Where do you get your inspiration? Does it fly in unexpectedly - seemingly out of nowhere, or do you know, exactly, what circumstances will instigate it? No matter how it works for you, I think we can all agree that we can only be (feel) inspired when we are free - free from overwhelming anxiety, frustration, confusion, and pressure.
My inspiring moments often come in a flash - usually through a conversation, or an image, or sometimes just a word. I frequently joke that I have to have water pouring over my head for ideas to take shape. I seriously do my best thinking in the shower. When we moved to our off-grid home fifteen years ago, it turned out the joke was on me. I am, to this day, constrained to short showers, or else I have to hand-pump a ton of water into the holding tank. That is when I discovered that once I get the original notion of an idea, action precipitates creativity. Simply placing my fingers on the keyboard generates a flow of words. The pure joy of producing something out of blank space motivates me to do more.
I will admit there are times when I become overwhelmed with feelings of frustration and anxiety because I am forcing myself to be cleverly creative, or I feel pressured because someone is expecting me to complete something. That is the point when I quit - at least for a time until I have decompressed enough for ideas to flow, and I can get excited about the project again.
Any time I talk about self-directed learning, this is the exact point where the conversation circles back to motivation. "How do we, as humans, gain the ability to self-motivate?" "Can it be taught?" "What does intrinsic motivation look like?" "Is it OK to quit?" "But, what if my kid will only do something when I compel them to do it?"
I think the easy answer to all of the questions is joy. We want to do things because we are interested in them, and it satisfies us or makes us happy. Yes - as many point out - that even includes those things that most of us don't like. I hate cleaning my house, washing the dishes, and doing the taxes. And, I despise dealing with administrative "officialdom" - but I do all of those, less than desirable, tasks because when I finish, I have a sense of accomplishment. No reward or punishment is going to motivate me more than that simple feeling of satisfaction of taking something on and completing it.
Before kids (any of us) can be self-motivated - they have to unlearn what we have taught them by relying on sticks and carrots to coerce them to do what we think is best. The process, to be totally honest, may take a while. They need time to rediscover the pure joy of challenging themselves and accomplishing what they set out to do, the pleasure of being creatively inspired, and the unadulterated delight in creating something out of nothing. But, once they truly "get" it, they are well on their way to becoming their unabashedly, unapologetically, intrinsically motivated, authentic selves.
The DRC Canton facility is finally getting its roof repaired! When we get confirmation on when it will be started (and finished), we will set a date to begin our summer programs. We will have a safety plan in place, which will include spending much of the day outside in the yard, and on the porch. Creative activities will be adapted for the outdoor space. We will also take daily hikes. And, we will have a limit of eight participants each day. Stay tuned over the next week for details.
We are here to listen and help you navigate all the questions and concerns you have about your child's options this fall. Feel free to contact us anytime.