Recently I returned from the 2012 Annual Creative Problem Solving Institute, aka CPSI, where I presented a short version of my framestretching workshop, and in exchange gained valuable insights and tips.

For 58 years, the Creative Education Foundation offers in one form or another an annual conference where people from all over the world gather with the express intention of sharing.  From new ideas, to furthering individuals thinking using experiential learning, CPSI remains focused on celebrating the wonder of our natural abilities. The  open-minded learning community reminded me that more is possible than impossible.

A few lessons

1. LAUGH. Invoke humor regularly.  Laughter is  wonderfully freeing and an expressive release of tension and stress. it is a great activity for all the senses if you put your mind to it.  Jon Pearson offered up 100 tips and shared these teachings.

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, 1957

The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, 1957 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the words of Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) “Nonsense wakes up brain cells.”  In the world of creativity, objectives and hard work aren’t enough. We need accident and realizations. We need play. We need to believe what good humor reminds us of all the time:


2. PLAY.  Seriously, put your curiosity and fidget energy physically to work and share the results.  Jacquie Lloyd Smith  guided my direct experience in playing Lego with strategy in mind and shared the rationale or thinking that makes it work.  Her process filled gaps in my thinking and her suggestions  allowed me to reconcile competing truths that had stopped my forward momentum.  Talk about stress, finding a third truth, or better experiencing an idea helps us activate another path to understanding.  Leading with our heads, and not discovering reality with our  senses denies our ability to feel the security or weakness of our decisions.  Try it, let people build something with simple pieces that allow everyone to be equally successful and you’ll immediately discover how differently we think, imagine and feel.  Lego can be a wonderful tool that way, but so can spaghetti, marshmallows and tape

3. DRAW. Practice first with circles and squares. The physical focus, movement and feel when drawing objects everyone recognizes boosts your success and confidence in an ability that few of us use.  Yes drawing, as Elizabeth Pastor of Humantific explained activates completely different parts of the brain,  clarifies our thinking and effectively communicates universally  critical concerns, issues, ideas. She demonstrated visual sense-making and if you aren’t sketching in your note taking and or minutes you are missing opportunities.  Do you want to help people think about people, relax and be balanced?  OK, I put in that last element because I believe that’s what happens.   OK I’m guilty because here I am doing the typing and not the sketching as I blog my renewed commitment to the process.

No, that’s not all I learned, but these are the things that make my other learning possible.  If I have inspired you to try, please share what you plan to try, and maybe we can hold each other accountable.

If not, then I encourage you to read Value, honor and reward everyone.

And by all means I also encourage you to use Happy crayons.


  1. Pingback: Value, honor and reward everyone | Adjusting Sensibility

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