Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fairies & Tales

As a teacher, and coach, I often, unknowingly, add a bit of “therapy” into my lessons. Working with teenagers can be a challenge, but, it can also be very rewarding, and a great learning opportunity too.
I was sort of  “forced” to revisit the tale of Pinocchio this week with my students. Carlo Collodi, the author of the original “Pinocchio,” knew in 1881 about the “tales” coming from the mouthes of babes. His story is well versed by almost every child today. When asked “what’s Pinocchio about?,” students will usually says “long noses and lies.” Yes, they know the basic concept and revisiting their (not so long-ago childhood) isn’t something they seem to enjoy too much either.
“Why would Pinocchio fall for that?,” they ask as they watch him dig into the groud to plant gold coins. “That’s absurd! Who would fall for that?” they continue. So, I stop the DVD and ask “Were you 5 yrs old once? Would YOU have ‘fallen’ for that joke from the cat and the fox?” They stop and quickly scan back 10 or so years, “oh, yeah, I see.”
And they do see, but how quickly we forget! Is it not fun to watch a childhood film when you’re 15 or 16? My years of experience have shown that answer is a “no, it’s not so fun.” But why? Answers?:
“We’re not babies any more.” – “That’s so old!” – “We GET it already!” – “This is so boring.” etc…. And yes, while some of that may just be true for a teenager, I ask them to take it a step further, then answer this: “If this were true (blue fairies, talking puppets, etc.)  wouldn’t it be a fun place to live?”  I usually get boughts of silence or an occassional “ok, she’s gone over the edge now!” remark. But I remind them that at 4, 5, even 6 yrs of age, they did live in the fairy tale world and it was wonderful. The fairies were beautiful and the puppets were friends. Talking animals and bugs were fantastic! (the cricket is my favorite in Collodi’s tale – I equate him to a sort of Buddha-Jedi Master!)
It’s a world we all were familiar with – at one time. We let that go as we allow ourselves to believe our thoughts, fed to us by others, and hence, let go of our fairy tale world. It doesn’t mean that world can’t be revisited. Maybe you remember fewer fairies and more butterflies. Maybe the childhood world you recall was full of playmates and friends, animals and waterfalls. But know that , at one point, this happy place did exist and we just allowed ourselves to forget it and leave it behind.
If you take this literally, good. If not, allow yourself to find a quiet time each day and meditate on this idea. Some Reiki Masters and therapists call it “Inner Child” work – it is, and it’s not.  This work, this type of meditating will bring you to your happiest childhood moments and surroundings. It may take some time, and you may not get there immediately but don’t give up. Work on meditating for just a few minutes if you’re new to this, then, gradually, extend the amount of time. Write down some of the memories that come to you after you’re done meditating. If you still find it difficult to locate your land of fairies, think of a favorite color or simple object as you meditate. 
Enjoy and allow the flow of visions to move through you.

Below are a few FairyTale Etsy finds! :

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Building Blocks

Keeping it short, but sweet, for today... I like building blocks - for all ages. I tell my students (adults and teens) to look at learning as building blocks - always use what you've learned to build with, and keep building.
My love for photos follows the "building block" theory too - literally. I love to edit photos and "play" - for me, it's pure therapy! So, recently I took a few "blah" photos and made blocks with them. = a lot of fun and a few new, more lively, images.
If you're finding yourself a bit "stuck" - think in terms of building blocks. Jog your memory and use what you know, build on top of that and soon enough you'll find your therapy, your fun and lots of other interesting moments abound!

And, of course, some Etsy "block" finds: