Please note, there is no fast track in developing an authentic play filled community. B4 The Other’s pedagogy happens in three stages; discovery, application, reflection. Using Play as a medium, B4 The Other helps to create a container where folks can be authentic, vulnerable, open and loving. To develop the mindset, Play mindset, that allows individuals, communities, and organizations to lead thriving lives and step into their fullest potentials.
If we want to live a Wholehearted life, we have to become intentional about cultivating rest and play, and we must work to let go of exhaustion as status symbol and productivity as self-worth.
I approached B4 The Other to facilitate a group of program staff that I felt could benefit from team building.
The staff had experienced transitions in leadership and were struggling to work together. This team is full of incredible, caring and passionate staff, who had been through COVID together. These transitions and subsequently shutting down and then being virtual for COVID… and then being in person, or hybrid, led to frustration with each other and disruptions in their work. In the team’s efforts to care for the people they serve they neglected to tend to their relationships with each other.
Using B4 The Other’s Play based techniques the team was able to get out of their heads and have fun. We let our guards down, were able to feel joy and get in touch with our role in the relationships with our colleagues (and ourselves). The Play activities brought out the exact team dynamics we were trying to work on. As a leader participating on the team, I appreciated the opportunities to debrief with Chris and Malia’Kekia. B4 did a great job of supporting the changes that would help the team function better as well as challenging me as a leader, to see my role in the team dynamics. B4 offered suggestions to support individual team members and designed playful interventions to bring about certain dynamics so that folks would have an opportunity to work through the issues that challenged them.
This opportunity of working with B4 The Other has led to some great changes, personal insight and more personal responsibility. I have participated in other team building workshops before but Chris and Malia’Kekia really have a way that takes into account principles of Play, group dynamics and leadership that are beneficial to any team. The B4 facilitators are able to process with the group in a way that brings the lessons learned, or maybe, revealed, in play to everyday success.
...The Play activities brought out the exact team dynamics we were trying to work on. As a leader participating on the team, I appreciated the opportunities to debrief with Chris and Malia’Kekia.
“An organization experiences the consciousness of its leaders.” - Jeremy Hunter PhD
Malia’Kekia is not only a wonderfully talented and multiverse thespian, she is disciplined, respectful, reliable, and a pure joy to have in your company. It is rare to encounter an artist who is blessed with talent, humility, grace and humor and with a desire to expand their potential beyond what is expected and pre-defined. She is a remarkable woman and versatile performer who embodies rare work ethics, deep respect and listening, and above all the spirit of play and collaboration. Across projects, Malia’Kekia brings an eagerness to work and contribute beyond her comfort zone. She is disciplined, thoughtful, thorough, free, light, and multi-dimensional; As flexible physically as she is emotionally.
Above all, Malia’Kekia manages to do something very few can: bring her full self and talent forward, while balancing humility and grace.I look forward to the next opportunity of working alongside this extraordinary woman.
The work Chris does is deceptively simple and yet highly complex for those who choose to lean into it. His play aligns with the hypocrisy of humanity and brings out discoveries in people they had forgotten or never knew they possessed. Each opportunity to work with Chris is new because of the space he makes for everyone in the room and the uniqueness they bring to the work. He celebrates each individual but also challenges them with relentless compassion and passion.
What B4 The Other has created is the opportunity for people to find their inner self. Regardless of nationality, gender identity or our color, but the equal chances for anyone willing to discover. When Malia’Kekia and Chris are sharing their belief, you can easily feel the power of their words. Strong but not arrogant, honest but not cliche. Participating in their workshops makes me grateful for who I am and sincerely look at myself in a different way. Really admire their work and devotion for what they believe in.
“I am so grateful to B4 the Other Creations for creating the POP course. The dichotomy of their Buoys and Anchors of play creates a feeling that is the experience of the play mindset. It has enabled and empowered me to make significant positive adjustments in my personal relationships and my relationship to my artistic self. I will be much more gentle with myself and others.”
“It is only your fear of facing your beautiful authentic self that is stopping you from taking this course. Dive in, the water’s fine and you are beautiful! This journey was tremendous. The support and open honest explorations by the POP group, Chris, and Malia’Kekia was just what I needed. It helped to reaffirm my path, my choices. It gave me courage to step forward with my dreams and supported me while I had my fears and doubts surface. POP reinforced my trust in myself and the creative process of play.”
“Play has allowed me to let go of expectations and remember above all else, have fun even at work. B4’s teachings helped my team at work to see ourselves, and others, differently and will benefit my team’s overall ability to get the job done in unity. Play Mindset helps to keep work life lighter and more enjoyable. B4’s work has made me take a look at both my flaws and strengths to realize I am stronger and more capable than I knew to be true. I am now not only on a path to be a better team member at work but in my personal life as well. Play has loosen me up and made space to have faith in others having the answers for themselves. There’s no time like the present to go after my dreams! Thank you Chris and Malia’Kekia for encouraging this growth.”
“I signed up for B4’s Play Retreat, The Winter Blast, with healthy skepticism and resistance that all but disappeared after our first meeting at the retreat. The environment of support, community, and play B4 the Other has created is a place where real growth and healing can occur, if you are open to it. Their brilliant buoys and anchors system offers a non judgmental way to examine the habits we have in our lives, and gifts us the opportunity to make new choices. The medium of play Christopher and Malia’Kekia use made me laugh, cry, reflect, and grow in ways I thought were kept within the leather confines of a therapist’s couch. I would heartily recommend B4 the Other to anyone who is looking to play, and even more so to those who aren’t.”
Working with B4 gave me a sip of liveliness I wanted to share with everyone around me. Together, the B4 Community dislodged the stagnancy of ourselves and came together in a way that felt productive. Not productive in a working sense of the word but in a big collective shift that can change the tide.
My takeaway is of never truly being alone and understanding that deep healing happens when I am witnessed and that I am safe to be seen by my community. I can only hope that everyone has a chance to find themselves as I did. Thank you Chris and Malia’Kekia for holding me when I thought I would always be too heavy to be carried over the threshold.