Wednesday, January 10, 2018

"Arting" together.

"How we spend our time is how we spend our lives."
Laura Casey

I have been thinking on this one for a few months now.
When my kids were very little, I loved (and still love) RIE philosophy because it emphasizes routines and caregiving times as times when you offered your children complete and focused attention.

As my children have gotten older, things have begun to shift for us.

They are in school for many hours of the day and my work hours have increased quite a bit.

So, what I keep coming back to is routines.
Sometimes, I surprise myself on how much I like and crave routines.

I have recently reevaluated our family routines and have tried to build in more Caregiving and focused attention meaningful experiences.

And, let me tell you, if you want to be held accountable for your actions, just tell your kids what your goals are and they will persist that you follow through. At least that's how it is at our house.

Daily meditation has been a goal of mine for quite a while. I am a big fan of Thich Nhat Hanh and pebble meditation but have not been able to implement for myself for whatever reasons.

So, in forming a new habit/routine...I needed to figure out what could go with Meditation that would motivate me to follow through. (Thank you Gretchen Rubin, Happiness Podcasts and The Four Tendencies).
Family time is a big motivator for me and so we have been attempting (emphasis on attempting) meditation daily as a family.

Sounds like it should be peaceful, right?

Well, doing meditation with a very busy, not quiet or still, little 6 year old boy (who also is a little too interested in the candle flame) has not been as motivating as I had hoped.
As a matter of fact, during meditation, I seem to be visualizing holding him down in a headlock.
So, this is not building my inner peace as much as I had hoped.

Ok. Well, a dear friend (and an awesome Wonder Studio teacher, Amy, (plug, plug!!) sent me this text today as she thought it would be fantastic to post at Wonder Studio.

"We believe growth and learning are uncomfortable, so it's going to happen here- you're going to feel that way. We want you to know that it's normal and its an expectation here. You're not alone and we ask you to stay open and lean into it." Brene Brown

Wow. I need to hear that today.

We all want that Connected time with our loved ones...and it looks good on paper and it goes so well in your head. However, the reality is, IT IS HARD.
It very rarely goes how you expect.
And that is the Joy in routines, right? The unexpected marvels that happen each day in the midst of our ho-hum lives.

Well, if meditation wasn't enough...I wanted to add in another routine that would emphasize our family values and of course, that is Creativity and Art. It may surprise you, but outside of Wonder Studio, I have done less and less at home creativity wise. I'm not proud of it.
When my kids were coming to Wonder Studio on a regular basis, I sort of checked that box and felt as though we were on top of the creativity department.
And, my kids don't ask to do paint very often.
So, do we always just do what they want to do?
NO, we don't.

Mommy wants us to "Art" together...darn it, I need to make it happen.

So, last night (before meditation) we set up the kitchen table for watercolors. My daughter and I (she's 10) followed some instructions for making your own mandala and my son painted all kinds of abstract pieces. He sang while painting, he named each painting. He had probably painted 6 paintings while we were still working on the one. But, it was joyful.
Connection through Art. I am a happy Mama.

Perhaps, we just need to feel those successes in the midst of all the "Growth and uncomfortable learning" to keep us motivated to get right back at it.

Now, this is what's for dinner.
Yes, we all have our own water color palettes. (You know, how I feel about sharing ;)

Monday, December 18, 2017

What Fires us Up?

Community really fires me up.
Look at that community there. We come from all over, some of us have 1 child, 1 of us has 8 children (not all pictured;), and many are somewhere in between. Some of us speak multiple languages, some do not. Some of us are Stay at home parents, and some of us are working parents, some of us are nannies. The point is...we are different from each other but Wonder is what brings us all together. 
The teacher's job is one of many but the bulk of it is to form a community of folks that can Learn together with and from each other.
It's what keeps teachers coming back teaching and it's what I think keeps my clients coming back to wonder.
This was a special session (as is every session!!) and I was curious about my client's (both the little ones and the big ones) vision words of Wonder Studio.
You can see our brainstorm in the picture above.
Words like Transcendental, Mystic, Over the top, Figment, Freedom...these words spoke to the mission of Wonder Studio.
Building a community does not happen over night.
Like a garden, community needs cultivating, caretakers, and some messy mud.

My teachers and I brainstormed our thoughts on "What Fuels Us?"
Here were our words:

1. The set up and design of the experiences we offer

2. Validation from parents on the kids progression from Wonder Studio

3. Connecting with kids

4. Kids and Parents/caregivers working together to clean up.

5. Recognizing the processes or moment the kids are in.

6. Watching the kids connect as a group

7. Watching parents/caregivers relax and form connections with others

8. All the 1st times for the kiddos.

9. Parents/caregivers learning something new about their children

10. Kids breaking away from parents/caregivers expectations

11. The Materials (crayon rocks, beeswax crayons, wind tunnel etc...)

12. Changing someone's perspective

 We thank  you for being a part of our community and hope you will keep growing with us!!