Why Kids Need to Question, Not Conform ~ Unleashing Creativity and the Rascal Within

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Why Kids Need to Question, Not Conform ~ Unleashing Creativity and the Rascal Within

“Creativity is an act of defiance.” ~ Twyla Tharp My mother will tell you that when I was a child I asked “Why?” a lot. My inquisitive nature was more than just a simple childlike curiosity, though. I was provocative, bent on challenging the facts of life, eager to question conventional thought and practice. Like many kids, there was a little rascal in me who wanted to be different, have a voice, and say No. Little did I, or my mother, realize that this rascal had a larger purpose—to forge a path that brings new thought and possibilities into the world. Questioning is a natural and necessary part of any change process. Asking “Why?”, wondering, imagining, dreaming new dreams, engaging in healthy open discussions, and […]

The Moonlit Forest Path of Inquiry ~ 8 Questions to Nurture the Heart and Creativity of Children

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The Moonlit Forest Path of Inquiry ~ 8 Questions to Nurture the Heart and Creativity of Children

“Who am I?” “What is the purpose of life?” “What brings me joy?” “What are my gifts?” “What really matters?” “What do I know for certain?” “What is it to belong?” “What is it to love?” To nurture the Heart and Creativity of children, we must travel down the moonlit forest path of inquiry asking ourselves the eight questions listed above. These are not questions many of us were encouraged to explore, and so the path may seem dark, strange and unfamiliar. And yet, what are the consequences of a society that only travels 100 feet, a few yards, or stops at the trailhead? How might our reticence impact how we perceive ourselves, life, how we treat children, what we deem as being important? And what […]

Let Children Play and they Remain in a State of Flow ~ They Move with the Intelligence of Life

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Let Children Play and they Remain in a State of Flow ~ They Move with the Intelligence of Life

Letting children play allows them to remain in a state of flow. This is incredibly vital given that flow is the natural state of life. Nature does not force, rather it moves as a young child moves, instinctually, with the intelligence of the whole guiding it through quiet whispers and nudges. It simply knows, in the same our heart knows; it knows without knowing how it knows. When children give themselves over to their play, and specifically unstructured play, they move as a river does, as the heart does, moment-to-moment, fluid and free. It is within this natural state that they stay connected to their inner whispers and nudges, the ancient impulses of life that breathe into their hand as they doodle, into their thoughts […]

Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart

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Playful Quotes for the Child in your Heart

Enjoy this selection of quotes on play from luminaries past and present. These teachers express why play is so vital to our professional paths, creativity, purpose, relationships, learning, personal well-being and connection to life. And of course, they elucidate why play serves the health and development of children. You will see that I have weaved in a few of my own quotes as well. If your appetite for quotes is not quite satiated, check out my list of Inspiring Quotes for Child Learning and Development and Inspiring Quotes to Ignite Imagination, Wonder and Laughter. I also encourage you to watch this short, fun and inspiring video called Come Out & Play ~ Embracing Life’s Infinite Playground. Also… check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative […]

6 Keys to Walking the Creative Path ~ Overcoming the Illusion of Perfection

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6 Keys to Walking the Creative Path ~ Overcoming the Illusion of Perfection

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun.” ~ Mary Lou Cook There are many excuses, or stories, we use to postpone what wants to emerge from us and take shape in the world: my creative offerings need to look / sound a certain way; people need to like them, like me; no one will purchase any; I can’t make a living from it; I don’t have time; I need to study more; my offerings need to create aha moments, invite transformation; they need to change the world! They need to be perfect! Because so many of us have drown our creative instincts in self-judgment, it can take a great deal of self-awareness to recognize our limiting stories; and […]

6 Ways Children Live in the Present Moment

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6 Ways Children Live in the Present Moment

One of the simplest ways to live in the present moment is to be ‪childlike. Children are such wonderful teachers. If we want to remember ourselves, and what life is all about, we just need to observe a child for a few minutes. It won’t be long before we appreciate the joy, simplicity and presence that the child exudes, and perhaps we may even wonder, “How can I be more like her?” The quality of being able to enjoy life’s simple moments is not far away. In fact, it is our natural state to do so (or should I say, be so!). Children in their innocence and purity are powerful mirrors that show us what is innately within, and what we long to reconnect to—a presence that […]

Why We Need to Initiate Play More Than Ever!

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Why We Need to Initiate Play More Than Ever!

Consider this: The average child spends up to 8 hours a day on technology. It’s addictive nature, combined with the increasing busyness of our lives, makes it difficult for parents to pull children away from their screens, and get them playing. And yet, it is more necessary than ever to do so! The more the toy does, the less the child does. I was recently invited to a dinner party at a friend’s place. One of the adults there – also a friend – brought her two young girls with her. Instead of doing the adult thing and chit chatting around the dinner table, I played with the girls… for four hours! We played hide and seek, turned yoga blocks into boats and forts, created […]

Doodle, Dream, and the Dance of Co-Creation ~ 3 Stages to Unlocking the Gifts of Free Unstructured Play

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Doodle, Dream, and the Dance of Co-Creation ~ 3 Stages to Unlocking the Gifts of Free Unstructured Play

“Drawing/doodling can help us to focus on the task at hand. Listening or reading with pencil in hand leads to a 29% better memory recall. Draw/doodling offsets the effects of ‘selective memory blockade’.” ~ Journal of Applied Psychology, February 2009 A few years ago, I was walking along the streets of Summerside, PEI, when I spontaneously began to make some funny noises with my mouth. The sounds were a combination of gibberish and rapping. As I allowed myself to explore and play with these sounds some more, I eventually sank into an eccentric and rhythmic beatbox that I thoroughly enjoyed! It was then that something unexpected happened. A thought appeared in my mind: This is doodling! This is what children do when then draw, except I am […]

When You Slow Down Enough

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When You Slow Down Enough

by Vince Gowmon From Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart   When you slow down enough you no longer fear the silence of space and all it holds. In embracing stillness you discover that which you never knew existed or was possible, and you meet your Self and life perhaps for the very first time. When you slow down enough you finally feel the feelings and hear the words you have been avoiding all these many years. Those knocks on the door, those peering eyes that have been trying to capture your attention from the shadows, the long lost dream that once carried you away, far away, many moons ago. When you slow down enough you no longer fear your aloneness. You […]

Play is Training for the Real World

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Play is Training for the Real World

What skills and attitudes are needed to live in the real world? “If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” ~ Woody Allen When you look at the two paths expressed in the image above, what would you say are the skills needed to travel the path above versus below? How do we need to be? What attitudes are necessary? In considering the path below, I would guess one of the first skills or attitudes you thought of was flexibility. (I say this because when I ask my playshop participants the same question it seems to always be the first answer shared, not just by one person, but many, which I find personally interesting!). I would also guess that you might […]