4 Criteria for Teaching and Learning ~ Empowering Both Teacher and Student

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4 Criteria for Teaching and Learning ~ Empowering Both Teacher and Student

In my playshops with teachers we have regular conversations about what structures support and limit education. We discuss how certain structures, that we think need to be put in place, may in fact get in the way of a child’s learning and development. Education is ongoing balance between structure and flow. Too much structure and we stifle the child’s creative spirit and capacity to make decisions for herself. Too much flow and there may not be a container, and enough guidance or safety. It is my personal opinion that for teaching and learning to thrive, any structure used should meet the following four criteria: Does it support the child’s safety? Does it support the child’s academic development? Does it support the child’s creativity and imagination? Does it support the child’s self-esteem and empowerment, including her capacity to be self-directed? […]

Remembering to Be Human on the Spiritual Path

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Remembering to Be Human on the Spiritual Path

“We are not human beings in search of a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings immersed in a human experience.” ~ Wayne Dyer If you have been on the spiritual path for a while, and feel like you are spinning your wheels in life, not clear on your direction, here is a suggestion for you (and I am speaking from experience!). Perhaps you have become TOO spiritual! Yes, indeed! Maybe you have forgotten what it is like just to be a human being, just a dude or dudette, living on planet earth. Maybe for a month try tucking your spiritual growth books away and replacing them with some juicy novels! Adventure, romance…hmmm!! Or turn off your nightly guru talks, and instead tune into a hilarious […]

You Will Never Get It All Done! ~ The Illusion of “Getting There”

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You Will Never Get It All Done! ~ The Illusion of “Getting There”

Indeed it is true. You will never ever reach all you need to do.  We have our endless to-do lists, and the continuous spill of emails filling our inbox. And we try so hard to complete it all, only to be disappointed that our plate is being served once again. In continuing to look at what needs to get done, we fail to notice all that we have here and now. The Joy of this Moment. The blessings we have now in our life. We temporarily forget what life is all about. There comes a point where we must say to ourselves, “I accept that I will never ‘get there.’” “I accept that there will always be loose ends to tie.”  And thank goodness! What […]

Boundaries versus Speaking Your Truth ~ Own Your Voice. Own Your Worth.

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Boundaries versus Speaking Your Truth ~ Own Your Voice. Own Your Worth.

“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  A friend of mine recently told me how he doesn’t create strong enough boundaries. People take advantage of him and disregard his needs. After listening to him for a while, I realized that the problem wasn’t so much about boundaries, but rather speaking his truth. When I mentioned this to him, a light bulb went off. When I think about setting […]

Anger and Truth ~ Reclaiming Your Voice and Life

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Anger and Truth ~ Reclaiming Your Voice and Life

We play nice and accommodate others. We don’t speak up and say what is really going on for us. We deny our truth, our Voice, and as such, we reach a boiling point. What starts out as irritation soon becomes anger. We cannot play this game anymore. We cannot continue to deny what is real, what is true inside. Maybe you are staying too long in a relationship, or perhaps you are continuously acquiescing to the needs of others. Perhaps you have tolerated someone’s disrespect for too long now, or maybe you are fed up with how you are treating yourself. You’ve had enough!  It’s time to step forward and claim your voice, speak with assertiveness, and act with clear conviction! Anger is an excellent […]

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 […]

Soaring Above Your Challenges ~ The Gift of Metaview

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Soaring Above Your Challenges ~ The Gift of Metaview

“A small trouble is like a pebble. Hold it too close to your eye and it fills the whole world and puts everything out of focus. Hold it at a proper distance and it can be examined and properly classified. Throw it at your feet and it can bee seen in its true setting, just one more tiny bump on the pathway of life.” ~ Celia Luce It’s easy to allow a challenge to consume our mind, so much so that it blurs our vision and distracts us from what really matters. In those foggy moments imagine you are in a helicopter flying 500 feet above your life circumstance. Look down at your existing problem, and ask yourself: What can I see from up here […]

Your Real Power ~ Redefining Power Through Play

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Your Real Power ~ Redefining Power Through Play

“We are powerful beyond measure, and so deeply vulnerable at the same time. This may seem like a dichotomy, but it isn’t. We have misunderstood real power. It has been something assertive, non-surrendering, pushing on through. This is not real power. This is simply willfulness. Real power is something else- receptivity, openness, the courage to keep your heart open on the darkest of days, the strength to feel it all even when the odds are stacked against you. Real power is showing up with your heart on your sleeve and absolutely refusing to waste one moment of your life hidden behind edginess and armour.” ~ Jeff Brown Play connects us to our Real Power. The spirit of a child is open-hearted, receptive, vulnerable and sensitive. […]

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 […]

Moving Beyond Thought ~ Transcending Thinking & Creating Inner Peace

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Moving Beyond Thought ~ Transcending Thinking & Creating Inner Peace

When something is worrying us, we often try calming our discursive minds by thinking our way out of the problem. If we are concerned whether a new project is going to be successful, for instance, we hash over all the reasons why the project should work. The problem is thinking only leads to more thinking – our worries do not cease, and perhaps only worsen. Moving beyond thinking requires us not to think our way through the worry, but to transcend our minds altogether. There we find the peace and perspective we are looking for. Ways we can do this are: Taking some long, slow deep breaths Meditation or Yoga Doing something fun and creative Being physically active Spending time with family and friends Going into nature  […]