this is the very beginning

Maybe this story will offer you a gift today? Let's find out.

๐Ÿ”Ž
Today's story I consider a Co-Creation Classified as I am inviting you to join a few gatherings later this month. Not sure this story is for you? Read this next bit to determine if so.

This story is for you...

This story is for you if your needs and desires are congruent with what the workshop series is offering.

But not only that...

This story is for you if you are needing or desiring more magic in your connections.

This story is for you if you are wandering or wondering through some uncertainty and might benefit from touching back into the past to see moments of clear connection (either externally or internally).

This story is for you if you need a moment of pause and creative contemplation.

This story is for you.


I didn't know we'd end up here.

But we never do know where we'll end up, right? And it's not like this is even the end. In some ways, this is the very beginning.

Nicole, Ernest the dog and I met at a park in Seattle back in the summer of 2019. I had reached out to her (or her to me?) because I was asked by a colleague to serve as one of the several Washington state regional networking facilitators at the Natural Start Alliance conference taking place in New Hampshire later that the summer.

Nicole had (maybe somewhat recently?) stepped into the position as Washington Nature Preschool Association (WaNPA) director. She wouldn't be attending the conference herself so I figured it'd be wise to actually (and finally!) get more connected with WaNPA if I was going to work with several other Washington folks to support our regional networking at the conference.

We decided to meet for a walk in nature.

It could have been a brief phone call about what WaNPA is about and what the organization offers members...

...but, we both, looking back on it, apparently trusted the value of meeting one another and sharing time together in nature.


Would we now be working on multiple projects together if we had just [referencing last week's post ๐Ÿ˜‰] had a phone conversation?

Maybe so... but another friend and I have mainly interacted over the phone and Zoom and we've been joyfully working on multiple projects together too.

So, it's not about the mode of communication.

It's about the intention.


Nicole and I walked and talked, with Ernest probably leading the way most of the time.

We talked about WaNPA, her visions for the organization as the new-ish director, parts of her adventurous life story, parts of my story. We talked about her Nanny in Nature program and all that she was offering and planning to offer the world of nature-based learning. We likely talked about my helping start a new nature-based program at the preschool I was teaching at at the time.

Many other threads probably wove together as we walked and talked.

I wonder how we parted ways? I don't remember, though I do remember saying goodbye to one another and then continuing to talk for awhile longer!

When we did say goodbye, did either of us have an inkling that we'd get to know one another more?


In less than two weeks, I have the opportunity to facilitate a workshop within a sparkly new seasonal workshop series that Nicole has created.

Through her Roots & Sky Nature-Based Learning business, she started PDLS (Professional Development Learning Series.... aka PUDDLES!) last Fall.

๐Ÿ˜
I don't think I'll ever not smile when I say ๐Ÿ’ฆ "PudDLeS" ๐Ÿ’ฆ

Now, each season, she will be inviting several fellow nature-based educators to each facilitate a workshop on a special topic related to the seasonal theme. Each series includes a workshop on Teacher Wellness, High Quality Outdoor Learning, and a Special Skill.

This winter series is all about community and connection โ€“ my faves!

I am facilitating the first workshop of the series โ€“ On Nurturing Your Sense of Place โ€“ to support your wellness as an educator and/or caregiver.

This one is on Monday 2/14... aka Valentine's Day! What a good day for some personal wellness tending... or for gifting to a teacher or caregiver friend to support their wellness!

๐ŸŒฒ
What does 'sense of place' mean to you? I invite you to ponder a childhood memory of making a hut, hideout or another type of special private place. That might give you some sweet clues.

The second workshop is led by a thoughtful and incredibly knowledgable educator, Sarah Heller, all about Collaborative Benefit-Risk Assessment - building problem-solving skills in young learners.

And Nicole will be leading the third workshop of the series all about the Magical Craft of Storytelling (and she's a really sweet storyteller!).

The workshops take place Mondays 4:30 - 6:30pm PST (see the dates in the links, the first one is in two weeks on 2/14).

I feel so warm inside (and it's not because of the fleece I'm wearing from neck to toe!) because I have the opportunity to offer some personal and professional magic of mine in a way that directly supports Nicole and her blossoming offering. And together, Nicole, Sarah and I get to offer our shared magic to people who register and say yes! to this offering.


This is the magic of co-creation right here. Adding one's gifts and skills to a project that is larger than oneself. Making projects come to vibrant life through what is added by each unique soul and each unique partnership.

This is the magic of trusting the gentle tugs from our fellow humans (and more-than-human beings). These tugs gently invite us to connect and build partnerships that might expand into the future in directions unimaginable in this present moment.

This is the magic of choosing to connect in ways that encourage play, creativity, flow, and experimentation (those last three are nicknames play goes by)!


Are you connected with educators or caregivers who would benefit from what Nicole, Sarah and I are offering? Forward this story to them, if so.

Are you wanting to get to know more about the co-creation process in general? Maybe wanting to learn more about intentionally connecting with fellow co-creators? If so, email me back by replying to this note.

Til next time,

Cassandra

P.S. Co-Creation Classifieds come once a month, at most.

This small portal on the Internet is unfolding into and becoming:

  • a place to reinvigorate your sense of agency
  • a place to redefine the ways you think about your sense of belonging
  • a place for us all to learn about the craft and art of co-creation
  • and a place for you to intentionally integrate experiential and experimental co-creation into the many facets of your life.

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