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Creativity is Essential

ExpressiveArtsIrelandThis morning I was feeling in my body the absence of creative projects that integrate my activism, anger, passion and imagination into creative outlets. I want theater, street art, creative video/photo/journalism projects, “meetings” where we don’t just talk but we enact and play with this BS in embodied ways, imagining creative solutions forward in non-linear ways. I need more fun and creativity in the movement.

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Images that Express Play

What images do you connect with the word play? Is there a photo, symbol, or drawing that evokes a playful experience within you just by looking at it?

Please share links in the comments or email them to me if they aren’t already online. Thank you!

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Creativity, Education, Intrinsic Strengths, Innate Curiosity and Play

Some educational and parenting resources for you:

A MUST see, hysterical and insightful TEDtalk with Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson is author of Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative, and a leading expert on innovation and human resources. In this talk, he makes an entertaining (and profoundly moving) case for creating an education system that nurtures creativity, rather than undermining it. (Recorded February, 2006 in Monterey, CA.)

Thank you Christoph for directing me to this talk.

An interesting NY Times article, So the Torah is a Parenting Guide?

“Indulged, coddled, pressured and micromanaged on the outside, my young patients appeared to be inadvertently deprived of the opportunity to develop an inside,” she writes in her book. “They lack the secure, reliable, welcoming internal structure that we call the ‘self.”’ …

There is a Hasidic saying that Mogel quotes, “If your child has a talent to be a baker, don’t ask him to be a doctor.” By definition, most children cannot be at the top of the class; value their talents in whatever realm you find them. “When we ignore a child’s intrinsic strengths in an effort to push him toward our notion of extraordinary achievement, we are undermining God’s plan,” Mogel writes.

Which leads me to aPsychology Today article on the Sudbury Valley school:

At Sudbury Valley School, there’s no other way to learn. The 38-year-old day facility in Framingham, Massachusetts, is founded on what comes down to a belief about human nature—that children have an innate curiosity to learn and a drive to become effective, independent human beings, no matter how many times they try and fail. And it’s the job of adults to expose them to models and information, answer questions—then get out of the way without trampling motivation. …

Play—it’s by definition absorbing. The outcome is always uncertain. Play makes children nimble—neurobiologically, mentally, behaviorally—capable of adapting to a rapidly evolving world. That makes it just about the best preparation for life in the 21st century. Psychologists believe that play cajoles people toward their human potential because it preserves all the possibilities nervous systems tend to otherwise prune away. It’s no accident that all of the predicaments of play—the challenges, the dares, the races and chases—model the struggle for survival. Think of play as the future with sneakers on.

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pathway of surprise and play


picture source

David posted this J.P. Carse quote in the comments to the Practice of Play:

Surprise causes finite play to end;
it is the reason for infinite play to continue.

To be prepared against surprise is to be trained.
To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.

thanks a ton for those quotes, they’ve inspired me to alter a practice of mine. i frequently notice when i get “knocked off track”… when i’m in the flow and then all of a sudden i am not connected anymore. usually i ponder the shift, the cause for the shift, the disruption that has occured in me, the emotion that i may now be stuck on, etc.

my new practice is that i am now first noting that i am surprised… and then i reflect on how the infinite play can continue from this moment of surprise. that which follows still looks the same in my practice (same questions, similar avenues explored)… but instead of walking into the reflection with the taste of disruption on my toungue, i now walk in with the wonder of surprise in my spirit.

thank you for this gift, david.

Comment:
ashley i just love this!
you can do what you do seriously, bcause you must do it, because you must survive to the end, and you are afraid of dying and other consequences. or, you can do everthing you do playfully, always knowing you have a choice, having no need to survive the way you are,allowing every element of the play to transform you, taking pleasure in every surprise you meet.
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Practice of Play

at integral naked there’s a discussion on Play as Practice. below are some of my thoughts on the subject… of course, i’d love to hear yours!

let’s play! let’s get down in the mud, roll around, get ourselves dirty, and pee in our pants just the tiniest bit from laughing so hard!

let us celebrate this opportunity to share our ideas and stories and opinions and beliefs. let us laugh outloud as we read and write, a smile curling about our lips, the face of confusion or contemplation taking our features for hostages… transforming our bodies into clear expressions of that which is moving through. fully engaged, let us be seduced by the flavors and sounds and textures and magic catching our attention. let us follow our sensations sharing the ground of discovery with our open eyes and curious minds, diving into the deliciousness of Being. oh, yes, let us play.

play is vital. rather than it being something partitioned off as separate from “normal” life, let’s imagine it as a basis of one’s mode of operation. DavidD quotes J.P. Carse:

When we are playful with each other we relate as free persons.

relating in the world as a free person touches a fundamental core of our essence. once tickled at the core, this quality of relating has potential to permeate our thoughts, emotions and actions.

for me, play is the heart of doing. for example, moving through the motions of making cereal for breakfast can be a task to be completed or one can play while making the cereal, engaging in the delight of the present moment — hearing the Fruity Pebbles fall into the bowl, watching the milk pour, feeling that suction as the refrigerator pulls the door close upon being shut, noticing the cereal swishing around as it’s carried to the table. on the surface it all looks the same, and yet the flow of the experience is free and playful, a simple act has become fun. play is the heart that brings action to Life.

It is, in fact, seriousness that closes itself to consequence, for seriousness is a dread of the unpredictable outcome of open possibility. To be serious is to press for a specified conclusion. To be playful is to allow for possibility whatever the cost to oneself. ~J.P. Carse

i really appreciate this line. i wonder, how do you define seriousness? to embrace the Practice of Play, it seems important to recognize when we are not at play, to recognize when seriousness is stealing the show and collapsing possibilities.

as always, it’s a treat to play with you in this world of words and thoughts!

Comments:

Oh wonderful play! whom better to re-educate ourselves is from our own children. just the yesterday ashley, myslef,jared and zoe did just what you said and laughed soooo hard that our tummy’s hurt. the situation arose when i was sitting on floor with zoe coloring,and she accidently marked my arm with the marker. she apologized and on impulse i put a dot on her nose and she giggled. the incident caught jared’s attention, he sat by us and drew on his nose. oh my! then the fun began we all started to color our faces with all different colors,red,green,black, brown and yellow, looking at each other just sent us roaring with laugthter. my husband turned to see what all the laughter was about and just shook his head and told us that we were silly, but i just didnt care as that feeling of laughing sooo much was sooo worth it. i had not laughed like that in a while! then we all got up and looked in the mirror and just fell about the place in fits of laughter. let our kids take us on these wonderful experiences. let them take you by the hand and allow them to show you the countless possibilties of play!
thank you zoe and jared for reminding me how to play! love mom!


Gravatar(big smile)

when do we get to see the picture?

love,


Gravatarin my excitmnet of the moment i forgot! (bummer) but i will remember next time. oh and i forgot to add that they were washable markers (ha)
love,maria


GravatarMmm, I’m so glad I stopped by at this happy place for a few minutes this weekend! Here’s some more from the playful genius who is J. P. Carse (I know you like these Ashley):

Surprise causes finite play to end;
it is the reason for infinite play to continue.

To be prepared against surprise is to be trained.
To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.

David


Gravatari’m so glad you stopped by also, david.

thanks a ton for those quotes, they’ve inspired me to alter a practice of mine. i frequently notice when i get “knocked off track”… when i’m in the flow and then all of a sudden i am not connected anymore. usually i ponder the shift, the cause for the shift, the disruption that has occured in me, the emotion that i may now be stuck on, etc.

my new practice is that i am now first noting that i am surprised… and then i reflect on
how the infinite play can continue from this moment of surprise. that which follows still looks the same in my practice (same questions,
same avenues explored)… but instead of walking into the reflection with the taste of disruption on my toungue, i now walk in with the wonder of surprise in my spirit.
thank you for this gift, david….

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The healing world of play!

Sitting one evening reading my daughter Zoe a bed time story my phone rang and it was a good friend of mine very upset as her 3yr old great nephew had been burnt with a cigarette on his chest by his mother. In my shocked response to her I repeated what she had told me not realizing that Zoe was all ears (I guess the intensity in my voice caught her attention) I did what I could to consol my friend and hopefully gave her the advise she needed. I was mortified by the sheer thought of what had happened to this poor baby and began to think of how painfull this would have been for him.
I sat for a moment and Zoe said to me ” did the baby get burnt Mama” I looked at her sadley and said “yes darling,he did” “is he going to be ok” I took her hand and reflected back to her how worried and concerned she was. she asked again if he was going to be ok. I reflected once more on how it made her feel sad that the baby was burnt and that I was sure Ju Ju(the great aunt who Zoe knows well) will put some cream on it for him. I kissed her on the cheek and told her that I loved her so much.
Afew days later she was changing the diaper on her baby doll and I noticed that there was a band aid on its chest. I said “Zoe whats wrong with your baby” ( I,remembering the baby who was burnt) she replied “she got burnt” then proceeded to remove the band aid and turned to me and said “see Mama she’s all better now” I replied “yes sweetheart, she is”

I wondered how many other children were going through the same horrific ordeals and all I could do was hold onto the hope that the advice I gave my friend was enough to protect the little boy and Zoe was able to deal with the sadness through her toys.

Comments:

oh maria,

you soooo capture the magic of play. thank you again for this story and all the ones to come. i trust you know how my heart melts and leaps as you share of the wonders unfolding and the opportunities for experiencing and FEELING the many peeks and vallies of life that you facilitate and embrace with yourself and your relations (especially your kids). thank you.

all my love,
ashley


thank you for your story, Maria. you are an amazing person.

peace,
kelley


Ashley.
It’s funny that if we would only allow it, how the fountain of life can flow. If we would open the doors to our hearts the way our children naturally do, how beautiful this world would be! thank you once again for you endless encouragement!
Love,Maria

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