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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Be Gentle On Yourself and Children. There is Another Way.

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Be Gentle On Yourself and Children. There is Another Way.

“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.” ~ Ralph W. Sockman I had to learn the hard way, ironically. Given where I came from and what I had to endure as a small child, and the rough edges of schooling and society I grew up in, it is only natural that gentleness would be considered a weakness, a way of being that in no way could serve and protect me. I’m not the only one. If raised in an environment of consistent gentle affection and care then this becomes how we understand love and life to be; it becomes our learned experience and it improves the likelihood that we recreate that experience in our future relationships, including our relationship […]

Relaxation and Trust are Two Sides of the Same Coin. Both Lead us Back to Love.

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Relaxation and Trust are Two Sides of the Same Coin. Both Lead us Back to Love.

It’s not easy to relax. The individualistic, hectic, consumerist Western world makes this so. There are bills to pay, mouths to feed, kids to shuffle, classes to attend and homes to clean. Our lives, as they say in Britain, are “chock-a-block”—cluttered, making quiet time for us a precious rarity. Looking closer, however, we can see that core to the issue is not busy schedules, but rather our inability to trust. Can we trust others to help us; to do the bookkeeping accurately, clean the kitchen, ensure the children have the proper food in their lunchbox? Perhaps our spouse and co-workers have let us down before making it difficult to trust them, and thus relax. Or maybe we still need them to do it our way […]

We Over-Educate Children Because We Over-Think and Are Afraid to Feel

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We Over-Educate Children Because We Over-Think and Are Afraid to Feel

There is enough research to clearly show that we are over-educating, over-pushing our children in school. But if you need extra evidence, here are two studies for you: “According to Daphna Bassok, an assistant professor of education and public policy at the University of Virginia, in 1998, 30% of teachers believed that children should learn to read while in kindergarten. In 2010, that figure was at 80%.” ~ Why are our kids so miserable? | Jenny Anderson, Quartz  “One major study of 700 preschool classrooms in 11 states found that only 15 percent showed evidence of effective interactions between teacher and child. Fifteen percent.” ~ The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids | Erika Christakis, The Atlantic If you need more research, please read Inspiring, Troubling […]

Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

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Choosing Heart and Life Amongst the Busyness of Things

“The cities, the roads, the countryside, the people I meet—they all begin to blur. I tell myself I am searching for something. But more and more, it feels like I am wandering, waiting for something to happen to me, something that will change everything, something that my whole life has been leading up to.” ~ Khaled Hosseini—And the Mountains Echoed Her voice spoke with urgency. A pressing need to accomplish a number of tasks and build new ventures prompted this coaching client to hire me. During our initial session, she shared with such a clip that it was hard to truly feel and thus hear her. The buzz of words was like a lightening storm surrounding and protecting something that felt like a quiet, deep agenda […]

Transcending the Illusion of Success ~ Thriving in Heart-felt and Hard-won Truth

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Transcending the Illusion of Success ~ Thriving in Heart-felt and Hard-won Truth

“It takes courage to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery, rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson I can hear my mother’s concerned voice now: “Vincent, how is your business going? Is everything okay?” My mother loves me dearly, and like many moms, she worries about her child, perhaps more than other moms do because of where I came from, and how I have chosen to travel a highly unconventional route. It wasn’t long ago that I was living below the poverty line for four years, desperately holding onto a dream that was slowly slipping from my grasp. I knew I wanted to be a speaker—to travel, leading groups deeper into […]

How Timed Math Worksheets Cause Anxiety and Erode Learner Confidence

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How Timed Math Worksheets Cause Anxiety and Erode Learner Confidence

“If the child is not learning the way you are teaching, then you must teach in the way the child learns.” ~ Rita Dunn We have it in our minds that forcing children to learn through rigid, rote, pressured means is both useful and kind. It is neither. Children do not learn by sitting at desks for hours on end with a pencil and note/textbook, but rather by moving, exploring and engaging with the realities of life. There are countless ways children can learn math other than with the inappropriate, and dare I say, cruel means of timed math worksheets. They can play with blocks, measure ingredients with their imaginary baking set, or simply count clouds in the sky. Research shows that children learn math […]