Walking the Way of Innocence ~ The Courageous Path of Embodying and Living from Purity of Heart

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Walking the Way of Innocence ~ The Courageous Path of Embodying and Living from Purity of Heart

No matter your difficulties, no matter how hard your life has been and how much pain you carry inside, your innocence is indomitable. It cannot be tarnished or taken away. That’s because your innocence is the vibrant, wondrous light of your ever-present soul, as felt in your pure and open heart. Though the challenges of the human condition lead us to believe otherwise and detour us away from knowing our innocent nature, this immutable truth of who you essentially are is always present, waiting for you to turn towards it, to remember and embody it.  Our pain, especially the pain in our hearts, and our programming from the collective, keeps us turned away from our innocence. We learned early on that it was not safe […]

Want to Prepare Children for an Increasingly Uncertain World? Let Them Be Uncertain — Through Play!

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Want to Prepare Children for an Increasingly Uncertain World? Let Them Be Uncertain — Through Play!

“Play is training for the unexpected.” ~ Marc Bekoff Jacob is five years old. Seated at the kitchen table, he cradles his favourite box of crayons and felts to dive into yet another creative exploration. This is no project. Just discovery. What will arise from one moment to the next as is curious, heart-felt instincts direct his hand? He’ll find out! Same with Samantha, she too is engrossed in play. Four years old, buckets and shovel in hand, she communes with sunshine, fresh air, water and sand at the beach, scooping, piling, patting, allowing her moment-to-moment imaginative impulses to guide her in building her sand sculptures. Like Jacob, she immerses herself in the element of surprise! Both Jacob and Samantha learn to adapt when needed. […]

Maybe It’s Not Meant to Be Solved ~ Surrendering to the Heartbreak of Not Having the Answer

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Maybe It’s Not Meant to Be Solved ~ Surrendering to the Heartbreak of Not Having the Answer

“The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.” ~ Frank Herbert “If you’re really listening, if you’re awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so that it can hold evermore wonders.” ~ Andrew Harvey Maybe the problems we face are not meant to, nor can be solved. Our determined beliefs tell us otherwise. We can solve our flat tire and painstakingly slow computer, and we are fortunate to have our broken leg fixed at the hospital. These are relatively simple issues to deal with. But the same linear, quick-fix mindset from which we approach these human dilemmas […]

Nothing in Nature is Linear, Yet We Push and “Ready” Children Along Straight Pathways

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Nothing in Nature is Linear, Yet We Push and “Ready” Children Along Straight Pathways

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein “(A) study, titled ‘Is Kindergarten the New First Grade?,’ compared kindergarten teachers’ attitudes nationwide in 1998 and 2010 and found that the percentage of teachers expecting children to know how to read by the end of the year had risen from 30 to 80 percent. The researchers also reported more time spent with workbooks and worksheets, and less time devoted to music and art.” ~ The New Preschool Is Crushing Kids | Erika Christakis, The Atlantic “In the 1970s, the German government sponsored a large-scale comparison in which the graduates of 50 play-based kindergartens were compared, over time, with the graduates of 50 academic direct-instruction-based kindergartens. Despite the initial academic gains […]

Remembering the Wildness You Are

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Remembering the Wildness You Are

“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.” ~ Alan Cohen As we fear death, we fear life. And in fearing the emptiness that comes with dying we fear our native wildness. The two pairings go hand-in-hand. The impersonal nature of wildness is born in the space between our flurry of personal plans and agendas. There is comfort and safety in the stories of our lives. We grasp believing them to be “our” life. But just as we don’t “own” land, we cannot […]

Gratitude is Not Just About Giving Thanks, but Ensuring Those Less Fortunate Are Not Forgotten

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Gratitude is Not Just About Giving Thanks, but Ensuring Those Less Fortunate Are Not Forgotten

Gratitude is a beautiful practice of acknowledging the goodness one receives. It moves us from simply taking and consuming into a felt-sense of appreciation for the love and abundance in our lives. Gratitude is not limited to time and space. We can give thanks to our parents who have passed on or the kind stranger who came to our aid twenty years ago. And we can give thanks to someone we have never met who lives across the world. In expressing gratitude, however, we are not just feeling appreciation; we are offering an acknowledgement that we see another and that they matter in this world. This is the deeper part of gratitude few speak of. I was walking by a homeless woman who was collecting […]

The Fog We Must Endure When Traveling from Head to Viscera Allegiance

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The Fog We Must Endure When Traveling from Head to Viscera Allegiance

There is a transition when moving from head-allegiance to heart- and gut-allegiance. It can feel as though our mind is getting foggy, forgetful, unclear as the viscera comes more online and the senses alive. Clients in somatic therapy when experiencing trauma resolution will often become disoriented temporarily as the body integrates the healing. As they become more embodied and less governed by the fixated, binding thoughts that accompany unresolved trauma, there is more space in the psyche. This space experienced as temporary spaceyness creates room for their feeling capacity to strengthen and take hold. What we’re moving towards is not an abandonment of rational thinking, but an integration of mind and body such that the heart/gut has greater say and sway in our perception and […]

The Adventure We Long For Lies in our Childlike Heart and in Feeling the Unexpected

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The Adventure We Long For Lies in our Childlike Heart and in Feeling the Unexpected

“Tiny humans see magic and possibility where big humans only see mess and responsibility. May we see the magic again through their eyes and rediscover all the possibilities life has to offer.” ~ L. R. Knost A child is excited to wake up in the morning. Open to surprise, she wanders through her home and yard drawn to the next thing capturing her attention. Maybe it’s the dog, or her new magnetic toy, or the bright golden dandelion blooming through the sea of green grass. Each moment is filled with wonder for this young one, a bubbling awe leading her from one fascination to the next. Each moment is an unfolding adventure. As people depart the wonders of childhood for the predictabilities of life, however, […]

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, […]

The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

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The Right Brain Develops First ~ Why Play is the Foundation for Academic Learning

Photo credit: Thank you to Emek of Emek Studios Did you know that the right brain develops first? It does so by the time children are 3-4 years of age. The left brain, on the other hand, doesn’t fully come online until children are approximately seven years old; hence the first seven years being recognized as such a critical period in child development. “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” ~ Albert Einstein The left brain’s functionality is one of language, numeracy, literacy, analysis and time. It is the logical, calculating, planning, busy-bee part of us that keeps us anchored in the pragmatic world, and in past and future. The right brain, on the other hand, is responsible for empathy, intuition, imagination and […]