Let them play (Part Two)

When Ella was about 2 or so, we took her to the Farm Barn – a place for kids to interact with a range of little animals, and see some bigger farm animals.

She was vaguely interested. Mildly terrified at times too.

But my clearest memory is of when she decided she’d had enough of animals and wasn’t really interested anymore. Everyone else was looking at the goats sticking their heads through the fence — Ella was in her own little world, dancing her way up a hill, getting in other people’s way, but joyfully spinning around anyway. And she was happy. She didn’t care about the goats.

And in that moment, I hoped she would always be this free. Free to never have her imagination cut off, limited, restricted – for what? To see the nice goats? For the convenience of others?

Watching her absolute freedom, I could only imagine what was going on inside her mind, where her own thoughts and creations were taking her.

Continue reading “Let them play (Part Two)”

Let them play (Part One)

Let them play!

Let the children play.

Freeform and unscheduled, not limited to set blocks of “official” time so children are free to fully explore their cognitive processes without being interrupted at possibly critical points. Critical points to them, likely not always visible to others.

Just because it’s 10.30 and all of the class must come and sit on the mat and be quiet at this time…that may be what is required for a manageable classroom, but is it what is actually best for children??

What significant natural developmental processes are we interrupting & depriving them of by pushing structured ‘learning’ so early?

Continue reading “Let them play (Part One)”

You Can Create the Life You Want

There are things in life that might seem small, inconsequential, nothing at all to others that are big deals to me. Things I didn’t expect.

Right before I started writing this, sitting in bed at my parents’ house, I heard the rubbish truck sounds outside.

And I got this rush of anxiety; my body actually cringed and constricted in a strange kind of fear. All in a split second. But I noticed it, and I realised what it was.

Continue reading “You Can Create the Life You Want”

How would you live if you were a VIP?

I’ve spent a lot of years (whole life?) feeling like not a very important person. Never mind being a VIP, I’ve hardly felt like an IP. Often not even just a P.

More like a piece of chewed up gum that someone is now frustrated at because they have to stop and find a stick to scrape me off their shoe.

This, clearly, is not a very fun way to feel. And it definitely doesn’t lead to a life filled with success and purpose and fulfilled potential.

Continue reading “How would you live if you were a VIP?”

24 hours of doing whatever the hell I want

All day I had felt tense. Locked up. My body and mind tight with the balancing act of weighing all the expectations — those I perceived others had of me, those soceity implies exist even if never directly, and those I had of myself.

I’ve been working my way through a process of dropping the weight of other people’s expectations, of learning to not care if I’m not what society demands. And sometimes I feel like I’m doing okay at that.

But then, like this particular day, when I feel a tension in my body that makes me want to crawl out of my skin, I realise I might still have a way to go.

Because even as I shed weights off my shoulders, it is in my mind that I find there are still bonds. Beliefs I have absorbed and taken on. Words that speak with the sound of my own voice, a running commentary on everything I do — “You can’t do that. You can’t be that. You’ve got to be responsible. You’ve got to be better than this. You can’t do just whatever the hell you want.”

But this day, in recognising this running monologue, I finally answered back.

“Well, why not?” Continue reading “24 hours of doing whatever the hell I want”

Community and Individualism – is there a right way?

Any time I have a reaction of vehement disagreement towards someone or some thing – or actually, any reaction of disagreement stronger than mild but bored curiosity – I try to remember to consider closely the whys of my reaction as much as the idea to which I am reacting.

So when I read this statement from a Hmong woman:

“All men and women are mostly the same, most of the time. Everybody knows that.” (Hmong Grandmother, p 42, Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert)

I found myself having an internal reaction that I thought was worth paying attention to.

Continue reading “Community and Individualism – is there a right way?”

How going Paleo taught me life lessons

I’m not here to convert you to Paleo. My life is was ‘Paleofied’, I guess you could say. But I don’t like labels, I don’t like bandwagons… I tend to shy away from subscribing to any one thing whole heartedly. Because I think in everything there’s a bit of truth, and probably a lot that isn’t. Some things just have these things in a different balance.

I’m definitely not Paleo now, though I still love ‘paleofied’ cafes because you know it’s real food.

But over all, Paleo was a convenient catch-all for me, to help narrow down all the information available to something more manageable, when I was learning to take charge of my own health. I started there, both filtering and expanding further for myself.

I’m certainly not saying we should live like cavemen. I’m not saying we should eschew all modern conveniences. I’m not even saying you should be Paleo. (This post is not even about the food, specifically.)

What I am a fan of is balance in life. And I think modern lives are out of balance. Continue reading “How going Paleo taught me life lessons”

Little Discoveries : Massive Changes (Follow up to a Year Without Buying Clothes)

This began back in 2011, pre-baby, pre-divorce, when I discovered a cupboard of shoes I’d forgotten I had. (Read that post first HERE.)

That little discovery sent me on a life-transforming journey of epic proportions.

I didn’t know this at the time. I had no idea what was coming. All I did was respond to a little prick of conscience that told me, “Hey — this life you’re living… it’s not quite right. It’s not what you want. It’s not lining up with your values and who you really are. You need to do something about this.”

Continue reading “Little Discoveries : Massive Changes (Follow up to a Year Without Buying Clothes)”

A Solo Bike Tour of Japan

The cold wind ran down the valley’s throat, guiding it into the basins of the landscape. Pedalling against the moving atmosphere, a man slogged up the hill, moving towards the landscapes peak. As he exhausted himself, his head thoroughly swarming and swirling, like a fish tank in transit, he questioned himself, his reality. He questioned the now trivial actions that had once consumed his moral apparatus, the hollow meaningfulness of the unsubsist-full life. He relished the unconformist nature of what he was doing, floating unattached like a balloon in the wind. At the mercy of the tides of nature, flowing in and out with the ebbs of the seasons and weather. The rain had now turned to snow. The small crystal balls pelted his skin. No system encompassed what he was doing, he was as free as the birds he had once envied. Continue reading “A Solo Bike Tour of Japan”