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 […]

When You Can No Longer Dance the Dance of Roles in Your Relationship

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When You Can No Longer Dance the Dance of Roles in Your Relationship

“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.” ~ W. B. Yeats Roles have been around since man first graced the planet. I’m not talking about outer roles such as butcher, baker and candlestick maker. Rather, I’m speaking about inner roles such as Pleaser, Controller, Stablizer, and Go-To-Person. Also knows as emotional functions, they are ways of being in the world not unique to us. Anyone can be an Accommodator, Cynic, Peacemaker, Good Girl/Boy and Bad Girl/Boy. We have all at one point been these characters, for within us there is a bit of each. But not everyone can or will be a police officer, legal assistant, rock star […]

Kids Hunger For More Meaningful Conversations and Less Direction

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Kids Hunger For More Meaningful Conversations and Less Direction

“Teachers expect kids to act like adults, but they treat them like children.” These are the frustrated words from a mature grade seven student. When asked for an example, she said, “I remember in kindergarten sharing ideas and dreams with my teacher, and she would respond by saying, ‘That’s nice, dear. Why don’t you go and draw a picture about it.’” I then asked how her teacher could have responded differently. She said, with a degree of irritation, “All she had to say was, ‘Tell me more about it.’” *** Scroll to the bottom to read 15 Questions Kids Hunger to Hear *** In the same way that recess is learning, engagement is teaching. “Conversation is gold. It’s the most efficient early-learning system we have. And it’s […]

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 […]

Start With Empathy ~ The Gift of Being With Others in Their World

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Start With Empathy ~ The Gift of Being With Others in Their World

Many years ago, when I was naïve and not exactly socially intelligent, I left an indelible mark on a relationship with one sentence. It began when a colleague shared with me that she had cancer. My response was something like this: “Well, you know it is all meant to be. There is something you are meant to learn from it.” Yes, I can hear you cringing from here. I don’t blame you. Fortunately I have learned since then—a lot—and am now teaching what I have learned. Here’s where I missed the mark. Resting in the receptive One of the core principles that I teach, as many of you now know, is the Spirit of Yes And. The “Yes” of Yes And is the receptive—it is […]

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, […]

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 […]

“Up Until Now…” ~ Redesigning Needs and Expectations in Relationships

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“Up Until Now…” ~ Redesigning Needs and Expectations in Relationships

My client Sandy recently shared how she was tired of listening to and solving her friend Andrew’s problems. A pattern had been created in the friendship where Andrew would regularly vent to Sandy, and she would go into fixing mode. Sandy knew her part in the ongoing scenario—she took responsibility for her need to care-take Andrew; she understood that she was creating expectations in the relationship that she would solve his problems, and that it was okay for him to keep acting like a victim with her. Sandy and I spoke about how helping through fixing and advising was generally futile. It so often served to enable rather than empower. For Andrew to create lasting positive change in his life, the solutions to his problems had to […]

Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

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Hold the Agenda of Others ~ A Practice of the Heart

What if for one day you allowed everyone to be as they are? My recent article, 4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems, was so well received that I wanted to offer a follow-up article that expanded on the topic, while offering some practical tools. The tools are intended to support you to practice the principles outlined so that you may free yourself from the need to be responsible for other’s challenges or general circumstances. The practice is simple, but not necessarily easy: Where possible, practice not having an agenda for others. Note that I wrote “Where possible”. I am fully aware that there are many places where we do need to have an agenda; for instance, if you are parenting, teaching or […]