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 […]

Leading from Truth, Not Obligation ~ Finding Clarity in the Body

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Leading from Truth, Not Obligation ~ Finding Clarity in the Body

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~ Lao Tzu The weight of obligation can be a real burden sometimes, especially when there are two opposing “shoulds” pulling at us simultaneously. The temptation may be to work out the dilemma with our mind by analyzing details, weighing pros and cons, evaluating collective impact, etc. Yet doing so may only lead us further into a schizophrenic state of confusion and stress. Thinking may only lead to more thinking and indecisiveness. Hence, the saying, analysis paralysis. A client of mine was recently in such a quandary. Her uncle had just passed away, and she so desperately wanted to drive south (12 hours) to support her grief-stricken father. And, of course, she wanted to attend […]

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 […]

How Trusting Intuition Saved One Boy’s Life ~ The Power and Mystery of Living from the Still Small Voice Within

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How Trusting Intuition Saved One Boy’s Life ~ The Power and Mystery of Living from the Still Small Voice Within

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honours the servant and has forgotten the gift.” ~ Albert Einstein A few weeks ago I was presenting an intuition playshop to a group of 40 child care workers at a conference. One of the activities required participants to walk up to different people and share whatever intuitive insights they may have for them. What was shared was to be seen as a gift that may serve the receiver in some way. The insight could be a word, phrase, color, image, feeling etc. One of the participants, Katharine, offered, “blue car” to someone named Carol. As the words came to Katharine’s mind and were […]

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 […]

8 Ways to Tame Your Saboteur ~ Empowering You and Your Dreams

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8 Ways to Tame Your Saboteur ~ Empowering You and Your Dreams

“A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: ‘Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.’ When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, the one I feed the most.’” ~ George Bernard Shaw We all have a Saboteur lurking in the dark corners of our psyche. It is there, ever-present, regularly offering opinions on how we should be and what we should do. It conjures up compelling images that shrivel our fortitude and distract us from what really matters, what we really want. Indeed, the Saboteur has a mandate—to keep us playing small, […]

Letting the Body Lead ~ Trusting the Movements of our Inner Wisdom

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Letting the Body Lead ~ Trusting the Movements of our Inner Wisdom

When it comes to designing my playshops, I can be a real procrastinator; or so it would seem to my mind. Leading up to the event, my mind will say many times, “You need to get going! You won’t have enough time to do it all!” But despite its admonitions, I still don’t move. I stay on the couch, or seated on a log in the forest, or doing anything but designing my events. And then one day, I just suddenly start doing it. I know in my heart that it is time. My heart moves me, my body, without much thought. And as always, I have more than enough time (and the participants love the playshop!). It would seem our mind knows what is […]