All Swirled Into One

To be honest, I am often fascinated by my experience of being alive. As in, easily amazed! So I guess this time right now of living in the process of so many major life transitions is no exception. And yet, it's definitely new for me. I wish I could easily put words to the nuances and extreme spectrum of feelings and experiences I'm having. I can't do it easily, but I will give it a try!

As a whole, I feel like I'm living many different lives all swirled into one. They blur in and out of each other, overlapping, building upon, disappearing and re-emerging. It's an exhilarating party of experiences. The old joining with the new, familiar and unfamiliar, light and dark... it's very exciting.

And then at other times all the parts don't feel like one life at all. They become compartmentalized. For a moment I'll only be able to feel one thread. Intellectually I know that the others are still there, but a feeling of anxiety will narrow my perception.

It feels like a dance between harmony and chaos. In the frames of chaos, while they feel aggravating and invasive, I get to see the specifics of that particular thread that is holding me down or confining me. Like a mirror that has shattered into many fragments. I get to rest in one shard and notice the details of what it looks and feels like. What is being reflected back to me? I learn its uniqueness. And during the melodic phases it all spins together, the colors blending, creating a new beauty that is birthed from all the connections.

In my heart and body, this all plays out through a huge spectrum of emotions that I feel, that catch me, control me, tickle me and invite me to pay attention. Sometimes the pace at which I swing from one end of the feeling spectrum to the other is fascinating. I'll fly in open-ended freedom sparkling with possibility, promise and potential. Confidence glowing through me. Excitement adding pep to my step. Joy twinkling out the corner of my eye and life wrapping me in an inner smile.

And then suddenly that openness is abruptly punctuated with a barreling thud of doubt and anxiety. Mischievously those contracting emotions creep into my skin and bones, throbbing through my heart and thoughts in unexpected moments. They burrow into my eye brows, yank at my heart, tug me down, spin me into confusion, agitation, uhggg, huh?, and not quite right. A shot of insecurity is injected into my blood stream. Without knowing it, I begin to take myself, my life, my experiences oh-so SERIOUSLY!! (and fortunately, even when all of this is going on, there is a steady constant of content. Of trust. Of knowing that it's all just right.) And yet... I'm feeling the effects of taking myself so-very seriously!!

and then...
ack-a-lacka- splack
spiff, pooof, a wac wac

{shake, shake, shake, shake}

My love for life comes funneling back

The journey feels a bit like an amusement park. Riding the rides, roller coasters flying up and down, tumbling this way and that. Pure joy and passion is the ground where I stand and yet underneath there is an intermittent thrum of fear that surfaces, mumbling rhythms of 'you're not doing it right'... Continuously inviting me to slow down. Notice what's happening. Accept. Love what-is. Rest in stillness. And before I know it, I've moved onto the next ride!

I was on a walk one morning after a particularly emotionally/energetically active and aggressive day. I had this feeling that I was disintegrating. I could feel the spaciousness in my body and cells. An airiness. Pieces breaking apart and disappearing, a field of emptiness present within me... as me. A peaceful calm. I felt how clearly the only thing that mattered was the step that I was taking. And the next step. And the next breath. Exactly what I was supposed to do was to take in, really savor, each moment and the environment around me and inside of me.

I then had the realization that I had no typical identity handles to hold onto. I don't have the habits of being that generally help to shape my identity. In that moment I had no job or profession. No significant other. No home that was my own (I'm 'boarding' in another family's house). No active community that I was tightly woven into. None of those typical outwardly obvious things that one might generally define themself by. I had me. I had life. And this step. And the next, and the next.

This recognition helped me open deeper into a breath of rest. Here it is. I'm living in the unknown. There is little habit or familiarity hinting at what might come in the next moment for me. There aren't the usuals to predict or inform. And yet... there really still are. And here I am. Living what-is. Learning to love what-is in new ways. Continuously being reminded to be gentle with myself and to be patient.

That's a sliver of my inner world.

Many photos are from my Flavors of Life album
Swinging in the Sky by McMorr
Roller Coaster Thrill by Carlos Lorenzo
Path - Should I follow? by Azzazello

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Keep Your Brain Entertained

An interesting npr segment on how active our brain gets when we are bored. Daydreams can suck us into an ever-interesting world of distraction. According to this article, if you want to stay engaged with the content at hand, keep your body engaged on something such as doodling. Don't let the mental activity get the best of you if you want to continue focusing, give your hands something else to do.
When the brain lacks sufficient stimulation, it essentially goes on the prowl and scavenges for something to think about. Typically what happens in this situation is that the brain ends up manufacturing its own material.

In other words, the brain turns to daydreams, fantasies of Oscar acceptance speeches and million-dollar lottery wins. But those daydreams take up an enormous amount of energy.

The function of doodling, according to Andrade, who recently published a study on doodling in Applied Cognitive Psychology, is to provide just enough cognitive stimulation during an otherwise boring task to prevent the mind from taking the more radical step of totally opting out of the situation and running off into a fantasy world.
When I host small Friendship Groups with students, I often put a bowl of rocks, shells, stick, cones into the middle of the circle in case anyone needs something to fiddle with. A group the other day began building with the objects while we were discussing some of their problems and concerns. Their sculptures were beautiful and inspiring and a nice example for this article! One child preferred the erasers!

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Brains, Beauty, Love, Learning and Celebration

For the next three days I'll be attending the Learning and the Brain Conference which is focusing on social brain research. It is very exciting to be learning more about the science and neurology that underscores much of the theoretical philosophies and intuitive knowings that are the foundations for much of my work and inspiration. I hope to learn more about mirror neurons, theory of mind, emotional regulation, memory and wisdom, and promoting social and emotional intelligence.

The last couple of days I've been hanging out with the remarkable Amy Lenzo. Amy has created an enticing world over at the Beauty Dialogues. I greatly appreciate Amy's willingness to recognize the beauty and potential not only in the physical world around her, but also in the human world. She has been a pivotal supporter in encouraging many creative hearts to find their voice of expression and share it with the world. I am very grateful to have benefited so much from her recognition of and encouragement towards Easily Amazed finding ways to grow into all it can be! Thanks, girl!

Over the next few days I will be paying attention to how beauty and allurement fit into this world of social and emotional brain research. Brian Swimme suggests that love begins as allurement and attraction. We know that attraction and allurement between a baby and its parent propel the relationship between them and this relationship fundamentally shapes the development of the child. As Mary Gordon so aptly states, "Love grows brains."

And we can never have too much love in our world. On Sunday, my friend Tracy Davis, took me to the incredibly inspiring and healing Glide Memorial Church, a place that is actively promoting the forces of love, celebration, inclusion and equality in a spiritually and culturally uplifting way. This was a beautiful expression of social, emotional and spiritual wisdom deep at play. I'll leave you with a poem that is Glide's Core Values:

The Ground We Stand On
Radically Inclusive
We welcome everyone. We value our differences.
We respect everyone.

Truth Telling
We each tell our story. We each speak our truth.
We listen.

Loving and Hopeful
We are all in recovery. We are a healing community.
We love unconditionally.

For the People
We break through barriers. We serve each other.
We change the world.

We sing. We dance. We laugh together.
We celebrate life!

looking up at mom by dolanh

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A strong part of my journey lately (always?) has to do with self-acceptance. I relate to what Dan Oestreich writes:
There is so much hubbub around us about self-help and improvement that the key precondition of personal change — self-acceptance — often gets completely lost.

With all the books and tapes and learning groups out there, it is very easy to fall into the pit of constantly attending to the gap between the ideal and the real — what I should be rather than what I am.

I can easily “over-focus” on my own ideals, losing sight of the fact that human change is mostly not a linear journey, but an organic one that paradoxically begins with awareness and acceptance of the parts that are not changing.

With acceptance comes grace, comes healing, comes change into our lives, and they come from someplace beyond ourselves and yet in a way that is completely intrinsic to who we are.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am,
then I can change.”

–Carl Rogers
I came up with a new practice recently to help curb this tendency of mine. When I notice that I'm being particularly hard on myself or focusing strongly on the what-I-should-be rather than the who-I-am, I make myself stop every hour and write down one thing that I've done well in the last hour. Sometimes it's easy and other times it's hard to find something that I feel proud of, something that I recognize as being good enough... or especially great! The things I've written down vary in scale from making a healthy lunch, stopping to breath or notice a bird, or doing something kind for another person.... or even doing something kind for myself!

I love to grow... and sometimes I over-focus on all of the parts of me that provide me with opportunities to grow! This practice helps me notice what I'm doing well just as often as I notice where I could improve. At times I recognize that the hour is approaching and think, "Oh, quick... I've got to do something that I value!" And then I get to celebrate what I've done!

Here are a couple of other posts on change from Paul Cooper and Chris Corrigan that have caught my attention recently.

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Healing as an ongoing, instinctive process

My dad has been blogging at The P Train. Here is an excerpt from what I found to be an inspiring recent post illustrating how life continuously provides us with opportunities to recognize the gift of being alive.
Cat and I listened to a CD of various speeches from cancer survivors and this particular one was from a woman who expressed her wisdom regarding the difference between treatment and healing. Treatment is what the medical community provides us when we are ill. It is logical (at least in attempt) and "fix-it" oriented. It usually will involve pills, maybe surgery (or multiple surgeries), multiple office visits and treatment to cure or improve what ails us. Healing is the moral obligation we have to research, discover and implement those practices that dramatically supplement the medical treatment in positive ways. It involves attitudes, alternative and/or holistic paths, involvement with other members of our community, discovering what is new on the horizons for one's particular illness and the list can go on and on. It is an obligation we have unless one prefers to give in to the affliction. I am sorry that the importance of the healing process has become so prominent to me as a result of my diagnosis. I say this because there is nothing that I am doing now that I should not have started doing a long time ago other than the specifics regarding my cancer. Healing should be an ongoing instinctive process that is encouraged in us all at a very early age. It would not turn us all into "buddhas on the mountain". It would just make us healthier and happier people on the planet. To me healing can be defined as anything that will add positive meaning and greater health to your life. Happy healing to all of you.
Lately I've felt really proud of both of my parents as they seem to be finding a new source of meaning in life, experimenting with new ways of connecting with themselves and trying out different ways of being and perceiving in the world. It is such a gift to have parents who can model for me life's continuous journey of opportunities for growth and new learning. Thank you, mom and dad.

photo source

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Developing New Habits

Can You Become a Creature of New Habits?

Rather than dismissing ourselves as unchangeable creatures of habit, we can instead direct our own change by consciously developing new habits. In fact, the more new things we try — the more we step outside our comfort zone — the more inherently creative we become, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

Brain researchers have discovered that when we consciously develop new habits, we create parallel synaptic paths, and even entirely new brain cells, that can jump our trains of thought onto new, innovative tracks.

But don’t bother trying to kill off old habits; once those ruts of procedure are worn into the hippocampus, they’re there to stay. Instead, the new habits we deliberately ingrain into ourselves create parallel pathways that can bypass those old roads.

“The first thing needed for innovation is a fascination with wonder,” says Dawna Markova, author of “The Open Mind” and an executive change consultant for Professional Thinking Partners. “But we are taught instead to ‘decide,’ just as our president calls himself ‘the Decider.’ ” She adds, however, that “to decide is to kill off all possibilities but one. A good innovational thinker is always exploring the many other possibilities.”

Researchers in the late 1960s discovered that humans are born with the capacity to approach challenges in four primary ways: analytically, procedurally, relationally (or collaboratively) and innovatively. At puberty, however, the brain shuts down half of that capacity, preserving only those modes of thought that have seemed most valuable during the first decade or so of life.

This is where developing new habits comes in. If you’re an analytical or procedural thinker, you learn in different ways than someone who is inherently innovative or collaborative. Figure out what has worked for you when you’ve learned in the past, and you can draw your own map for developing additional skills and behaviors for the future.

“I apprentice myself to someone when I want to learn something new or develop a new habit,” Ms. Ryan says. “Other people read a book about it or take a course. If you have a pathway to learning, use it because that’s going to be easier than creating an entirely new pathway in your brain.”

“Whenever we initiate change, even a positive one, we activate fear in our emotional brain,” Ms. Ryan notes in her book. “If the fear is big enough, the fight-or-flight response will go off and we’ll run from what we’re trying to do. The small steps in kaizen don’t set off fight or flight, but rather keep us in the thinking brain, where we have access to our creativity and playfulness.”

“Try lacing your hands together,” Ms. Markova says. “You habitually do it one way. Now try doing it with the other thumb on top. Feels awkward, doesn’t it? That’s the valuable moment we call confusion, when we fuse the old with the new.”

AFTER the churn of confusion, she says, the brain begins organizing the new input, ultimately creating new synaptic connections if the process is repeated enough.

But if, during creation of that new habit, the “Great Decider” steps in to protest against taking the unfamiliar path, “you get convergence and we keep doing the same thing over and over again,” she says.

“You cannot have innovation,” she adds, “unless you are willing and able to move through the unknown and go from curiosity to wonder.”

All of the text and image is from the New York Times article, Can You Become a Creature of New Habits? Image by Christophe Vorlet

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Learning From Others

I feel so fortunate that my life includes opportunities to learn from and be with children. Here is a bit of learning that I journaled about the other day. One day as a school counselor, a fortunate human being, sharing, relating and exploring in an educational community.

Today I learned about bravery.

These children are so brave to reach out to someone and ask for help with emotional problems. To accept and surrender to a feeling state that isn't serving them and to vulnerably reach towards another and ask for help.

I learned from the teachers, honoring their bravery to open up and be willing to learn in public, from their peers.

I learned about gossip from a group of third grade girls. They discussed some of the reasons that people talk about other people... For "Something to do", because we're bored, and because it can help to strengthen a bond with another person by talking about a different person. I felt humbled hearing the clarity they expressed of some of the reasons why gossip happens... and how those self-serving intentions can effect the well-being of others.

And I learned about how deeply someone can be touched (I can be touched) by a thank you that bellows out straight from the heart. It amazed me how profoundly I was (and still am) effected when I reached out to a family, helping them to have a resource they needed. I was on the phone with a grandmother when a 5 year old un-promptedly called out a "thank you" that was the most heartfelt, genuine expression of gratitude I have ever heard.

It still echoes through my core, vibrating as my cells, sparking and fueling a current of hope and life's vitality.

Photo collage Celebrating Children by Cocoabiscuit

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Hearing, Seeing and Loving

Anne Stadler recently inquired on an email list:
I am wondering do you feel “heard”, “seen”, and “loved”—even by the people with whom you are conversing? Do you feel you are engaging fully (using all your intelligences!) with each other and the whole in this exploration?
Many inspiring responses have emerged... and here is what I wrote:
I'd like to share some personal stories. My practice keeps turning me again and again inside myself (along a pathway of service beyond myself).

I'm sitting at a coffee shop right now, gazing out the sunny window. A dog turns around and stares in my eyes. In this moment I feel heard, seen and loved by that dog. I recognize myself in him... his alert curiosity, seeming contentment in experiencing life as it is. He stays close to his human companion and sweetly offers loving connections with those who pass by (or sit on the other side of the window!).

Earlier this morning I felt very alive, heard, seen and loved in my fascination with the appearance and movements of snails in the garden. So many unique angles from which to experience them, especially as their bodies morphed with each subtle movement. And each snail was so different from the other.

Lately I've been noticing where I don't feel heard, seen or loved by myself or parts of myself don't feel heard, seen or loved by other parts. I notice when I don't feel this towards myself, I seek that feeling externally from others. When I feel a longing to be heard, seen or loved by another, my practice now is to deepen my connections internally, inviting myself to be heard, seen and loved by myself. When I am connecting with myself in this way, I am more easily able to recognize and receive energy and attention from others.

A couple of days later...

This morning I deeply felt a longing for another to see and love me... in a particular way that I wanted to be seen and loved. I felt myself out of balance and needing attention.... so I set out on a walk. My intention-- to experience the beauty around me and within me. My goal -- to find a centered place within where I felt seen, heard and loved by myself. My hope -- this practice would lessen the contraction and sense of woundedness that I was feeling in my longing for another to fill that need for me. It worked! Turning towards and embracing myself opened up so much more space for me to be present with and accepting of what was before me.

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Educating for Wholeness

I recently updated Educating for Wholeness. There you'll find perspectives from parents, teachers and students as well as learning activities that I facilitate with students and parents. Have a peek:

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What We'd Like to Learn

Another inspiring list generated in a recent parenting group:

What we wish someone had taught us:
  • Listen from the perspective of who you are communicating with.
  • How to calm yourself when agitated or stressed.
  • How to spell!
  • How to be empathic and careful and conscious of the consequences of words.
  • Be present – in the moment you’re in.
  • Encourage first, teach second.
  • How to sort through thoughts and emotions.
  • How to figure out what I really want.
  • That emotional intelligence is just as important as cognitive intelligence
  • How to think ahead.
  • How to trust your instincts/intuition.

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Letting Go, Passing Away and Coming Together

A few nights ago while I was at the coast in LaPush, sinking into a powerful place during a time of deep change, learning from the raging winds, enormous waves, wisdom of the land, and lessons of community, I had a powerful dream. While I was writing the dream the next morning, I felt my friend, Finn Voldtofte, very strongly and very close. Since being together at the gathering on Bowen Island, Finn has been mentoring me and I believe many others in a process of letting go. Prior to being connected to a resperator and being held in sleep, Finn knew that the work he was doing was soul work, having to do with setting himself free at a soul level. He asked that all people assisting him in this difficult time set him completely free. This invitation created a wave of collective intention that very palpably ran through Finn's vaste local and global community. I sense that we have all been on a deep journey as we hold this space with and for Finn and as we ourselves surrender to letting go and setting free. This dream touches many places in my own life and development (such that I'm a little embarrassed to be sharing it here). I think that it also touches on themes emerging at a global and universal level too. I am very grateful to Finn who has been mentoring me and helping me to deepen my sense and understanding of this process in so many ways.
Dec. 20 Last night’s dream:

There is a small child, maybe 2. She keeps coming to me and telling me exactly what she needs. She’s very connected. Very clear about what needs to happen. Very strong willed. Not pushy, not aggressive but very assertive. She is clear as to what must happen and I am her confident and the adult that can help her with her needs. She has been preparing the ground with this one particular woman. The time comes that she is ready to go to the woman and surrender… to be given over to, fully adopted and cared for by this woman. She is ready to be born anew, arriving as a child with a mother… being a part of a unit, connected to a family.

She comes to the woman… more as an infant than a toddler. The woman is aware of the divinity that this child embodies and knows the high task of companioning her through this passage. There are 4 of us surrounded around the small body of this child and yet energetically, there a HUGE expanse of presence between us. The child is in a deep sleep, coma-like. It is clear that she is going through intense struggle. It is unclear as to whether her life will survive. There is some fear within the adults… to see this innocent child in such a state helplessness, tinkering so close to the edge of death. And yet, she is there with a huge amount of presence.

There are two adults on each side, one below at her feet and me above her head. Her arms are crossed upon her chest. My hands rest upon her hands, my legs cradling her head and shoulders. The other women are showing up powerfully. The woman who is the new mother is across from me. She is actually not below at the feet but is holding the child. I feel now that the child is in both of our laps with her head resting in my lap, my hands upon her hands and heart and she is really cradled by her new mother. The other two women are essential in holding the container together… in creating a dense space where time stands still and we hold our full attention, being together. Holding space. Letting go. Supporting. Encouraging. Granting permission. Breathing.

I feel some of the fear of the other women. This child seems so vulnerable and in such ‘bad shape’. I reassure them that the child who had been guiding me up until this point was extremely powerful… filled with a huge amount of determination and understanding. She walked consciously to this point and it is our opportunity to be with her consciously, accepting and surrendering to the letting go that is happening now.
Yesterday I found out that Finn passed away a couple of nights ago. I feel so blessed to have been able to know, connect with, learn from and love such an inspiring human. We met at an Evolutionary Salon where I was touched on a non-personal level by his wisdom and experience. He continually guided and invited deep connection with the presence of the magic in the middle, not through instruction and lecture, but experientially in the ways he engaged with himself and the group. I also had the opportunity to learn from him and with him through facilitating together on the final day. After the salon we connected some online.

It was at the gathering on Bowen and the time since then, however, that it became (and is becoming) clear to me what a profound teacher he is to me. Now isn't the time for putting this part into words, but I want to honor it.

I breathe deeply as tears well in my eyes... A seagull flies above the trees out my window... My heart and soul honor with deep grace and gratitude the life of Finn... A huge grin leaps upon my face... My heart and soul celebrate the life that continues to thrive as the being that was Finn continues to inspire, guide and love.

I give thanks to Finn and to Martin Ehrensvärd and Tina Ranløv, Finn's close friend and wife, who have not only showed up in unimaginably powerful ways but who also continue to share the wisdom and growth with this broader community. I leave you with words from Tina as she shared the news of Finn's passing and invites each of us into a calling:
It has been and it is to me a lifegiving process and I feel in me and the people close around me a call from life to grow, to share, to evolve, to come together, to ask for help.

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things we can and cannot control

as an elementary school counselor, i get to engage with children in many enriching conversations. discussing life skills has always been a topic that i find incredibly valuable to dialogue with children. this month's guidance lesson with grades 2-4 was on changes that happen in our lives.
things in our life are constantly changing. some changes we can control and some changes we can't control. can you think of some things that happen in your life that you can or cannot control?
the class, sitting in a circle, passes around a container of dried lima beans, a can, and a bug cage. each child takes out a lima bean and, if they feel comfortable, shares with the group either one thing that they can control (putting a bean in the can) or one thing that they cannot control (putting a bean in the cage).


my behavior
my thoughts
my life
how much sleep i get
what i wear
my little brother
my dog


my mom and dad fighting
my grandfather dying
my parents getting a divorce
someone being mean to me
having to move
my little sister annoying me
my dog jumping on me
the weather

what has been most noteworthy to me in these revealing discussions is how much happens in children's lives that they have absolutely no control over. in most classrooms the can would have 3-5 beans and the cage would be full. as an adult, can you imagine swimming through your days from one place to another, having to strictly follow and succumb to events in your life in which you have no control? can you imagine that feeling of complete helplessness, the extreme lack of control of the course of your day, your life?

then i start to think about adults... and the events, emotions, places of being in which we feel like we have no control. i was listening to someone explain the tendency of a child to just giggle uncontrollably when they are uncomfortable, anxious, or nervous. the child would giggle, giggle, giggle, until no breath was left... take a deep breath.... and then return to giggling, giggling, giggling. listening to this description made me think of addictions. how we constantly return to our addictions (our old habits) because they sooth us. they are often all we know as a means of coping with that which we are experiencing inside. and as is the nature of addictions, we fall into the habit of replaying the looping scenario of needing something and indulging in the addiction that provides that which we feel like we need (comfort, familiarity, calmness, numbness, security, support, companionship, etc.). this process becomes a fixation and often it takes such a strong hold on us that it seems as though we have no control over it. it is simply happening to us.... and we put a bean in the cage, feeling trapped and helpless.

in the guidance class, the next round of discussion is coming up with ideas of ways to respond to situations we can't control. if many children mention that their parents argue a lot, the group shares suggestions of things you can do when you're parents are fighting
go into your room and draw a picture that makes you feel good, go to a friend's house, ask them to stop, go to your safe-secret space and relax there, make up a skit with your sister of what they look like when they're fighting "they really look just like kids!"
this part is my favorite as i am always in awe of the children's insight and their ability to help one another. we then pass the can around without the cage and re-emphasize things we have control of in our lives.

feel free to drop a bean in the can or cage if you're so inspired.


Ashley, you are such a hero. I'm sure you realize how important the work you're doing is, but I wish more people would. The lessons you're teaching (and learning yourself, it seems!) about community building and supporting others and interaction are so, so significant. Thank you so much for posting this: you've given me hope.

GravatarYup kids, and adults too...in my work this is the essence of colonization: how little control we feel we have over our lives. Decolonization is the process of opening the space of options for that which we can control, and getting busy with doing that to make more of it.

GravatarIn a related vein, it's true that kids seem to have so little control in their lives, but they have many more options that adults. For example, when I take my kids to Grandma's house and we visit the sitting room, I can see about two options for the kids: sitting there quietly or leaving My kids on the other hand, have a million options. Grandma's sitting room is a theme park waiting to be played in, but for me all of that is anxiety riddled. "Don't touch, don't jump, don't knock over..."

The trick in supporting opening relationships is to negotiate in a way that leaves the kid's options intact and both of our needs met. Kids will always win that negotiation, because in any negotiation, whoever has the most options wins. So as an adult, my kids are always challenging me to find more options, rather than limiting theirs.

GravatarDecolonization is the process of opening the space of options for that which we can control

YEAH! and so much of that work is an inner journey. internally we have to reframe, restructe a perspective that has been given many reasons, justifications, moments in history to believe that there is 'no control.' i see the role of those who already know this as one of acting as companions and role models for the a-ha that the open space already exists and there is room for us to have immense control. does this fit in with your mapping of decolonization?

Gravataras for the adults and the kids at grandma's, isn't that just a matter of perspective that the adults only two options? adults can go and ask questions about the trinkets and pictures and paintings and such. eh?

as for the anxiety... that's so not a part of parenting that i'm looking forward to! doesn't it make you just not want to visit places where there are so many child-instigated-disasters waiting to happen?

for me leaving the kids options in tack and meeting both adult and child's needs is wrapped up in setting limits and offering potent choices. like you say the one with the most choices wins, and the key seems to be offering joices that are a win-win for both adults and children.

your kids are so lucky that they've got you for a dad!

Gravatarhi guys! this is brilliant ashley. and congrats on the new address! i'm posting here because i can! love from kathmandu. m

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