whole. There is, however, a glaring implication of the vegan stance, especially of the righteous belief that veganism is the only sane way to eat, and live. And that is that animals are more sentient than plants; that they are more intelligent, and feel more, when, in fact, plants are living, breathing, feeling beings, too. Certain vegetation, for instance, have far more expansive neural networks than humans. Aspen old growth trees have roots running hundreds of acres, vastly further than what the human […]

Let a Child’s Heart Dream Us Into New Beginnings

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Let a Child’s Heart Dream Us Into New Beginnings

“Recent discoveries in neuroscience have proven that over 50 percent of the heart is comprised of neural cells. The heart is, in fact, a brain in its own right. Heart-centered perception can be exceptionally accurate and detailed in its information gathering capacities as indigenous and ancient peoples assert.” ~ Stephen Buhner, The Secret Teachings of Plants Can we agree that the brain must serve the heart, and not the other way around? Then would it not behoove us, children and the world, to follow the lead of little ones? For, they are still saturated in the wisdom of the heart, in the imagination, creativity, silliness, wonder, intuition, kindness, gentleness, compassion and love not found in the calculating, analytical mind, but in our mysterious beating center. […]

Living With An Un-Mended Heart

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Living With An Un-Mended Heart

Chances are, you will never heal all your wounds, nor are you meant to. Perhaps they are to be faithful companions on your journey, worthy friends guiding you, reminding you of compassion and humility, and acting as an acutely sensitive barometer shooting aches and pains through you when you are not aligned in truth, or pushing too hard. Indeed, a necessary amount of trauma may just be necessary for all of us if we are to stay grounded in our humanity, and if we are to serve others in their path of healing and opening to the rawness of living in the unfathomable paradox of light and dark we endlessly wander through together. Slowly I’m coming to terms with this, with my own physical stress […]