Cosmic Play

Cosmic Play

Natalie Riley

I am a wife, mother, and child development specialist by day. In my free time I cultivate and nourish this program (among other things ; ). I set up spaces and programs for children and families to connect, let go, and mostly have fun. I also facilitate two workshops: “Cosmic Play” and “Relating with Children for Social Justice.”

My big long term goal is to shed light on “Adultism.” Theresa Graham Brett’s work has been a great inspiration. She writes that it is in the home that children first learn how to marginalize and dominate the less powerful. Separate from cases of abuse, often loving well intentioned adults use their absolute power over children in oppressive ways. Through reflections on my own expectations to have control over my children I’ve realized that the way we relate to children is perpetuating the same “isms,” the same power over others, so many of us fight against in social justice work.

Cosmic Play: This play shop is an introduction to play culture, as opposed to the competition culture we are immersed in. Often family power struggles cause us to repeat patterns during play that re-enforce the power struggle. If we are conscious of it we can recognize these patterns and address, even reverse stuck power struggles. This play is deep and authentic, about profound connection, yielding to magic, and next level joyfulness.

1. Stay low and slow (yield power and follow the flow)

2. Soft hands (no pulling, lifting, tickling)

3. Be wordless (no instructing or leading)

Relating to Children for Social Justice: This workshop is part presentation and part facilitated discussion about an often overlooked piece of social justice revolution: the oppression of children. Our power over them is absolute. This necessitates deep responsibility and much self reflection. A child is likely to experience oppression the first time from a loving, well meaning, adult. We discuss how we abuse this power unintentionally out of convenience, being distracted, and even just tiredness. It’s a tricky power situation to address because sometimes we need to exercise this power over kids for their own safety.

            “In her presentation, she clearly outlines simple & practical methods of how we, as individuals, whether or not we are parents, can nurture children to become their best selves. Her presentation is a plea for social activism. She envisions the manifestation of a better world through respectful guidance of children.

            Her ideas are well-researched and provide simple and tangible methods for us to hone our skills of awareness by intentionally choosing our words and behavior when we interact with our most precious resource, our children.

            Her passion and love for this subject is evident in all threads of her life. She is an incredible mother and teacher. I once told her if I could be reincarnated, I wish I could have been reborn as one of her children.”

                                                            –RaYoung Chung

                                                                        Friend and Event Producer