Drink Red Wine… Lose Weight!

Well, if that’s not the pefect post for Watercooler Wednesday & Works For Me Wednesday, I’m not sure what is! But it is good news isn’t it.  Here’s the skinny ; )

Red Wine a Weapon in Battle of the Bulge

Health Benefits of Resveratrol May Include Fighting Fat, Study Shows By Kathleen Doheny  WebMD Health News  Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 17, 2008 — An antioxidant found in red wine and grapes known as resveratrol — already thought to help keep the heart healthy and ward off cancer — may also turn out to be a fat fighter, according to new research.

They exposed some fat cells to resveratrol and did not expose a comparison group of fat cells to the antioxidant. “Forty hours is the normal doubling time [of pre-fat cells],” Wabitsch says. “At 48 hours, the pre-fat cells in the control dish had more than doubled. In the resveratrol dish, the number of pre-fat cells had decreased by 40% to 45%,” he tells WebMD.

 

The volume of fat cells exposed to the resveratrol was also less, he says, in effect producing skinnier fat cells. Exposure to the resveratrol also reduced the secretion of substances called interleukin 6 and 8, which may be linked to the development of diabetes and clogged arteries, both thought to be obesity-related problems. Wabitsch says the finding is consistent with the theory that red wine’s resveratrol explains the so-called French paradox — the observation that French people, who eat a relatively high-fat diet but enjoy their red wine, have a low death rate from heart disease.

There is more research to be done. And please let us not forget that red wine contains calories.  We can not sit on the couch and drink vats of red wine and become super model skinny. On the other hand if I could drink a glass with dinner instead of saving it for a special occassion and my fat cells become skinny cells, well I’m all for that! 

Want to learn more?  Read the entire article HERE!

Starbucks Is Closing Its Doors

At least 600 of them, which is more than previously announced.  According to an article on CNNMoney.com’s Fortune blog, they are facing issues on multiple fronts. Oversaturation in the marketplace, tougher economic times and a less than stellar public image as of late has hampered the coffee king and is forcing their hand for dramatic change.

This article has fascinating comments. The range of Yeahs to Nays were wide. Most folks seemed to be a former fans or haters, opting for local coffee shops, indie types, or your basic McD’s or gas station coffee.  There were obviously supporters of SBUX and even a few champions.  And as always you have the random idiot posting things about the Christian boycot as the reason for the downfall or the lastest intro of Pike’s Place brew. I found a coupe favorite comments. They’re articulate and for the most part accurately represent how I personally feel. Take a read…

As a former Starbucks loyalist, I must say that it is a shame to see this once mighty company struggle. However, they did get a little big for their britches and regardless of the economy, their pricing model is downright aweful, not to mention their influx of political and/or religious ramblings on their coffee cups! I recently read a post from someone that had a very interesting observation about the lack of free wi-fi at SBUX locations. They said that it (FREE wi-fi) in today’s world is not a luxury….it is a CONDIMENT that should be right there along with the sugar, powdered cocoa and napkins. They are right! I still admire Starbucks however they would be wise to come down from their pedestal, lower their prices to remain competitive, offer more incentives to patron the store (i.e. FREE wi-fi) and focus on building their brand awareness in a changing economy or….like many of these posts indicate, we will spend our money elsewhere! I can tell you that I already have.   Posted By J. Scott- Tacoma, WA

Starbucks’ expansion plan under Jim McDonald was unnecessary, overambitious and probably not all that well thought out. And, unfortunately, it was emblematic of the mind-set, attitude and approach of many U.S. business leaders (and home owners) which led to the current financial crisis — rapid, massive and canibalizing expansion (e.g., bigger stores, more stores, bigger houses) without a valid need, justification or reason to do so. Jim, here’s the lesson — bigger is not always better and the drive to be the biggest can have devastating effects on the world economy…stated in coffee-lingo, sometimes its best to go for a decaf tall rather than a triple expresso grande. Posted By Alex, Northbrook, IL

Two themes here that depict basic business concepts that sometimes even the best of companies stray from: 1) Give the customer VALUE.  2) Bigger is not always better.

Starbucks is a cultural icon, but icon or not, if you are not exceeding your customers expectations you will lose.  If you are going to charge for coffee/lattes the same amount of money that buys one gallon of gas, you had better make it an valuable experience.  And quite frankly it’s not.  Small uncomfortable chairs, tiny tables, no free wi-fi, excessively loud baristas – ummm no.  Remember when Starbucks was a unique location to venture to for that meeting. Now within a 7 mile radius in Franklin there are 5 Starbucks. What once was a distinguished place to venture for a cup of java has become the McDonald’s of coffee shops. Cookie cutter coffee house with lack luster service. (No offense McD’s, I’m just sayin’) Once again where is the value? 

Do I still go to Starbucks? Yes, but typically only after Merridee’s closes. I prefer Merridee’s (our local eatery) for several reasons. I have been going there since 1991 when I first moved to downtown Franklin. But I want to just compare java to java and leave loyalty out of it. 1) The atmosphere is unique, tables are bigger, so are the chairs. 2) It has a much better selection of pasteries. 3) It has free Wi-Fi. Not pseudo free. Not free for some. It’s free for all who enter. Very important to me!!! 4) They know my name.  I had actually been going to Starbucks more often than Merridee’s for a short period of time back in February (due to a mild addiction to skinny vanilla lattes). Then I realized that in a span of a few weeks or so 3 of the employees at Merridees knew me by name and 1 specifically knew my order by heart. Double Latte, Skim Milk, 1 Splenda – $3.44.  Not much cheaper than Starbucks, but no one at Starbucks even recognized me as a repeat customer. That was it for me.  That and the fact that when I walked by on Tuesday night, 2 high school/college age girls were arguing over which table to sit at outside so the cars could see them better - Ummm no. 

So how do you drink your coffee? At home, Mom&Pop, SBUX… 

How do you feel about the big Starbucks machine taking a dip?  Raw deal, They’ll be back, Deserve it…

 

Read the complete article here: Starbucks has a bitter plan  By Scott Moritz

This is a post for Watercooler Wednesday and Works for Me Wednesday

Blogging As Spiritual Art

I stand at the crossroads of this life, examining the dichotomy that is my world. This is a world of great consternation and turmoil on one hand, and of endless possibilities and exuberant joy on the other. The sequential relations are exhausting and triumphant, full of sorrow and pleasure. 

My journey of self-discovery is randomly scattered moments of listening, reading and writing. It is when I listen to music or read that I find knowledge, truth and inspiration. In these moments I am drawn to take pen to paper expunging my heart.  I bare my soul reflecting on the rhythms of the journey this life sets before me.  It is when I write that I am free. I am free to dream. I am free to create. I am free to perform miracles on paper. Miracles that one day I may make reality.

There is nothing more exploratory than the ponderance of these lyrics, these writings, these quotes. Musings of creative prose fill my head. They stir in me deep thought and call in to question my reason for being and doing. Why are we pulled in to such actions? What is the impulse(s) that needs fed? What speaks to our hearts and why? 

My need for healing and growth seem boundless. My fierce pursuit of these things has not always led me down the right path. Sometimes the path we choose leads to more suffering before the mending can begin. It is a process. One that is not clearly defined. One that is not served to us with end in plain sight. But instead it is one of clever twists and turns and never ending surprise. It is a dance. And my journey began with a song.

Excerpt of Lyrics:   Beloved… Tenth Avenue North

Love of my life, look deep in my eyes, there you will find what you need.

Give me your life, the lust and the lies, the past you’re afraid I might see.

You’ve been running away from me.

Love of my life, look deep in my eyes, there you will find what you need.

I’m the giver of life, I’ll clothe you in white, my immaculate bride you will be.

Oh come running home to me.

Well you’ve been a mistress my wife, your chasing lovers it won’t satisfy,

Won’t you let me make you my bride, you will drink of my lips and taste new life.

CHORUS:

You are my beloved, lover I’m yours.

Death shall not part us, it’s you I died for.

For better or worse, forever we’ll be.

Our love it unites us and it binds you to me.

It’s a mystery.

I can not begin to describe the anguish that exploded from my heart that night. It brought me to my knees and shook me to the core like nothing ever had before.  Just as music should, hearing these lyrics wrecked my soul and started my journey home.

As I ventured down the path of contemplation on my spiritual journey, the next inspiration before me was that of the Uganda Bloggers and my introduction to Compassion International.  I had never heard of Compassion, nor did I read blogs.  It seemed odd to share your life with a world of strangers. What would they think? Why would they care? Yet again another song and more lyrics came in to play as I began reading the Uganda updates and my marriage was crumbling before my eyes.

Excerpt of Lyrics:   Unwritten… Natasha Bedingfield

I am unwritten, can’t read my mind, I’m undefined.

I’m just beginning, the plans in my hands, ending unplanned.

CHORUS:

Staring at the blank pages before you, open up the dirty window,

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find

Reaching for something in the distance,

so close you can almost taste it, release your inhibitions.

Feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you, only you can let it in,

no one else, no one else can speak the words on your lips

Term yourself in words unspoken, Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins, The rest is still unwritten.

Thus, BeyondJEMS was born of me and my muse. It came to fruition as my need to express what I was feeling was pushed to the limits by the Uganda bloggers. Their words wielding the joyful hope that Compassion brings to those stricken by poverty and despair were my inspiration. Blogging came in to my world and I began to bear my soul to the world. I did not know why or what was to come. The only thing certain was the need to write.

Much of this journey is about self-discovery and the desire to pursue what Christ has intended for my life.  I have never sought His design for me. I’ve never explored the idea that He created me for something unique to share with this world until this next inspiration came in to my life from the words of Max Lucado.

Excerpts:  You! God’s Brand-New Idea Made to Be Amazing by Max Lucado

~ No one can duplicate your life. You are heaven’s Halley’s comet; we have one shot at seeing you shine. You offer a gift to society that no one else brings. If you don’t bring it, it won’t be brought.

~The longings of your heart are not incidental; they are critical messages. The desires of your heart are not to be ignored; they are to be consulted. As the wind turns the weather vane, so God uses your passions to turn your life.

~ You can do something no one else do in a fashion no one else can do it. Exploring and extracting your uniqueness excites you, honors God and expands His kingdom. So “make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that” (Gal. 6:4 MSG)

~ When choosing or changing jobs, be careful. Consult your design. Consult your Designer. Let your uniqueness define your path in life.

~ God always rejoices when we dare to dream. In fact, we are much like God when we dream. The Master exults in newness. He delights in stretching the old. He wrote the book on making the impossible possible.

While exploring this new medium of self-expression, I realize that it is a resource in my journey for discovering God’s plan for my life. For the hopes and dreams he has for me come to the forefront of my mind as I listen and read and write.  It becomes more of who I am and what I need to do for mindful clarity.

Another quote, this one directed personally at me, landed on my ears last night and brought about the inspiration for this post. This is what the good doctor said to me, “It’s more than blogging. You are a writer. It’s part of who you are and a part of your identity. For you writing is a form of art and all art is spiritual.” Oh how these words resonated with my soul.

There is an intoxicating element to writing. There is a beauty in words that express feelings and inspire others. They are fluid extensions of our souls to be honored as priceless treasures of art when they are crafted with genuine meaning and heartfelt delivery.

If writing is my one of my spiritual gifts that God has given me. It is through writing that I create spiritual art as a gift to Him, myself and for those who are touched by my words, whether they be many or few. True beauty is in the eye of the beholder and my hope is that God finds my writing beautiful.

THis is a part of Randy Elrod’s Water Cooler Wednesday.

Applying LifeWorks 2.0

So I sat in LifeWorks 2.0 today with a ton of awesome bloggers like JVo from VertizontalBrody Harper and Vicky Beeching.  We were led by the dynamic duo of BlogFather – Randy Elrod & BlogSon - Spence Smith.  I learned so much I thought my head would expode. From all the bloggy basics to more advanced applications, such as: Carnivals, Twitter, Pingbacks, MogulusYouTube, Linky Love, (that’s Linky, not Kinky) Permalinks, etc. It was all there. 

So what am I doing up at 12:08 am on Wednesday? I am already applying in real life what I learned in LifeWorks. 

I’ve been participating in Randy’s  blog carnival  – Water Cooler Wedsnesday’s for a while now.  And I’ve received a lot of traffic because of it. I try to make my posts relevant to culture, arts or technology.  Sometimes I don’t do a very good job, but other days my blog rocks with traffic because of posts like this.

I also participate in another blog carnival  hosted by Rocks in My Dryer called Works For Me Wednesday. I have not done a very good job of posting relevant things there. And I’m feeling guilty because I’m not following the rules very well or  keeping it real  or  providing compelling content. :(  

So tonight, or today however you want to look at it, I decided to dedicate two unique posts to each carnival and make them count. I wrote by post for WFMW first, you can read it here. And can I tell you how excited I was to post it and be #72.  Yes, #72 – that’s like blog carnival prime real estate for WFMW because this carnival gets well over 200 posts.  That’s a lot of links and a lot of things to read. So it you post in the front of a carnival you get more traffic.  You also have to post with a good title tag. What better than to tell people How to Get Free Stuff. I’d say that would compel anyone to look.

Here’s the beauty and the mystery of the blogosphere all coming to light. While I was there I glanced at some of the other early posts. And I’d StumbleUpon a post by Karla called How Not To Be A Twitter Nit Wit.  This was awesome!  It gave me, a Twitter neophyte, a great lesson on applications to use with Twitter.  Now, don’t get me wrong Randy & Spence did a great job of explaining Twitter at LifeWorks 2.0 and how to use it and why to use it.  But this took things to another level for me. It’s more of an Advanced Twitter lesson. 

This was also a good exercise to apply what I learned in LifeWorks 2.0.  Why?

  1. I participated in 2 blog carnivals that I got in on early (by staying up late)
  2. I posted on Carnival 1 with compelling content, a good title tag and kept it real.
  3. Which led me to meet another blogger , via Linky Love, Karla, who is also from Nashville and a great mom blogger.
  4. She offered at the end of her post to follow her on Twitter, which I did. And I’m hoping she will follow me because participating in social networking is crucial to blogging success. (Participate in LifeWorks 2.0 to find out why).
  5. I also added a thoughtful comment to her blog and invited her to coffee. Seeing she is an experienced blogger, I’m hoping we can connect & share.
  6. And I got to post all of this today on Carnival 2 and provide you all a lesson in cultural media.

Why do all of this?     To…  BUILD THE COMMUNITY …  because when we do…  RISING TIDES LIFT ALL SHIPS!

Thanks BlogGranddad & BlogDad for such great lessons today at LifeWorks 2.0

Sending My Best,

Amy     (I am actually a BlogGrandDaughter, in this grand scheme!)

PS. For those who missed LifeWorks 2.0, this is just the first millimeter tip of the iceberg that is LifeWorks. Send a request to Randy or Spence to hold another class quick.  You really can’t afford to miss it again!

Breaking Free

Standing on the edge of this life

I reach my hands out in front of me

My heart tugs at the familiar behind

I am alone

 

Yearning to taste of the newness

I dare to set the past behind

My lips part in a sweet goodbye

I am sullen

  

Gazing wide-eyed wonder far beyond

I hold my breath and listen

My pulse waits for the moment to arrive

I am silent

 

Trembling with anticipation and fear

I push forward breaking away

My life stumbles into colors and light

I am free

 

 

 

This is a part of Water Cooler Wednesday by Randy Elrod’s Ethos

One Song, One Take, One Cab

This one is for Brody who is always asking for new indie music & a part of Rocks in my Dryer Works-For-Me-Wednesday and Ethos – Watercooler Wednesday.

It’s a cross between Taxi Cab Confessions & Unplugged Karioki, only better.  If you are looking for options in music that you can appreciate and also laugh at, look no further than Black Cab Sessions. Check out Chapter 20 – Johnny Byers, Ch 31 - Spoon (1st dude to wear shades, good tunes), Ch 25 – The Kooks, Ch 13 – The New Pornographers (who will be at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge on 4/18/08).

 

Ultra-unplugged: a quirky high concept, charmingly executed

As repeated viewings of a certain Martin Scorsese film and a lifetime of living in New York City have taught us, good things generally do not happen in the back of taxicabs. Until now: A British website lets us temporarily believe that hired cars, in addition to being cramped and grotty, can also be mobile stages for brilliant acoustic rock performances.

In each episode of “The Black Cab Sessions,” a different indie artist gets one car ride and one unedited take to perform a song, and the results are more invigorating than an 80-mile-an-hour taxi ride home from the airport: Spoon’s Britt Daniel plays a stirring version of “I Summon You” all alone; the New Pornographers’ Carl Newman delivers a heartbreaking rendition of “All the Old Showstoppers” with his niece accompanying him on accordion. (And what eccentric indie-rock project would be complete without an appearance by the genre’s ultimate weirdo, Daniel Johnston?) Enjoy; you don’t even have to tip the driver.

 “The Black Cab Sessions”

 Compliments of VSL

Were U Looking 4 A New Social App?

Yeah, neither was I, but we’ve got another one coming at us. It’s called SocialThing.

Here’s a little notice from Website Magazine posted this morning.  For all the twittering and facebooking, etc. that goes on, these applications that pull it all together are popping up randomly. I posted on another one a while back in a post called “Twitter me this?”. Well, here’s another one to add to the mix. Maybe Randy or Spence will be checking it out in the private beta version and can share opinions on streamlining our social networks at their workshop LifeWorks 2.0.  Check it out!

Social Thing Makes Being Social Easier

The main issue I have with all of the social applications (Twitter) and social networks (Facebook) is the inordinate amount of time it requires to manage. I’m busy, you’re busy, we’re all busy, busy, busy. So how does one manage their “social lifestream”? Perhaps the answer resides in SocialThing.com – a solution which help Web users and Web professionals get their “digital life together”.

Social Thing

I was fortunate enough to receive a private beta invite to the system and by all accounts it is truly interesting. The solution is akin to FriendFeed in that you can review all of your friends activity in one virtual location. Users can even communicate within SocialThing which should speed up your socializing considerably.

There are only a handful of social tools which users can integrate at the moment (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, LiveJournal, Pownce and Vimeo) but SocialThing is currently working on integrating del.icio.us, digg, last.fm, Myspace and YouTube.

The problem I see in SocialThing is that when and if it gets truly popular, the networks that it so elegantly leverages to help its users communicate more efficiently will lose ad impressions – reason enough to cut off the free flow of data.

Social applications to manage our social applications? What do you all think?

Oprah’s New Church, Obama & Allah’s Angels

Folks I’m just not smart enough to have an opinion on this.  Being raised a Southern Baptist with a fundamentalist majority in the family things were pretty cut & dry.  But my father (deacon) & my uncle (preacher) often taught that we can not judge because no one knows who has a personal relationship with Christ and who doesn’t.  In addition, God has many names.

I may have grown up in a unique situation, but I am grateful, but it has given me such opportunity to be a witness for the good, not the bad, as a Southern Baptist. For example, when I worked at my sister’s daycare part time after the kids were born, I hired a Muslim woman who came with outstanding cridentials.  I took some grief for that from various people.  She asked to wear her traditional sari and I said yes, we do not discriminate.  She was the best teacher we had.  I put her in the toughest class and she had the patience of a million American’s maybe one Job. 

One thing I noticed was she never requested lunch at a specific time.  Yet I knew that the Muslim religion required prayers at a specific time, kneeling in a certain direction.  (Hey, I watch the Discovery Channel) So I asked her about it.  She said she was supposed to, but didn’t because we always gave her lunch at a different time than what was accepted.  So I made sure from that point on, she had lunch within her approved timeslot and had the privacy of the upstairs resorce room to use for prayer. When I told her of the arrangements I had made, she hugged me so tightly and said thank you over and over again with a tear in her eye.  She asked me if I believed in God.  I chuckled and said, “Of course I do, I’m a Christian. Southern Baptist actually.”  You would have thought the woman was going to collapse.  The fact that I was a Christian was surprising, but a Southern Baptist none-the-less was just too much to take.  After the initial shock wore off, she said “I’ve never met a Christian like you before.” And my reply was, “I’ve never met a Muslim like you before. So we’re even!”  LOL!

From that point on, we had quite a few good conversations.  Like when someone gave her an angel at the Christmas party and then freaked out because it was an angel and that is what we believe to be a Christian thing.  But I said, “Well, I’m no expert, but I would think Allah has angels too.” So I asked her the next day at work.  So, does Allah have angels.  She knew exactly what had happened after she left. She smiled the biggest smile and took my hands and said, “Yes, Allah has angels.  I think they hang out with Jesus’ angels on the weekend.”

How cool is that?  What a connection?  In her mind I’m the coolest Christian that ever was.  Not because I am, but because I let her pray at lunch.  Because I respected her and her beliefs and listened to her.

So, here’s something I recieived in email.  WARNING, WARNING, WARNING – Oprah doesn’t believe in God or Christ. She is leading people astray.  This is the first I have heard of this scenario.  And since Obama is tied to it, it should make the nightly news shortly if it hasnt already. 

What do you all think???  Please respond.  I know people read this thing.  I’m getting hits everyday.  Just put in your two cents.  Obviously, I wont judge based on the story I just told you. 

This is a post for Randy Elrod’s Watercooler Wednesday & Rocks In My Dryer WFMW

 

Twitter me this??????

As I am figuring out this thing called blogging & social networking, etc., it feels like one big riddle.  So I am trying to read up on the new technologies.  How can I use them?  Should I use them?  Just because it’s the latest thing out there, doesn’t mean it’s the best for your business or social life.  In my feeds this week, I ran across these two tidbits of info from Website Magazine:

It’s official. After much speculation, Yahoo has officially joined Google’s OpenSocial project. OpenSocial was created to help unite the social Web by providing a common mechanism for developers to create apps that will work across many different networks. MySpace and orkut have already joined and with the addition of Yahoo, a whole new crop of developers will be able to begin developing new applications.  Along with the announcement comes OpenSocial.org, the main documentation hub and source of information about all things OpenSocial.

Web professionals often struggle keeping up-to-date and in-the-know with instant messaging, email, and the activity of social networks. The process of getting and staying connected can be overwhelming, which is why many opt for tools and applications which facilitate that communication. dotSyntax, an instant messaging startup, today announced the public beta launch of Digsby, a product that integrates account management of these channels into one easy-to-use application. (Read more by clicking on the title above)

Great!  More things to help manage our online lives.  Well, it appears that OpenSocial is supposed to help developers, the smart people who coded all this wicked cool stuff, create applications (plug ins, widgets, etc) that will work on different networks (i.e. Google, Yahoo, MySpace, etc). What does that mean for us common folk?  I think it means that when you copy your HTML code to add to your MySpace page, it will be the same code to use on your other networks.  This eliminates trying to find each networks own code and hoping that someone has created it for the network you are using.  At least I think.

Then there’s Digsby! the place where you are supposed to be able to combine all your IM’ing & email & Twitter, etc. into one app on your PC. So instead of having your Twitter page open & Yahoo IM & MSN, etc. You have open 1 screen and it all feeds & is interactive to each.  That sounds pretty cool if you ask me.  Anything that can be done to streamline this gigamonster called the information super sensory overloaded highway – I’m all for!

Well, for all these great new apps & means of communication, I’m still not sure what I should or shouldn’t be using so I am hoping someone a lot smarter than me can help me figure it out.  And wouldn’t you know, as luck would have it,  I ran across this yesterday… 

Randy Elrod & Spence Smith are bringing to the masses a new and exciting seminar on this very topic called LifeWork 2.0. Check It!  

Cultivating The Youngest of Artists…

environment.jpgAs my first post for Randy Elrod’s Water Cooler Wednesday: I am so proud & excited to share the preschool that the twins will be attending this fall. Spring Hollow Community Learning Center in Franklin. Their theme is “Nothing Without Joy”. How amazing is that?

Here’s their philosophy on teaching…

  • The first teacher is the child. Children learn from themselves and their peers. Children have a natural ability to be autonomous, intelligent, kind, and creative. Children have the right to make choices, create, discover, explore and invent.
  • The second teacher is the environment. The environment is beautiful, inviting, and reciprocates knowledge.
  • The third teacher is the adult. Teachers and parents encourage the child’s natural evolution of learning and are equal learning partners in the research process of knowledge growth.

Here’s an explanation from the director, Dr. Katherline Ratliff Moon, on Unrestrained Art…ga111.jpg

Considering the word restrained provides a context to understand Spring Hollow’s goals. Defined as the action of limiting or hampering the activity or growth effect of something, this word aptly describes what adults often do when interacting with children about their creations. We limit children when we impose certain values and expectations upon them.

An example of such a value is the importance we place upon finished products. How often do we find ourselves questioning and acknowledging the product of creating rather than focusing on the process? For the young child, the exploration of mediums, colors, and shapes in the creative process is of great importance. Of greatest importance is the child’s real life and imagined experiences. These experiences are the motivation behind the child’s symbolic representations within all the art forms. An example of an expectation that can restrain a child is our fixed point of view as to what we think something should look like. To a two year old, the simplicity of one line may represent a tree. How often do we remind the child of the necessity of adding branches and leaves instead of validating the choice the child has made? Young children are going through the very important process of identifying what they think a tree looks like from their point of view. To encourage their creativity and freedom of expression, it is important that we validate each step of their journey in process. We can extend their work by our acceptance and careful suggestions.

Continue reading