How to Turn a Snake into a Sword ~ From Reasoning to Playing Along

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How to Turn a Snake into a Sword ~ From Reasoning to Playing Along

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” ~Angela Schwindt A three-year-old girl was attempting to play with her older brothers who were messing around with swords. The mother didn’t know why she was bothering her brothers’ boyish fun, and was tempted to redirect her to something more suitable. In that moment, however, she caught herself. She went on to say, “Instead of reasoning, I met her in her world.” The daughter had a toy snake in her hand, and the mother moved next to her and suggested that maybe she could use it as a sword. She played along with her daughter’s imaginative impulses, and validated her in the process. Mom parked her […]

Play ~ The Artful Dance of Living: Surrendering to Joy and Our Magical Universe

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Play ~ The Artful Dance of Living: Surrendering to Joy and Our Magical Universe

“Children dance before they know there is anything that isn’t music.” ~ William Stafford The essence of play is an experience rooted in the present moment without attachment to specific outcomes. It is this moment that matters, and the experience of joy, wonder and imagination. That is why play is such a gift. Over and over again it brings us to the here and now, away from our discursive and troubled minds. Just a few moments of joyful interaction with another, or swinging on a swing set, or twirling around in our living room, can shift our energy, change our focus, and redirect our day down a road we would not have traveled otherwise. We temporarily let go of our plans, our agendas, our thoughts, […]

Nobody Gets to Be Wrong ~ Designing a Safe Space for Creativity and Expression

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Nobody Gets to Be Wrong ~ Designing a Safe Space for Creativity and Expression

“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.” ~ Ornette Coleman Two things that block our self-expression and creativity is the fear of judgement, and the weight of expectations to do things the “right” way. We hold back in team meetings and other kinds of relationships, fearful that we will receive a disparaging response. A guiding principle for communication that can help mitigate negativity and fear, and create safety for creative self-expression is Nobody Gets to Be Wrong. Imagine conducting all future meetings and general dialogue with this principle in place. What would the implications be? All ideas are welcome Freedom to playfully experiment and get messy Less thinking and more spontaneity More ideas shared […]

Claiming Your Creativity ~ 5 Actions & Mindsets for the Creative Path

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Claiming Your Creativity ~ 5 Actions & Mindsets for the Creative Path

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe One of the common ways we […]

Playing with Perspective ~ Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Child

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Playing with Perspective ~ Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Child

“When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.”  ~ Fred Rogers Play is not just something we do; it is a perspective from which to see life. It is a worldview that invites endless possibilities to creatively engage people, objects and places. I was hiking up a mountain a few weeks back and came across a tree that was lying on its side, tilted downwards, paralleling the steepness of the trail. One might look at this object and see only a tree that’s fallen on its side. What I immediately saw was a slide that was inviting me to […]

Creating Colorful Perspectives

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Creating Colorful Perspectives

Where Your Attention Goes, the Energy Flows. The decisions we make are based on the perspectives we hold about a particular person or situation. A perspective may be: She doesn’t know what she’s doing. I’m stuck; I can’t figure this out. This meeting is pointless. It has to be done this way. A perspective is simply a lens through which we view the world. What we often fail to remember is that our perspective is one lens of many, and not the lens. It is one color in the spectrum of viewpoints. When we forget this, we get locked in our perspective, and fail to make ourselves available to all the other colorful options. The next time you feel stressed or uncomfortable in any way, […]

Playing With Imagination

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Playing With Imagination

A daycare worker recently told me a wonderful story that illustrates the power of imagination. While having lunch one of the children at the daycare said “Let’s have a food fight!”. Instead of simply saying No, the daycare worker suggested that they Play with their Imagination! Instead of throwing real food, the children relished in throwing imaginary food, shouting “Gravy in your ear!”, “Mash potatoes in your eyes!”. They were in hysterics while playing with nothing and everything at the same time. “When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.” ~ Fred Rogers Imagination takes us beyond the bounds […]

22 Keys to Intuitive Living

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22 Keys to Intuitive Living

“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”  ~ Howard Thurman Intuition is… the knowing/sensing of something beyond time, space, reason, the use of prior knowledge and the five senses. It is the gateway to your soul. 1. Permission When you wake up in the morning, start your day by giving yourself permission to be intuitive. Remember, intuition is your natural state; therefore, you do not need to work at it, but rather allow it to express itself through you […]

Learning Everywhere

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Learning Everywhere

 “The moment you judge something, you stop learning.” ~ Lynda Austin. There is no such thing as failure; only unexpected outcomes. What we call failure is an outcome that disagrees with our agenda. The more attached we are to our views, the harder it is to be adaptable in the face of the unexpected, and the more incapable we are of finding learning in every moment. And we are more inclined to react, than respond.           As you go about your week, be conscious of where you are attached to a point a view, and how this attachment may impact your response, or block learning and creativity. Instead of resisting, be curious, and in the Spirit of Yes And. Be open […]

7 Mindsets for Collaboration ~ Building Creative and Engaging Relationships

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7 Mindsets for Collaboration ~ Building Creative and Engaging Relationships

Collaboration happens when all voices are heard, and all contributions valued, within a safe and open space of dialogue. People feel included and are encouraged to actively participate in the discussions or creative process. Collaboration gets stuck when we believe our idea is the way. We cannot accommodate another viewpoint because we are so locked in our own. Time and tradition clouds the lens from which we view things. We get so accustomed to our ways that we fail to see the bright and new. We can empower collaboration by changing our mindset. A changed mindset can alter the way we view others, our self, and a situation. It can shift our communication to more creative and inclusive language, and expand our range of awareness […]