Put “Reality” Aside. Children Need You to Dream With Them and Dance In Their Wild World.

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Put “Reality” Aside. Children Need You to Dream With Them and Dance In Their Wild World.

“The magic, the wonder, the mystery and the innocence of a child’s heart are the seeds of creativity that will heal the world.” ~ Michael Jackson In one of my Remembering to Play playshops a father shared that his young son expressed interest in one day becoming an astronaut. “How did you respond?” I asked. The father replied, “By saying, ‘how are you going to do that?’” It wasn’t just about the words the father chose but the doubt and concern he reenacted in his tone, a tone his son would have felt. It’s very tempting and easy to jump to the How. For the inhibited, rational adult, forgetful of the child within, the logistics of the dream are far more alluring than the dream […]

Much More Than Things, It’s YOU Children Want ~ Playing With Simple Moments of Joy and Connection

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Much More Than Things, It’s YOU Children Want ~ Playing With Simple Moments of Joy and Connection

I had the fortune to wander through a forest-nestled playground with a group of young children a few weeks ago. It was the beginning of Autumn here in Vancouver. The leaves were turning golden yellow and burnt orange, falling large and small from soaring maples. The idea was to take the kids to one of the most imaginative outdoor playgrounds in the city. Full of colorful slides, swings, bongo drums, climbing apparatuses, bouncy and spinny things, the playground did not fail to delight their curious eyes, exploring hands and climbing feet. After a while I suggested we change things up. There was another playground about a 10-minute (or 30-minute for little legs) walk away. I thought it would be nice to stroll along the winding […]

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: […]

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. […]

Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

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Children’s Play Becomes Work When You Get in the Way. Let Them Be.

“In today’s world there is such a focus on a child’s academic abilities that the social is becoming obsolete. I have seen children as young as 2 years of age who know their entire alphabet, the sound each letter makes and numbers up to 10. Parents are so proud of their child that they are “sooo smart”. However, the same child does not know how to play by himself—even for a few minutes—is constantly seeking approval from their parents, and has the highlight of their day being what they refer to as ‘lesson time’—which is an app on a tablet—because that is when they get to spend time with mom or dad.” ~ Early Childhood Educator  Play does not have a beginning and ending. It […]

There is Knowledge, and then there is Knowing ~ Learning to Trust and Make Space for Your Inner Wisdom

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There is Knowledge, and then there is Knowing ~ Learning to Trust and Make Space for Your Inner Wisdom

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” ~ Sandra Carey There is knowledge, and then there is knowing. Knowledge is finite. It is the facts of life: a butterfly has two wings; Earth is round; the sky is blue. Knowledge has defined edges, beginnings and endings, a specific this is it; it is information the mind grasps in completeness… until it doesn’t; for our understanding of things evolves. One day we live in a geocentric solar system, and then the next day it is the sun, not the Earth, the planets revolve around. One day our knowledge informs us that we must spank children. The next day this is considered cruel. Like a monkey, […]

Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

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Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter

If you need a quick read to bring a smile to your face, or are simply gathering information, I offer these inspiring quotes to bring you back to the child within—to that part of us who never forgot the importance of laughing for no particular reason, of imagining far beyond what the rational mind can comprehend, and of sitting in wonder at the miracle we wake to every day. If you want more inspiration, check out my Inspiring Quotes for Child Learning and Development, and Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart. You may also want to watch this short, fun and inspiring video called Come Out and Play ~ Embracing Life’s Infinite Playground. Also… check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the […]

There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

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There’s No Such Thing as “Just” Being Silly

“All animals, except man, know that the principal business of life is to enjoy it.” ~ Samuel Butler The other day I overheard a mother say to her son, “Oh, you’re just being silly, aren’t you?” He was goofing off and giggling in the most delightfully innocent and innocuous of ways. The mother’s tone was kind and intention heartfelt. But there was something stirring in her word “just” that struck me deep, an old shallow story that still saturates adult minds. That play is somehow frivolous is a belief still holding true for many. And yet ask any adult how hard play is for them. Ask them how easily they let themselves sing and dance spontaneously, how freely they dream, how fully they give themselves […]

Re-Imagining Education ~ Awakening the Gifts and Purpose Inherent in Each Child

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Re-Imagining Education ~ Awakening the Gifts and Purpose Inherent in Each Child

Beyond the accidental universe “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore What if the universe we live in is not accidental? What if it is a fluid intelligence spoken through sage stars, prophetic planets and guiding galactic spirals; through the bees that know how and when to collect the nectar we use for our honey; through the sun that rises everyday with the gift of light pulsing through curtains of clouds; through the salmon that somehow know exactly where they come from and when to come home to spawn; and through the trees that release their golden leaves every Autumn to the beckoning earth waiting for nourishment? What […]

Remembering the Soulfulness of Play ~ Trusting the Intelligence of Play to Raise a Child

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Remembering the Soulfulness of Play ~ Trusting the Intelligence of Play to Raise a Child

I wonder… “Wisdom begins in wonder.” ~ Socrates “I wonder”—two of my favorite words. Despite loving the luscious openness of the inquiry, I’m not always good at wondering. Sometimes I get stuck gazing through a fixed lens, trapped in myopia, thinking I know what’s right when really I can’t possibly know. The gift of wonder is that it invites me to soften my tired focused eyes for a moment, exhale and open. It is a resting space between my litany of beliefs and opinions where I can swim free like a child in seas of unchartered possibilities. It is the unraveling of my clenched working-mind, a limen into the mysterious that no thought can lead me to. For these reasons, wonder is not easy. The […]