Monthly Short - About Escape Rooms, Being Lost and Awareness with Kids

What I am Thinking about...
This week I am thinking about Escape Rooms
Last week was my older son’s 16th birthday. Sweet sixteen to him! He decided to let go of the pink dress and tiara and we invited a few of his friends to an “Escape Room” experience.
If you haven’t been to an escape room, the idea is that a group of 4-10 people gets into a room and they have 60 minutes to achieve a task. The tasks include solving different puzzles that give you codes to open safes and locks with more clues. The final mission is to find the code that will set you free and out of the room before the clock strikes upon the hour. Beyond the main goal, you get no clues; you need to search for clues and find the connections, or the patterns to solve the unknown mystery. There are moments where everyone works separately trying to figure out the next step, while there are moments when everyone gathers together to figure out how all the clues they have can take them to the next step. There is a lot of pressure, there are moments when everyone is not even sure what they are doing, or what they are looking for, but this is what I call "the beauty of being lost." In moments when you feel lost, when there is no way but to survive, this is when you allow yourself to make mistakes. This is the moment of truth, the moment when you know you have mainly two options: live or die. For some people, the escape room, as a metaphor, is the moment of choice between life and death, a life or death of a business, relationships, career, or other.
It sounds dramatic, but figuratively, some people in the escape room choose death, they stand there without doing anything, they lost hope. On the other hand, others who choose to "stay alive" will try whatever they can to find clues and believe that they can beat the clock. Even though there is stress, there is something else that opens up, and that’s the freedom to make mistakes which invites creativity and even innovation, no more perfection or procrastination lead their way. That is where people allow themselves to what I call: “get messy,” to experiment until they figure out what's next. 
Back to the escape room, while my son and his friends were still in the escape room, I noticed that all the people who left their escape rooms were smiling. They figured it out; they allowed themselves to play, to be free, to experiment and not perfect and they figured it out. That is the same smile I have when new clients tell me "I am lost"  I know that soon creativity and experimentation will show up. So remember, there is beauty in being lost.

Conscious Kids
Being a parent in the Fortnite and YouTube age is not an easy task. It seems as our kids shifted too fast from cable TV to YouTube. I realize more and more that I will not be able to fight the screens, so what I can do is be the tour guide that will remind my kids that there is a world out there.  Inviting my son to celebrate his birthday in an escape room was my silent invitation without lecturing, nor telling him that there is a world outside to remember that when we play with people face to face there is a connection and there is a joy. The boys' smiles under their teenage mustache when they left the room, Priceless!

Priceless  #2
My husband also celebrates his birthday in January. Rather than buying gifts we don't need (who said Marie Condo???) my husband asked to celebrate with a family experience where we all do something we enjoy together. This year I called my beloved friends and cheerful soul, Elizabeth Galecke to the rescue. Elizabeth is a photographer that a few years ago started the #eyeswideopen movement. She reminds us through her photography while she goes on her daily walks to look around and pay attention. I asked her if she can take our family on a one-hour photography class to notice our world differently with eyes wide open.
We met Elizabeth in downtown Raleigh and she helped us look around differently: rusty stains, shades, patterns, what can we see from a window, all the little things we never have the time or want to notice. Yes, we all had our iPhones including the kids, but we used them to create awareness. It was an hour of connection with the surrounding and with each other. My daughter told me after that it was an hour of slowing down without anyone rushing her or expecting her to create in a specific way. Definitely priceless.
Click here to watch some of the photos we took during our family experience.
Check here to attend Elizabeth's Eyes Wide Open Exhibition in February 2019 

What I am listening to
Writing a book, this is a journey for sure. I am glad to report that I have discovered how to find joy with sitting almost every day and writing, rather than being in the struggle.
So... while writing I need some music and in the background. In the last few days, I listen to Beck's Album "Colors". If you like Beck or alternative music check it out. Wow! is my favorite song from the album. Check the video clip it is really cool.

My Most Watched Video this Month
One of my most watched videos this month is when I asked people to STOP, stop doing what everyone else is doing, stop settling for the norms and find their way to do things. Listen to the Queen of different, it is okay to DO YOU. 
Check my Instagram one minute video here