Gluten-free, a Safe Place to Play

Explore Safe Play

Recently I made a visit home. How many of you go back to a safe place you used to call home? It’s an odd experience. Why? Well, because there is another me living back there that is still “her.” The 8-year-old kid. It’s like when I left I stayed that age back there, and moved on to grow up out there. It’s not a big problem for me, but it reminds me how far I have come. Every child needs a safe place to play and call home and I was lucky. I had this place that encouraged me to explore and grow.
One of my colleagues teaches Fourth Grade, as well as College evening classes business. She loves it! I asked her how it feels to have such a split, and she told me, “Most of them are men, and men are basically boys. In class they all feel like they’re 8-year-old kids to me.” What an interesting view! She explained that people seem to act a certain way in the context of a safe place to learn. School to a person may be a place where they sit still and listen, or throw spitballs (depending on the type of 8-year-old kid they were). Yet, they all seem to revert back in time when they get in the classroom and when it feels safe to be. Just be.
On my visit, my brothers and I all fell into the role of who we were back when we all lived at home. My brothers joked around like when we were kids… albeit they were different jokes. My mother reverted back in time, too…  baking lots of cookies and delicious muffins, and offered to make bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches for all of us to enjoy for lunch. It felt fun to hear the offer and see the cookies… only my response was different now in time with food, than back when I was a child. “Mom, are the cookies made with wheat? I am on a gluten-free diet and don’t eat wheat. What does that mean? I can’t eat the cookies and muffin. No, I don’t eat wheat bread. Yes, that pasta is wheat and, no, I can’t have the spaghetti.”
My mother was concerned and asked me if I had Celiac disease. “No,” I explained, “just a wheat sensitivity. I feel great. I don’t miss it. Really!”
Thinner, healthier, more alert, and comfortable in my own skin, I was able to stand up to the scrutiny of questions. I felt good inside, and that made me look good outside, too.  I was the grown up coaching my younger self. Yet, the little kid was still hanging around… looking in the cabinets, the refrigerator and noticing what I used to eat that I thought helped me. Funny thing… when I stopped taking in that stuff I felt happier… and I grew. Once I thought about all that, it also occurred to me that I used to take in “comments” from other kids that didn’t feel good. Comments from other people belong to other people – not my words, so I don’t take them in anymore either. Oh, yes, I respect people sharing their ideas, but if someone tears down or insults how I live a healthy life I can smile and be true to myself. And, yes, I can say “no thanks” to a cookie now with the help of my grown up self.
For a moment here and there time would stop, I would remember, reflect, and realize that I’d moved on. We grow when we give ourselves new fields to play in, work in, bloom in different seasons. If we don’t change… we think the same way, we act the same way, we get results the same way. Change one thing the rest seems to start to change and grow, too. You get new and better results.
Be a courageous soul, and venture out and learn about the world. In Portland, Oregon you can go out on the Tri-Met and travel all over the city! An exciting daily excursion! Go out and explore a new place for a few hours. There are Tri-Met busses that will take you to Apositiva (Hamilton Street between Barbur Boulevard and Corbett Street). Or give yourself a change of pace for a few weeks, a few months, a few years and see how you change and who you become. It may be that someone is waiting inside of you… to grow.  Along your way, look for interesting classes and workshops to expand on your ideas. This is a time for change in the world and the way we make it new and fresh is by starting with ourselves.
Apositiva offers interesting workshops. Right now we are taking new students for Growing Coach Training, class begins April 20-22nd. It is a playful environment. Gluten-free snacks served while you learn in a safe adult atmosphere.  Experience coaching yourself and learn how to do it well with others. There’s nothing like seeing the ‘AH HA’ light up in people. We offer a safe place to play. Classes are experiential and the atmosphere is open to all, professional and life learners.
Oh, by the way, living gluten-free is amazing! In Portland, many restaurants and bakeries are looking out for those of us who are wheat sensitive. One place I love is New Cascadia Bakery.   At Apositiva Institute, we offer non-gluten snacks during our week-end workshops, so everyone gets to enjoy the benefit.
Every kid (inside and out) needs a safe place to play and grow. It’s a time of change. Are you changing with the times?  Come play here. Call Cat or Rich for new classes being offered this spring and summer of 2012. Don’t see the class you wanted? Give us a call and we’ll see how we can work with your needs.  Calling (503)525-0594 will get you to Cat. (503)525-0595 will get you to Rich.
It’s time for a positive change. Learn Play Grow!