Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Peeling Mangos and Eating Bananas Upside Down

 by Kirsten Milliken, PhD, ACC

This week I was standing at my desk (yes, I have a standing work station and I love it!) and looked across the room to see a co-worker peeling a mango. He was just about to eat it like a banana. “Wait!” I said. “Are you really peeling that mango like a banana?” “Yep! It’s just one of the ways I’ve learned to eat a mango.” Brilliant! I love mangos and always just want to pop one in my lunch bag, but figure it would be too messy to eat. This man had just peeled the skin so the mango looked like a flower. It was not only a great idea, it looked beautiful.

On to the second part. We had a whole conversation about how to eat various fruits. He apparently had much experience in choosing and eating exotic fruits. I know mangos aren’t that exotic. My question to him was how he ate a banana. I once heard in a movie (someone can tell me which one it was, because I forgot) that monkeys eat the banana from the opposite end that we peel them from. It’s true—it’s easier to eat a banana “upside down.” And doing so provides much more interesting conversation than doing it the “regular” way.

What the heck does this have to do with play? It was just something I noticed that I thought looked pretty and was a cool idea. I took the opportunity to have a playful conversation about eating fruit. Now you know: Almost anything can end up in this space. Because almost anything can be looked at in a playful way.

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Kirsten Milliken, PhD, ACC, is a licensed clinical psychologist, a certified ADHD coach, and the founder of PlayDHD. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her two amazing children and two really freaky dogs. Dr. Milliken is passionate about helping those with ADHD communicate about the ways that ADHD affects them and coaches them to develop skill sets that build on their strengths in order to manage the day-to-day challenges of ADHD. She created PLAYDHD to create a specific awareness of the connection between ADHD and the value of play. Her website, playdhd.com, is dedicated to the art of using play in managing symptoms of ADHD, achieving goals, and enjoying life. She is an active member in the ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO), CHADD, Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), International Coaches Federation (ICF), and a graduate of the ADD Coaches Academy (ADDCA). She regularly presents at ADHD conferences on the subject of play. She also hosts the PlayDHD podcast, is a frequent guest and former co-host on Attention Talk Radio, and contributes to various other websites serving the ADHD community.

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