Posts Tagged ‘balance’

What I Know

Day 364…

Again I spend a morning velcroed to the chair.  What is going on?  I know I have two days left with this blog.  I know the first of  two intern seminars I facilitate begins tomorrow and the afternoon program I work with begins next week.  I know there is a restlessness within me.

I read more Natalie Goldberg.  Thunder and Lightning this time.  And more of the Hadley and Ernest Hemingway story, A Paris Wife.

I know I have stuffed emotions that are triggered by thoughts, experiences,conversations, or images.  I know writing practice helps me let go of them.

I know we still have 100 degree days and no rain and watching mindless conflict on the news only frustrates me.  I know writing practice helps me accept “what is.”

I know a syllabus needs to be written, a book needs to be returned to the library, a bill needs to be paid.  I know writing practice helps me focus on what I can do.

What I know…Life is full of challenges.  And writing, for me,  is a way to stay present and accounted for.

Writing topic:  What I know

Evening Pages

Day 353…

After a series of restless nights, this morning I wake with a new idea.

I write morning pages to clear my mind at the beginning of the day, but this summer my mornings are ready to begin without the practice.  The nights are where the clutter now seems to accumulate.  Throughout the day I am constantly listening to conversations  and watching behaviors.  Then in the middle of the night, I wake, tossing and turning as I make room for and/or sense of this new information.

Being still and emptying my mind is not yet moving me past the chatter, and because writing meditation is a path I practice, I will pursue that.  Three pages of the day in words before I turn off the light.

Writing topic:  Now I lay me down to sleep

The Spiritual Practice of Letting Go

Day 347…

It’s been a restless night of ideas and concerns.

And?

I feel like I’m supposed to be doing something.

Like what?

I don’t know.  It just feels like I’m supposed to be doing something.

Maybe letting  go for a little while is what you could do.

But there’s so much to do.

Well, yeah, but don’t you think you’d be more effective if you were rested?

Probably.

Let go, baby girl.  It’ll be good for your spirit.

Writing topic:   Letting go

Radically Mellow

Day 340…

Every time I meet a challenge, another appears.

Last night at writing group one of our timed writing topics is I am a radical.  I write about being radically mellow and it feels good to recognize what this balance can feel like.  But a new young member writes with amazing fire.  FIRE. Then reads it to the group.  I take in her raw youthful energy and it too feels good.

What does this mean for me?  That I should add more fire to my writings.  Natalie says “go for the jugular.”  Is this what she means? Am I being too timid?

What if jugular for me now means that I can listen in awe to a room full of wonderfully diverse writers and not be scared?  Or not feel mine needs to sound like theirs?    That my radical-ness is the acceptance, even gratitude, for the many voices around me?  Radical.

Writing topic:  Acceptance

Working Together

Day 338…

Just to the left of my front door hangs a 1936 school poster.  I bought it when I was a young teacher (which was not in 1936!)  It reminds me of my “fifth grade teacher look,” the way I got fifth graders to know I meant business.

Katie says I still have that look.  Sorry, maybe it still says I mean business.

But after years of public school teaching, I learned that the art of teaching is much more than a “fifth grade teacher look.”  And it is about cooperation.

I learned this in Nature Lab, my hands-on inquiry-based (education jargonese) science enrichment class for young students.  The students cooperated, and so did I, to make a garden, take care of animals, and explore the world around us.

Not all classrooms are like this.  Many of mine weren’t.  I was the teacher and the children were the students, like the teacher bird in this poster.  We had important work to do.

We are all teachers and students.  Not just in designated classrooms.

At this point it would be easy to slip into a rant and begin giving examples of the misuse of authority, but I think Antoine de Saint-Exupery said it much more eloquently…

If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea. 

Writing topic:  Cooperation

So Much Responsibility

Day 333…

The constant chatter in my head.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?     Matthew 7:3

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.  Step 10, Twelve Steps

Takes one to know one.   A.C. Steere Elementary School playground, circa 1960

That which I pin on others is actually my own issue.  It is behavior I am able to personally recognize.  A facet of my own human self.  The shame/blame game.  Using one to avoid the other.

Tending the “weeds in my garden” is never ending.  Am I overly vigilant?  Is the pain in my lower back from the constant weeding?  I was accused by my ex-husband of trying to make an A in Life.  He was right.  Great, more shame to address.

I’m taking a break to focus on the flowers.

Writing topic:  Tending the garden

Be Gentle

Day 331…

This diversity of humanity, entitled Millineum,  is on the side of a building in downtown Shreveport.  Are they a representation of the world’s people, estimated  to be seven billion this year?  Imagine…seven billion unique individuals sharing this planet.

On another side of the building, facing the Shreveport Rescue Mission, is this lovely young woman, a ball of  what I name Spirit,  lightly floating above her open hands.  As if she knows of the seven billion around the corner.  As if she knows the sacredness of being gentle.

Writing topic:  Being gentle