Feeding Our Creativity

A simple piece of cardboard decorated with illustrations and voila–there’s magic to feed one’s creativity!

As a middle school English teacher, I am a big fan of project-based learning. Projects provide that delicate balance between intellectual stimulation and creative challenge. Today, with the deer-in-the-headlights reality of COVID-19 and its domino effect on us emotionally, physically, and spiritually, I want to share a project much-loved by my students that you can do at home: creating a play.

The photo here shows a simple cardboard cut out for puppets to do their magic. The puppets can be easily constructed from socks, yarn—even raisins for the eyes. Much like our creativity that is emerging in the kitchen as a result of our current reality, our imagination can also find exploration through self-created theater structures and scripts!

Here’s a baseline to get you started with kids of all ages:

  • Choose a scene/setting
  • Create characters (give them unique traits/mannerisms/features, etc.)
  • Think of a juicy conflict
  • Consider whether or not a resolution is needed—cliffhanger anyone?

When you are finished with your script (or perhaps improv is the soup de jour;-), consider posting your creative production on YouTube or Instagram. Who knows? In an effort to feed your imagination, you might just stir up someone else’s!

“Serving Yourself a Pause”

What is Your Hunger Telling You?

School starts this week—for me, a middle school English teacher. The kids arrive virtually next month, so this is the time we educators start to ensure all of our academic ducks are in a row.

There is an uneasiness that often comes with the unknown, and virtual teaching in the midst of our pandemic is no exception. How will I effectively reach my new students? How will I effectively engage and connect with these young minds I have the gift and responsibility of educating?

Last week’s post focused on the magic-like pleasure experienced when embracing your passion. The example I shared was my love of writing and acting—a venture I reveled in manifesting and sharing with you on my YouTube channel.

Sometimes, we can get so caught up in a creative endeavor, we lose sight of the bigger picture. Last week, I was so hungry to combine my passion for writing and acting that I lost sight of the bigger picture: the optic and auditory effects of my comedic characters on the audience. 

My characters were meant to connect us, to create belly laughs and to promote my book. In my hunger to tickle your funny bone, I inadvertently eclipsed the gravitas of my book. So, I’ve taken the comedic characters down from my YouTube channel (I did keep my dear Sylvia Richmond. They may resurface as they were or in future comedic bits on a separate channel—apart from my book. I’m not sure where I want to go with them—and that’s okay. Like all of us, I’m learning as I go in this surreal experience called life.

The Friendship Diet is a book that focuses on the deep connection between our edible and emotional nutrition regarding our personal relationships. This includes our relationship—first and foremost—with ourselves. Today I write to you, aware that my emotional hunger is telling me to serve myself a heaping plate of pause, of rest, of time. My students deserve a teacher who is focused and hungry to educate and inspire her students. 

Whatever is happening in your life right now, if you are feeling overwhelmed and like the figurative walls are closing in on you, it’s more than okay—no, it’s vital that you serve yourself a pause dish. When we serve ourselves a pause dish, we are better serving others.