And Then There’s the Human Element…

Rescuing sea turtlesI saw this headline and photo on my Facebook feed this morning:

“The race is on in bid to save sea turtles.”

You may have had a similar reaction to mine: “Aww, that is wonderful. I’m glad people care.”

And then I did something interesting. I re-read the story as a metaphor for people who are cold-stunned. Read more

Who Do You Think You Are?

African American man is thinking intenselyIt actually matters quite a bit, this idea of self.  Our beliefs about the separateness of our Self or the connection of Self to everything else in the universe shape how we think, feel, and live each and every moment of the day.

What is the self? Is it different from identify or self-image? Am “I” my physical body? What does the Buddhist concept of no-self mean? Am I alone or inextricably connected?  Who is thinking these thoughts? Read more

I Have No Problems

My life changed in five minutes, playing catch with a child.

Opened lotus flower

Opened lotus flower

This summer, I met with Chris Holmes, the President of Penfield Children’s Center.  PCC serves children from birth to age three. As they state it, “Penfield Children’s Center is a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to help infants and young children with and without disabilities to reach their full potential through education, therapy services and family programs.”

This statement says what they do, yet you cannot fully understand who they are and what PCC is like from reading it. It’s like trying to describe the taste of salt to someone who has never had it. Before our meeting, Chris took me on a tour of the facility. Bright colors, natural lighting in every single room and hallway, soft corners and nurturing people – these are some of the elements that you find walking through the building. I was especially delighted by the office windows. Typically, office windows are in the door, or maybe in the wall along the hallway, at desk level. Windows here are 2 feet off the ground, so little ones can see what’s going on in there.

So you immediately see the combination of intelligent design, intelligent and warm people, and lots of thought given to adaptive spaces that meet the needs of all children, typically and non-typically developing alike. The biggest force at PCC, though, is the children. Laughing, crying, moving, sleeping, learning, playing, being goofy, waving hello, rushing up to hug Chris, the children brought the place to life.

And then I met Miguel and I was brought to life. Read more

A Pebble in Your Shoe

Imagine yourself walking on a gentle path on a hill beside the sea.   It’s  a glorious sunny day, warm but with a slight cooling breeze, puffy white clouds drifting across the bluest of blue skies.  Your destination is a seaside cafe where a dear friend awaits.  Perfection.

And then…

You get a tiny little pebble in your shoe.  All of your focus immediately shifts to the pain in the ball of your foot and the need to not have it hurt.  You might try to ignore it and hobble along, hoping it will shift or somehow just disappear.   After all, it’s a bother to stop and take off your shoe to deal with it, and your friend is waiting.  There’s no time to deal with this, and it’s so annoying to have this intrude on what was a perfectly good walk.  Darn it all!

Of course, it doesn’t go away but just gets lodged more firmly.  Unicorns and rainbows might suddenly appear for all you know, but you won’t notice because you’re so distracted. Read more