​​Star Wars ​characters in activity sheets​, dress-up props/imaginative play are great for facilitating engagement in therapeutic activities – and I’m finding that there’s some great quotes and concepts from the stories that can be used to enhance the understanding of vital practice, practice, practice!

Check out Brian Johnson’s “The Optimiser” site where he reviews inspiring literature – the latest is “Deep work” by Cal Newport which highlights the importance of deep focus for producing myelation of neural pathways (and thus cementing skills)

Deep work = distraction free concentration that stretches your cognitive bilities to their limit while improving your skills  (whether intellectual or physical)

The star Wars connection is through a quote from Qui-Gon to Anakin in Star Wars Episode 1 “Always remember, your focus determines your reality”

Deep work = a workout for your neurons = ”to understand the role of myelinatin in improvement , keep in mind that skills, eventually reduce down to brain circuits.  This new science of performance argues that you get better at a skill as you develop more myelination aroudn the relevant neurons, allowing the corresponding circuit to fire more effortlessly and effectively.  To be great at something is to be well mylenated.  This understanding is important as it provides a neurological foundation for why deliberate practice works.  By focussing intensely on a specific skill, youi’re focussing the specific relevant circuit to fire, again and again, in isolation.  This repetitive use of a specific circuit triggers cells called oligodendocytes to begin srapping layers of myelin around the neurons in the circuits – effectively cementing the skill.  The reason, therefore, why its important to focus intensely on the task at hand while avoiding distraction is because this is the only way to isolate the relevant neural circuit enough to trigger useful myelination”

This works for all sorts of skills we’re trying to work for in therapy including handwriting, spelling, ball skills, balance, mathematics, riding a bike, tying shoelaces (all sorts of fine and gross motor skills).  Also the idea of being able to focus begets more focus…

More ideas in “May mindfulness be with you” – with great links to clips from Yoda


One I particularly like has the quote  “Do or do not, there is no try”

Also  another that is illuminating “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate …to suffering”