Embodied Optimism

It feels like the deck is stacked. While it may be conjecture, anecdotal, it seems like it takes more energy and attention to be happy than sad, disillusioned, angry or depressed. Along with these; happiness, joy, hope and optimism are much more ‘states of being’ than abstract concepts. While appreciating that every thought has a corresponding feeling, I experience concepts in my head. Happiness and depression involve the whole body.


This gift we are given

Planet Earth is a tiny speck in the galaxy called the Milky Way. Traveling at the speed of light, rough estimates suggest it would take 100,000 light years to traverse. Do consider that a light-year, the distance light travels in a year, is roughly 5.9 trillion miles. Like a ship in an empty ocean earth bound astronomers can peer 13.8 billion light-years in every direction. This places the Milky Way, and our tiny speck, inside an observable sphere 28 billion light-years in diameter. Even this is deceiving. The universe is expanding. Some estimate the diameter of the observable universe to be, more or less, 92 billion light-years.


What if?

Carly fell asleep quickly, holding my hand. My heart breaks, and all too often, when I hear the tone of voice or the rude hostility parents impose on the children they supposedly love. Clearly, most of the actual behavior we call parenting is not love. Most of what we call schooling is not love either. Comparison and competition is not love. Stuff isn’t love. The commercial exploitation of children and of childhood nearly every parent and child experience with commercial media and technology is not love. That doesn’t leave much time for love - does it?

What if it were love that the child experiences as the cornerstone, the safe place, home base, the guiding polestar of their development every day?

What if you and I were always mindful of every child’s brilliance, as is all life in all its forms? The world would change on the spot.

unconditional love

You give us hope...

In each age there are a few voices that rise up and shout with passion and insight. David Chamberlain comes to mind, Ashley Montagu, James Prescott, Jean Liedloff, of course Joseph Chilton Pearce, Suzanne Arms, Bev Bos, Ina May Gaskin, and there are others. These rare individuals awaken and inspire in us a resonate passion and insight. They give us hope.

Returning to our senses

Bev Bos noted, “Experience isn’t the best teacher, experience is the only teacher.” I was sharing with Barbora, a bright twentyish lass from the Czech Republic, how the nuclear family, mother-father-children living in isolation, emerged as the extended family, still relatively intact in her culture, collapsed, a phenomenon that happened abruptly, within ten or fifteen years after World War II in the US.

Can you feel our hearts singing?

I find it challenging to keep current with Carly’s explosive development, three years and two months young and counting. Recall, 700 neurons per second, each connecting with thousands of others is the rate of brain growth the early years – 700 every second. Astonishing is the word I often use. Head turning.

ages and stages

Almost Three

language development
imagination and play

Mad Moments

Carly sat in the dry riverbed scratching an imagined icon in the sand with a stick. “It is getting late and I need to go back home,” I said twice. “No,” she said in her bossy-mean way. “OK, by-by,” I said and continued walking up the dirt path until I was out of sight where I sat in the shade and waited.


How dare they?

For reasons only she knows, as we were slipping on her pajamas, Carly stopped. She wiggled free and ran naked to the closet where her shoes lay waiting. I, of course, being focused on preparing for bed, interpreted her escape as just that, a creative diversion to keep play going as long as possible. Play isn’t an activity. Play is a state of being, a unique quality of attention and relationship to whatever is happening at the moment. From her play perspective, sleeping is like dying. Who wants to do that? I explain, as best I can, that if we don’t sleep and just keep playing, we will all get tired and then grumpy and then we won’t have fun anymore. So, it is important to get lots of sleep so we can wake up fresh and keep playing. But that is another story.