From November, 2015

There is Magic in the World: Mindful Play, Making Things, Anne Hamilton and the Columbus Art Museum

“For the record, woohoo! Not just art, but life- magic.” 

– Jandy Nelson, I’ll Give You the Sun

I am just learning how to play again; how to make life magical. How to find the silky seedlings in dried out pods while walking and then set them free in the wind one by one.

How to grab hand-fulls of leaves and smoosh them into my face before tossing them high into the air and watching them fall.

How to whisper stories to trees while I press my hand to the rough bark and listen for an answer. (See The Silent Friends video).

It is good learning.

This last week my husband Jamey and I took Sawyer (our five-year-old) to see the Lego exhibit at the Columbus Museum of Art.

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Practice for Finding Inner Guidance: Journaling and Lectio Divina

“Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray.” 
― Rumi

Lectio Divina, or “divine reading” is traditionally a form of contemplative practice from the Christian faith tradition where one studies scripture seeking messages from God.

Today, it can also be used as a contemplative practice where one meditates on a text of choice, often times a poem, seeking individual connections and meanings.

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Fasting Day: Cultivating Hunger Awareness as Thanksgiving

Pamuk Quote

It is 3:53 am on Thanksgiving day. I have been up since 3:30, but I also shut off my bedroom light at around 8:15, so I guess I have had a solid night’s sleep- not that I have been doing any clock watching.

It has been 32 hours since I have had anything but water and hot tea.  I am mostly over the hump now. Around 5:00 yesterday I started getting a headache, followed by body pain and general lethargy, but now I feel fine.

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Q and A from St. Francis DeSales Mindful Creativity Workshop

I hosted a Mindful Creativity Workshop for St. Francis DeSales High School staff a few weeks ago.  Here are some photos and a responses to questions teachers asked in the workshop.

How do we make those spaces in our brain happen more often? 

Brains are never going to be completely silent.  Their jobs are to think, so those thoughts will just keep coming.  I do find that my brain tells me fewer stories since I have been practicing for awhile, but what is more important than this is to “get distance” from thoughts. To know thoughts are not you.  You don’t have to believe them.  This will naturally create more “space” in our brains, because we won’t be feeding our thoughts as often.  We will see that they are simply passing through.

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Heart-Focused Breathing: Stress Reduction Strategy

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” 

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

There is something special about the heart: a miraculous, continually pumping, life-giving organ located in the center of the chest, the heart beats 100,000 pumps a day, over the course of a life that’s 2.5 billion beats (more heart facts here).

The heart also contains neurons that allow for communication with the brain. While this does not mean that the heart is a brain, there is evidence of interaction between these two parts of the body, affecting one’s health and emotional state.

When I visited Andrea Patton‘s classroom earlier this week, we used heart-focused breathing with students before moving them into a prompt where they mined their own thinking about the process via journaling.

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