Monthly Archives: August 2010

Breaking the Box: Permission to Dream

Evans Cycles Wasted Packaging
Ever feel boxed in?

You know the feeling, right? It’s not a good one, but I have come to realize over the years, it is an incredible useful one — the feeling of being boxed in.

It hit me this weekend. Feeling boxed in. Under-inspired. Again, like an old acquaintance that you would rather avoid, but once you agree to that cup of coffee with them, you realize they are in your life for a reason.

Hello box, shall we dance?

Over the last few years, I have found some really useful tools to help me turn that feeling into an opportunity to break the box.

One was starting this blog, and giving my voice a place to live other than inside a meeting room or simply inside my head.

My favorite tool to fight the box is my passport, and letting the girl with the crooked smile and the phrase book wonder off on her own to see what there is to see. Naturally, this tool is not always accessible, but I really do try and keep it dust-free.

Often, I turn to the words of others as useful tools for busting the box that I have made. In books, poems, or songs I seek inspiration. Volunteer work is another great tool — giving back or trying something totally new.

Oddly enough, some of my favorite tools come to me via You Tube, which amidst the funny cat videos and cover songs of earnest young musicians, hides a treasure trove of box-breaking tools and footholds for those in need.

Favorites include Elizabeth Gilbert and Sir Ken Robinson, of course. And the list would not be complete without Randy Pausch. If you have never watched his final lecture — or if it’s been awhile — find some time to do just that and give yourself the permission to dream. Again.

Today I am not TGSG, simply Bethe, who is writing and dreaming her way out of the box.

See you out there…
Creative Commons License photo credit: futureshape

Mystery Critter #55


Can you believe this is our 55th case together, nature detectives?! Time flies when you are having fun (and talking critters!).

So put on your thinking caps and let’s get to it! And remember — no cheating. ;-)


  • I may be small, but I have a lot to say.
  • I find tree sap delicious!
  • I’m not something you can see any old time you want.
  • Some have told me I have bulging eyes, which while true, really is quite rude to say, if you think about it.

So, what am I?

Make your guess then go to eNature for the answer and more interesting facts.

Did you get it right?

If not, no worries. You will have another chance next week!

You will hear this Mystery Critter long before you see it. What critters can you spot in your neck of the woods this weekend? Be sure to tell us!

And don’t forget! Join the Wildobs community and share your wild adventures with the world.

See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

Creative Commons License photo credit: Harclade

Go Play: Have Fun & Win Prizes!

puddle jumping

As readers of this blog know, I am the #playoutdoors pied piper in the social media world, and a firm believer in the benefits of play, time in nature, and unstructured time for kids and adults alike. So, when the great folks at SC Johnson’s Shout asked if I wanted to partner on their new Go Play initiative, I jumped at the chance!

Go Play is dedicated to getting children and families outside to play – it’s that simple. Whether it’s going on a nature scavenger hunt , building a fort in the backyard, playing Frisbee, or running through a sprinkler, Go Play encourages families to make the active decision to unplug and head outside for some active fun.

Research indicates that children who play outdoors regularly:

  • Have stronger immune systems
  • Have reduced stress levels
  • Are more creative
  • Sleep better
  • Are fitter and leaner
  • Have a greater respect for themselves, others, and the planet

Naturally, time outdoors and play offers lots of benefits for adults too – including decreased stress levels! Who doesn’t need that these days?

I applaud Shout  for recognizing the importance of this issue for the health and well being of today’s children and families, and kicking off this initiative. You can follow the conversation on Twitter – we’ll be using the hash tag #GoPlay.  Also, make sure to keep up with the Go Play news on Shout’s Facebook page.

To kick off this initiative, Shout is launching the Go Play Sweepstakes. One lucky winner per week (for four weeks) will win a $200 gift card for Growing Tree Toys. One grand prize winner will receive a  Sunshine Castle II, which is a Best Seller from Rainbow Play Systems Inc.

Click here to enter!

Sending you lucky vibes. See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru

Disclosure: The Grass Stain Guru is a proud partner of Shout and is quite happy to share the sandbox with them!

photo credit: redjar

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