With both heart and mind.

heart & mind

This is a topic that is particularly close to my heart (no pun intended!).

It’s very well put; we need to support and create communities of all sorts (and specially schools) where the whole person gets honored, nurtured, supported and stimulated. We have for a long time now put a lot of emphasis on the left side of our brain; reasoning, detail oriented, language, numbers and it’s gotten us to the point where we have a hard time with our right hemisphere; big picture, color, music, fluidity etc. etc. We value language and math over most everything else, and we force children and adults to learn these skills in a way that doesn’t work for everyone.

If we can bring back ‘the heart’ and teach from heart-centered- learning (applied to learning all skills) learning is natural, intuitive, inspiring and empowering.  That is what I envision for our schools, our communities and the world at large!

Thanks to the Heart Math Institute – you folks are awesome!!!

What are we teaching???

school shooting

 

Really?

This is what we are teaching our children? And we think that leads to happy, healthy, independent, secure, stable, engaged, responsible and inspired adults? I don’t think so………. I can’t imagine growing up with this type of horrible activities (practicing for a lock-down) – we just breed fear and more fear. I think we need to re-think as a society how we’re handling the violence that seems so prevalent – I don’t claim to have the solution, however I don’t think we’re on the ‘right’ track!

Fear is very debilitating to our brain – it doesn’t make us think creatively, outside the box, with new ideas and awareness. We just end up functioning from our very basic fight/flight mechanism – no learning happens there…….

I hope we can come up with a different approach to all this very very soon.

Playing in the rain…….

play in the rain

Yes! The rain is back!

The question is do you get to enjoy it? Or do you dread it? If we let children do as they please, they LOVE playing in the rain and it’s a most marvelous sensory experience! They don’t care about getting wet (as long as they get dry again afterwards), they don’t care about the mud splashes, they just don’t worry about things getting ‘messy’.

The fall is a wonderful season of different experiences for our sensory system – wet, cold, windy…….. those are important experiences to have. So let’s enjoy them, play with your children in the rain and make a muddy mess!

Learn through play

I’m just getting ready to get on my soap-box again.

Could we just please let children play??? We are creating

play is learningno space for kids to just hang out, play, figure things out together, learn about each other, boundaries, rules, agreements, relating, etc. etc. etc. Children do a phenomenal job when left to their own growth – as adults we shouldn’t be there to tailor make that process to what WE think a child needs to learn. Children have an uncanny ability to learn exactly what they are ready for, when they are ready for it.

Adults, school, society and church coming up with standardized processes on what each child should learn, just does not work! We then create children who start resenting learning, because it is not where they are in their developmental process. Then we end up with kids who are not motivated do learn at all, because what they HAVE to learn is so removed from their actual life and life experience.

We are wonderful, creative, inventive, amazing, insightful, smart, delightful and inspiring beings when we are children, let’s feed and nurture that!

Stepping of soap-box.

Children learn what they live!

GrouplearningtogetherIf children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
by Dorothy Law Nolte
 

I absolutely love this and think it’s so very to the point ~ we’ll do what we see around us, not what we get told. Be conscious about what you model ~ it really makes a difference!

Happy Eyes Happy Brain

Here’s another – very often under-estimated – factor in happy brain functioning.

Our eyes are one of our main vehicles in being able to interpret the world around us effectively. They have the most amazing function of seeing, organizing and interpreting whatever appears in our visual field. Truly miraculous! Our right eye has major nerve connections to our left hemisphere and our left eye has major nerve connections to our right hemisphere. That means there is a lot of “cross-over” action that happens with our vision. They both also have direct connections to their lateral hemispheric partner.

In using our eyes all day long, we cross over the visual midline all the time and this is where sometimes a disconnect happens. If we are not neurologically ready, then needing to cross this midline can lead to disconnection, mis-interpretation, mis-understanding and reversal (most likely we call those symptoms dyslexia).

Drawing an infinity sign or ‘lazy eight’ with our hands and following that movement with our eyes, has a proven positive effect on crossing the visual midline and supporting hemispheric integration. It will help with hand-eye co-ordination, eliminateds reversals and transpositions in reading and writing, and most folks find it increases their reading-comprehension.

Try it – you’ll like it!

Hydrated Brain

Here we are moving right along with another very basic and very important contribution to brain health and happiness – H2O! Water is incredibly important in our system, it is an excellent conductor of electrical energy. Water facilitates  an effective conductivity of electrical currents between our brain and our sensory organs. So in order to make ‘sense’ out of world, we need to have enough water in our system.

Our bodies are made up of about 70% (the numbers vary) and not replenishing water during the day can cause the strangest health and well-being problems (ranging from headaches, to nausea, to over-eating, to poor concentration and much more).

As with most basic things we can do for ourselves, it’s easily done, also easily not done………… You will almost always see me with a water-bottle. It’s a good way to keep drinking water during the day and a good way to keep track of how much I’ve had. I aim to drink at least 64 oz. per day.

Oxygenated brain!

Here we go – yes – oxygen to your brain matters!

Watch the video on the ‘how to’………….

As we’re massaging these particular points we’re making sure that there is more oxygenated blood going to our brain. Your brain is about 1/50 of your body weight and it uses about 1/5 of your oxygen! So – yes indeed, this is important!

This is one of the simplest and easiest tools you could ever use to turn your brain ‘back on’………… you can do it anywhere, anytime, and it is not expensive or addictive………….

The points we are massaging are right under your clavicles, to the side of your sternum. You’d put a thumb in one ‘dent’ and your index and middle-finger on the other dent. You then gently massage while your other hand is covering your belly button. This helps to turn your brain ‘back on’ – fresh oxygenated blood to your brain while stimulating your gravitational center so you’ll find your balance at the same time! Easy, effective and for free – anytime you’d like to use this tool!

Of course there’s more info on this – let me know if you’d like to know more!

Learning challenged how?

brainOne of the things I find over and over again in working with people, is a certain disconnect between left and right hemisphere. The information and knowledge available on the left side and the information and knowledge on the right side just don’t seem to connect. Which results in being able to do one thing, but not in combination with another activity.

It’s the person you go on a walk with – and every time conversation starts to happen, they just stop walking in order to talk. (often this is masked by “looking at something else” as a cover-up ~ because not being able to walk and talk at the same time is judged by others!)

In this simple example of reading ~ it means being able to see the letters, name the letters, however not being able to put the letters together to form the word. An ongoing struggle for a lot of people who we label as “dyslexic”.

Or as my friend Michael Hagedorn ( check him out at crataegus.com) says, there’s the word ‘fork’ on the left side and the right side of his brain will come up with three images simultaneously. Hard to choose which on is the ‘appropriate’ image!

I will start blogging on tools you can use yourself to help with these issues soon!