Opening Space and Deepening Connection

How do you open space for your connection with yourself?
  • I breathe. I listen to my breath. I allow my breath to guide me. I follow.
  • I value myself and I value others.
  • I explore new techniques and organically arising processes for listening to and connecting with my internal experience.
  • I love others… through loving others I am introduced to a variety of aspects of myself.
  • I play with children. Listen to their world and allow myself to follow the mystery of their engagement with life.
  • I trust my felt sense and my experience of now.
  • I follow my passions. I take responsibility for what I love.
How do you deepen connection with yourself?
  • I practice connecting with myself – physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually.
  • I practice connecting with something outside of my self… You, Other.
  • I engage in imaginative play.
posted by ashley


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.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by ashley


Reflecting the Brightness Within

Reflection Nebulas in Orion
"Dust clouds lit by the reflecting light of bright embedded stars."

Oh how beauty inspires. This invites my memory to a recent prayer:
Heart protector, please be my mirror. Reflect for me the brilliance that is my heart and soul alive. And be a transparently strong, illuminescent conduit so that the brilliance and brightness of my soul may shine through out eternity.
posted by ashley


Mourner's Kaddish

Sunset over Rocks
Originally uploaded by evobassman

Another prayer said at my grandfather's funeral
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination.
And life is a journey.
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
And ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to discretion
And then, perhaps, to wisdom;
From weakness to strength
Or strength to weakness -
And, often, back again;
From health to sickness
And back, we pray, to health again;
From offense to forgiveness,
From loneliness to love,
From joy to gratitude,
From pain to compassion,
And grief to understanding -
From fear to faith;
From defeat to defeat to defeat -
Until, looking backward or ahead,
We see that victory lies
Not at some high place along the way;
But in having made the journey, stage by stage,
A sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning.
And death a destination.
And life is a journey,
A sacred pilgrimage -
To life everlasting.
- from Gates of Repentance, "The New Union Prayerbook for the Days of Awe."
posted by ashley


Noticing Patterns as a Form of Self-Care

Part of my self-care practice is noticing my own patterns for being and doing. Here's a recent conversation with Meredith expanding on some of our current observations:

Meredith says,
This work just keeps taking me on the most amazing journey. I never really feel like I know exactly what I am doing, but rather that I am just being, in presence, in the most open-hearted manner I am able to open, coupled with with deep listening. I am filled with gratitude - thankfulness on so many levels.
And my response,
I sure do hear you on the abundance of gratitude-thankfulness. For me, I tend to start in a place of being and then I get seduced by the flurry of possibilities, visions, and pathways for action that come my way. I jump on a train with the intention to 'bring something to life'. I go along for a few stops... and then realize... wait, what happened, where did my being go? How'd I get swept away into this flurry of doing? The first clues that usually get through to my awareness are when I notice I'm feeling anxious around all that I want to accomplish. That's when I know it's time to step off, breathe, feel the life, love and beauty around me, and listen to what is emerging NOW. The doing that needs attention always arrives in the right timing... I don't have to arrive before it does. I just have to be here, centered and alert, listening to what is emerging. I love watching myself fall on and off this train... seeing my growth unfolding!!
What patterns do you notice in your life... related to being and doing, self-care or anything else your heart wishes to share!?
posted by ashley


Seeking Your Opinions and Advice


I've started a new blog, Educating for Wholeness. My intention is to use this blog as a way for me to keep track of the various activites, thoughts, stories, classes, groups, articles, etc. that I use in my work as a school counselor. I'm hoping the labels might help me organize... we'll see. I also want to make the materials available for other interested people outside of my school community.

Right now I'm struggling with the word lessons. The tag lesson plans gets used alot. Looking at dictionary.com, lessons:
  1. To teach a lesson to; instruct.
  2. To rebuke or reprimand.
I'm okay with the definition 1 but 2 gives me the creeps. What feeling do you get from the word lesson? Do you have another suggestion? And how about Educating for Wholeness... any thoughts on what that title brings up for you that you'd like to share?

Perspectives appreciated,
posted by ashley

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?