Unleashing Your Creativity ~ 16 Practices and Mindsets for the Reluctant Artist

0 Comments
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: […]

Your Fears and Beliefs Create the Edges of a Child’s Playground, and Your Own

4 Comments
Your Fears and Beliefs Create the Edges of a Child’s Playground, and Your Own

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are made for.” ~ Grace Murray Hopper  Child safety has become obsessive in our society. Children are being controlled to the point of having their natural play-spaces and freedom ripped away from them at an alarming rate. For instance: “…nearly 20 homes on Esgore Drive, in (Toronto), were threatened with $90 fines from the city if they did not remove hockey and basketball nets from their street in the next 20 days.” The article goes on to say that, “A bylaw… states that ‘no person shall play or take part in any game or sport upon a roadway and, where there are sidewalks, no person upon roller-skates, in-line skates or a skateboard, or riding in […]

5 Ways to Smooth Out Potentially Messy Conversations

0 Comments
5 Ways to Smooth Out Potentially Messy Conversations

Conversations can be messy. When we account for different communication styles, varying worldviews, stress, timelines, competing agendas, children, chores, fears and trauma, we have good reason why a simple dialogue can spiral into triggers and chaos. And when a pattern of unhealthy communication forms, the walls get thicker and it becomes harder to speak candidly and address the meat of the problem and matter at hand. And so what can be done to limit this possibility? Here are five ways to smooth out potentially messy conversations: 1. Create a Signal: You and whoever may benefit from agreeing in advance to have a signal that an important conversation wants to be had. For instance, you agree that whenever one of you desires to speak to the […]

Yes, Trouble’s Brewing Out There, but Are You Playing, Living, Despite it All?

0 Comments
Yes, Trouble’s Brewing Out There, but Are You Playing, Living, Despite it All?

There is a lot of turbulence in the world, and it is very easy to dwell on climate change, the US election, Brexit and more. Don’t turn a blind eye to it all, but do notice how much you are turning towards the doom and gloom versus what makes you come alive, here and now. For those on the healing journey, the “spiritual path” as some like to call it, you may be inclined to inner-work yourselves to death, endlessly processing the fine far away corners of your psyche. And for all of us, we may find it easy to focus more on bleakness than beauty, folly than fun, problems than possibilities and play. Yes this is somewhat dichotomous, I’m aware, for there can be […]

The Power of Letting Kids Play at School ~ A Success Story for Students and Teachers

2 Comments
The Power of Letting Kids Play at School ~ A Success Story for Students and Teachers

“For a small child there is no division between playing and learning; between the things he or she does ‘just for fun’ and things that are ‘educational.’ The child learns while living, and any part of living that is enjoyable is also play.” ~ Penelope Leach During one of my Remembering to Play playshops, an Early Learning Professional shared how allowing more play in and outside the classroom has benefited both students and teachers in dramatic and unexpected ways. Here is what she told me: As part of an initiative to slowly move towards more play in our school, we have increased the children’s playtime in our classroom to a minimum of 45 minutes to sometimes one hour per day (from 20-30 minutes). We have […]

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

0 Comments
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

0 Comments
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 […]

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

2 Comments
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 […]

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

0 Comments
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 […]

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

0 Comments
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 […]