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 […]

5 Ways to Smooth Out Potentially Messy Conversations

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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?

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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 […]

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 […]

4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

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4 Reasons Not to Fix or Solve People’s Problems

We are well conditioned to believe that it is our job to fix others and solve their problems for them. If we see someone struggling or uncertain, we are quick to race in and save them from their challenges. We have been trained to see this as an act of care, a gift to another. But is it really?  What is it that we may be assuming and impeding by jumping in and acting as the savior? Perhaps it is more about our thoughts, needs and feelings than theirs. Reason #1: People are more capable and resourceful than you think We are born with much more inherent capacity and resourcefulness than we know. Unfortunately, we don’t realize this because we have been treated otherwise our […]

4 Keys to Conscious Communication

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4 Keys to Conscious Communication

Even though we communicate all the time, for most of us, we have never received any training or education on how to communicate. We fumble our way through many messy conversations and relationships without the skills gleaned from being a student of conscious communication. Being a student begins with knowing that we communicate not only with our words, but also with our movement and energy. A slight shift in our body language can convey a new message. And our energy, how we are being, can create subtle ripples of influence that are intuitively received by others, and that impact the tone of our words. We become conscious communicators when we are aware of our words, body language and energy in every interaction. Aware means being […]

Play Begins with Permission ~ Freeing Your Self through Simple Play

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Play Begins with Permission ~ Freeing Your Self through Simple Play

Play is not dependent on anything except our willingness. The very first play principle I teach in my playshops is Permission. Permission is recognizing we have the play instinct within, and allowing it to be expressed in every moment. When we allow ourselves to let go and be care-free just a little, play emerges naturally, and we surprise ourselves in how playful we actually are. Adults asks “How?” Children just play. When we assume we are not playful, we tend to ask “How do I play?” It is a question I hear quite often from adults. The fact that we ask How is a statement of how difficult play has become for so many of us. It is a sign we have lost touch with […]

Sharing versus Telling ~ Communication for Staying Centered in the Self

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Sharing versus Telling ~ Communication for Staying Centered in the Self

It is natural for us to tell people what to do. It is part of the human condition to believe we know what is best for others. This may be true when we are with young children and, for example, we see a child approaching a moving car. In that moment it is probably wise to tell the child to stand back. But as children grow older, we know less and less what is best for them. We can assume, but chances are our ideas for others are simply that – our own ideas, not theirs. We can only speak on behalf ourselves, not on behalf of others. When we speak on behalf of ourselves we share instead of tell. We share from our own […]

Conscious Communication ~ Getting the Best out of Other & Ourselves

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Conscious Communication ~ Getting the Best out of Other & Ourselves

“Listening may be the most powerful statement a person can make.” ~ Dr. Mardy Grothe What is conscious communication? Conscious means aware. Conscious communication is communicating from an awareness of who you are and the impact you are having and want to have, as well as an awareness of what people really want, and how they can best be supported. Conscious communication begins with being aware of whether we are speaking from our heart and intuition, or our fears and doubts. Are we speaking from our own past experiences and then projecting them onto the person in front of us, or are we really open to the uniqueness and possibilities that exist in every encounter? When beginning the path of conscious communication a simple place […]

Can You Be Here In The Emptiness?

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Can You Be Here In The Emptiness?

by Vince Gowmon From Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart   Can you be here in the emptiness?  Where the heart is open And the mind is clear The body wants nothing And you’re open to hear A sound in the wind A brush of a tree The storm of the night The voice beyond the dream Can you be here in the emptiness?  Where over the days And over the years It’s been calling to you Beyond your fears Come back to this moment Come back right now Come back from your dream It’s here life is found Can you be here in the emptiness? Where you stop searching And finally let go Of all your ambitions And all you think […]