How do we inspire our kids to be more grateful?Nov. 4th

PP Question_NOVGratitude rock

So, in today’s modern world, how do you inspire children to grow up with an attitude of gratitude instead of an “attitude”, if you know what I mean? Many psychologists have studied gratitude and its effects on our well being.  People who are more grateful seem to lead more satisfying lives and are more resilient in a crisis or under pressure. I for one definitely want that for my whole family! Rudolf Steiner, known for creating Waldorf Education, said this “Gratitude is the basis for love. When children deepen their appreciation for the natural world, they deepen their love for all of creation.”  An easy way to start is to simply as your kids,  “What are three things you are grateful for today?”  Or, for younger ones, try a rhyme or a song that appeals to you. Giving thanks before a meal is another powerful way to inspire gratitude. Here’s a sweet one for the younger kiddos:



The eagle gives thanks for the mountains,

The fish gives thanks for the sea

We give our blessings for the food
We are about to receive.



We’d love to hear your ideas, as different ideas appeal to children as they grow and develop into adults.

For more resources, check out “G=Gratitude Attitude” in our Simple as A-B-C’s.

Grateful Monday: Grateful For LearningMar. 25th

They say learning begins in the womb. Others say it begins at home. Some stay learning stops when you leave school. I think learning is never ending. As children we are told to get up and go to school. We are told to pick a college, and pick a career. We are told to learn as much as we can while we can. But what does “while we can” mean? I am almost 29 years old and I think I learn more and more everyday. I am so grateful for living in a society where my learning never stops. We have so many chances to learn. We learn from our parents and grandparents, our friends, other family members and most importantly from our own mistakes and triumphs. 

Recently I was given an opportunity to spend a weekend learning more things about my passion. To me nothing is better. I got to listen to people I admire and look up to speak “my language.” I am so grateful for living in a country that allows women to learn. We dont realize how lucky we are to have such continued opportunities our whole lives to learn and grow in positive ways. 

We are at a place in time where people can change careers, go to graduate school, take classes at local community college completely focused on their passion. You can start a business and learn as you go. You can use the internet if you cant figure out an answer. 

Learning never stops until we let it stop. Learning is ongoing, learning is part of life. If you aren’t learning you aren’t growing as a person.

My goal in life is to learn something new each day and today I challenge you to do the same. 

Grateful Monday: Grateful for Being GreenMar. 5th

I will be the first to admit that it took me a while to jump on the green bandwagon. I am the type of person who needs to research products and new information. 

I have been on the recycle bandwagon since I was about 5 years old when I said to my mom “we learned about recycling in school today, you shouldn’t throw that bottle in the garbage.” From that day forward our home had a recycle bin and I was in charge of it! Big deal for a Kindergartener. 

I was always intrigued with taking boxes that packages came in and making forts and tunnels with them(reuse). 

I loved using toilet paper rolls, and plastic bottles for fun art projects. 

Then the whole green cleaning thing came about in the last few years. At first I thought “my clorox works great! Why would I switch?” After a few hours at the local Target reading labels on green products, doing research on how to make my own laundry detergent, and dish soap I realized that being green with cleaning is not only a fad but a smart decision. 

Its good for your health because you aren’t breathing in toxins. It’s good for the environment and your home and for me in the future(far far future) it will be great for my kids. Going green isn’t about being in on the latest fads. The reasearch is out there so I encourage everyone to make their own decisions on this and really look at the ingredients on green brands vs. non green brands. 

From my perspective my health is important. When my dad was sick with cancer I convinced my stepmom to start using only green products. No toxins in that house anymore! 

I am grateful for being green because its been a life long commitment that started with a day of learning to reduce, reuse and recycle in my Kindergarten class. 

Grateful Monday: Grateful for GratitudeFeb. 25th

I know it almost sounds silly being grateful for being grateful. But think for a second about that concept. Being grateful. 

Something I think a lot of us take for granted is recognizing when we are grateful for things. Be it a person in our life that treats us well, having a parent or family member to lean on when things get tough, having those few friends that are always there for you even when you dont realize you need them. Even a beautiful day when you really need one. 

Its a funny thing being grateful. We all think we are grateful for everything in our lives but stop and think about it. I sure did. I realized I was focusing on the minuscule parts of life that weren’t that great instead of the ones that were great. The bad days instead of the good days. The dark clouds instead of the beautiful sky. 

Stopping in those moments to be grateful even for the tough parts in life make us stronger. Life is hard and knocks us down from time to time but we should all be grateful for every part of life, even the kind that isn’t always pretty. Those are the times we should be the most grateful because those are the things in the end that make us the people we become. 










So this week lets be grateful for gratitude. Lets focus on gratitude. 

Grateful Monday: What is Perfect About This Present Moment?Jan. 28th

What Is Perfect About This Present Moment?*

The last Grateful Monday that I showed up for on 1/14/13 was the day after a pretty intense car accident where Bryan and I rolled a car twice, and by several miracles of ‘seconds and inches,’ we were both able to walk away from the wreck.  I continue to have a slight pain in my neck, and am GRATEFUL for it.  (I shudder to think of the alternative.)


So my perspective (for now) is pretty shifted.  Although I can still get caught up in the daily minutia — for instance today, when feeling pressured to get home, get showered and get out the door to pick up Lily from school, I pulled quickly out of a parking lot, and put the fear of God into Bryan in the passenger seat when a car across the way started moving out at the same time! — in the bigger scheme of things, I am feeling comfortable that life is unfolding as it should. Each moment feels pretty perfect.  Simply because it IS.

I saw a great post earlier today that I want to share here too.  It is written more from a workplace perspective, but it rang true so I wanted to share: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.  It seems to be a theme in my life right now.  Clearing away what isn’t so important, being committed to what is, and getting straight that what is important has very little to do with the ‘outside stuff.’

So, how about you? —

What Is Perfect About This Present Moment?*

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Grateful Monday: What Are You Grateful For?Jan. 14th

What Are You Grateful For?*

Quite simply, today (and her I am speaking for myself and Bryan,) we are grateful to be alive.  Yesterday, was a strange day to say the least.  A beautiful celebration of our daughters’ 8th birthday…

Lily does her ‘Walk around the Sun’ with Grandpa & Meme.




…which was immediately preceded by the most intense car crash of both of our lives:

We walked away.  Needless to say, we are grateful to be alive, no serious injuries, and feeling like ‘our work here is not done!’

Beyond that, kind of speechless.

What Are You Grateful?*

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Grateful Monday: What Are You Creating?Nov. 26th

What Are You Creating?*

This isn’t a direct answer to the chosen question here, but to start, I just want to say that I am very grateful for this past holiday weekend that afforded me and my family some much needed downtime!  We made the most of our time together eating (of course!,) enjoying the great outdoors, taking in a movie, and, I for one, took the opportunity to disconnect from technology for the weekend, which was unusual and very relaxing!

And… that bit of gratitude is what has led to the answer to today’s question of ‘what are you creating?’  Bryan and I got to spend some time thinking and talking about what we set out to create with Playful Planet.  So much of our inspiration for creating this company was to create a way to support our family that also supports the lifestyle that we desired to create for us in our relationship, our family and our community.  We set out to create a way that we could be doing something meaningful in the world without losing sight of our connection to each other and our daughter.  We were excited to continue to work for ourselves (both having been independent contractors for much of our careers,) so that we could have flexibility in our schedules that doesn’t always come with more traditional career choices. 


This past weekend we got to look at where we are achieving what we set out to accomplish and where we are falling short.  In many ways we are doing a lot of what we intended – the most important being bringing a quality product to children to help inspire them to healthy lifestyles at a young age.  And we were able to see where what we are ‘up against’ is VERY familiar to entrepreneurs (as witnessed in this great article that talks about entrepreneurs being like the Pilgrims.)

In taking stock of where we are at today, we simply got clear that we have been allowing our work life to dictate our schedules and trying to fit in the things that feed us emotionally, mentally and spiritually around the needs of the business.  What we talked about, and what we are creating now, is the space to put our well-being first (for me it means making sure I take time to meditate in the morning AND get regular exercise,) so that there is more to give when it comes time to get to work!  It is the old oxygen mask analogy — place your mask on first before attempting to help anyone else. 

I think that this stance is so important in so many facets of life, including career, family, child-rearing and being a contributing member of a community.   I am taking on creating more balance in my life.

What Are You Creating?*

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Grateful Monday: What Are You Grateful For?Nov. 19th

What Are You Grateful For?*

Yes, the classic Grateful Monday question.  Nothing else would have made sense for Thanksgiving week, right?

My full-on gratitude list is too long to share here.  It probably wouldn’t be much different than many of yours.  If we are here (on the internet,) and reading a blog, than most of us have the comforts of the ‘well-taken care of.’  So, I won’t bore you with my particulars.  Just know that my life is abundant with blessings, and I am grateful for it.

Rather I will turn my attention here to my gratitude for Lynne Twist.  Some of you may already know Lynne and her work, and some not, but the timing of this post is coinciding with our loading up a video to Playful Tube  of an interview we did with Lynne a couple of months back. 

Why should I be grateful for Lynne Twist?  I’m sure that the list could be endless, but for the sake of brevity, I will only share a couple of them here:

  • I had the good fortune to hear Lynne when she was a keynote speaker at the Natural Products Expo 2011.  Hearing her speak, learning her story, and experiencing her dedication to her work in person was truly inspiring.  It gave me the spark I needed to make it through a LONG day!
  • After hearing Lynne speak, I purchased her book, The Soul of Money. The wisdom she shares based on her personal family experiences as well as her global work with The Hunger Project are memorable and help me to keep priorities in alignment.  The story of her time with Mother Theresa comes back to me often.
  • I was introduced to Lynne’s current work with The Pachamama Alliance through a Leadership Training program I took with Cafe Gratitude (see the credit below that I give each week to our Grateful Monday questions.)    When I began to delve into the work she is doing to create a bridge between the modern world and the indigenous world in the rainforest, I was beyond moved.  Here is someone that is taking on the seemingly impossible, and it making it happen!
  • Lynne made time in an extremely busy schedule to grant Playful Planet an interview for our Playful Tube.  She was gracious beyond measure as she fit us in right before a major webinar she was hosting later that day.  We promised to be done in 20 minutes, and when we were done with our allotted 20, she offered to answer ‘one more question’ because she had learned that we had driven a long way that day to see her.

I am really thrilled with the beautiful story of the legend of The Eagle and The Condor that Lynne shares with us in this particular clip.  Stay tuned for more wisdom from this woman who teaches that it is entirely possible to live an amazing life filled with integrity and make a difference in the world. 

I’m sure that I qualify as a full-fledged groupie, but today what I am giving thanks for and what I am grateful for is Lynne Twist ~~ on so many levels.

What Are You Grateful For?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen

The simple habit of being grateful.Nov. 14th

There is a trend for the month of November to be filled with acts of gratitude and kindness. With Veteren’s Day and Thankgsgiving Holidays here in the states, we are gently reminded to give thanks. But we all know that being thankful and showing gratitude can be done anytime, anywhere…in fact the more the better!

When you think about it, it really is just a simple act. It only takes two simple words, spoken with sincerity, to have meaning. But this one simple act, creates a profound sense of care. We do care about you, we do care about what is doing on, we do care….period.

On Playful Planet’s facebook wall, we are having a month long gratitude share, in which people can post each day what they are grateful for. The incentive is to win some cool things from us, but also to get into a habit. The habit of being grateful. This habit doesn’t cost anything not does it cause undo stress. It simply makes someone else feel good while making yourself feel good too. It’s a win, win situation, that you can do over and over again!

So please, go beyond just this month and think habit. Think for the long term in sharing what you are grateful for.

Grateful Monday: What is Your Dream?Nov. 5th

What Is Your Dream?*

My dream is that the trajectory of our world shifts in a major way.  That a sustainable future for all becomes the highest value.  That those that ‘have’ use their resources for the good of all and that those that ‘don’t have’ are given the means to live with dignity and peace.  My dream is that being kind, generous and giving becomes a higher priority than being powerful, dominant and right.  That barriers of all kinds (race, religion, sex, politics,) give way to Oneness. 

My dream is that children are given a fair shot at a future that is still filled with promise rather than mere survival.  That solutions to dwindling resources and over-consumption begin to appear and that all people get on board.

My dream is that I learn to live from the place of my stated dreams, in big and small ways in my daily life.  That I remember to put LOVE first and not be self-seeking, unconscious or fearful.

Honestly, I didn’t realize what I was taking on when I chose to answer this particular question, but I’m glad I took some time to think about it.  I invite you to do the same.

What Is Your Dream?*

 *Questions provided by Cafe Gratitude and their daily ‘Question of the Day’ program that helps facilitate ‘clear and present’ employees at their amazing Cafes.

Stay Playful, Playful Karen