Just before the new year, I was with a friend who asked me, ”What’s your word for the new year?” She wanted to know what word would be my torch, my guiding light, my intention for the new year. She had hers, letting go. I didn’t have an answer for her at that moment. I needed to give it some thought.
It’s been much too long since I’ve written a new blog post, but there just didn’t seem to be anything special that I wanted to say. At this time, the tide has turned, for I now have something that is important to me, important to share with as many as I can. It’s about peace, peace within and peace in the world. . . .
We’re a week into the new year, and I have been pondering how I might best put my intentions forward for the new year. I’ve never kept resolutions very well so don’t think that I want to go that route. Last year, I promoted reviewing what happened the previous year and trying to improve what might be worthwhile to conintue and could be improved upon for better results. That worked well for me in 2015 but not what I want to do at the start of 2016. So what to do ….
We often use the word welcome or a form of it in our conversations with others. “Welcome! Welcome to my home. You’re welcome.” We see the welcome center signs at rest stops along interstate highways, offering a place to feel safe and tend to one’s needs. States in the US have signs at their borders welcomng us. Often, ‘welcome’ is a greeting, a kind of invitation to come into one’s world. We say it with enthusiasm, eager for the engagement. Sometimes, it’s non-verbal: open arms, a wave of the hand saying come here, even a hug. A summoning to enter, to come along, to join in. Feeling ‘welcome’ is heart-warming to the invitee, who unbeknown to you, might just need a bit of unexpected TLC.
“It’s a miracle,” my ninety-one year old mother told me over the phone from her bed in ICU. “You have a miracle mother. I have a miracle surgeon, and we have a miracle family!” she exclaimed. Her voice was filled with joy and amazement. She had made it through laproscopic surgery to remove a cancerous tumor with an ulcer on it located at the end of her small intestine where it joins the large intestine. It was truely a miracle. At 97 pounds and anemic, we weren’t sure what would happen. But the miracle did happen with the help of loving prayers and light sent from family and friends along with a skilled surgeon and his team members. Our gratitude abounds.
In school, as in life, learning doesn’t always happen immediately. Sometimes it takes making mistakes more than once for learning to happen. I’ve been inspired to write about this after reading an essay by Errol Sowers a friend and spiritual teacher at The Stillpoint Foundation who wrote on this subject just recently. Errol calls our mistakes “stepping stones to success.” (Here is a link to his essay www.stillpoint.org/documentFiles/554.pdf?.)
Now that your children are off to school, you may have more time to yourself, which can be a bit of a downer at first when you have been so busy and accustomed to being with your children during the summer months. Other parents are more rushed because they now have their kids’ school and after school schedules and homework monitoring to support as well as their own work and home routines. Either situation can be unsettling. So what can you do about it? Here are a few ideas to help you in your daily life. Read through them and decide which 2 or 3 ideas you connect with and try them out. Figure out what works and when.
Summer vacation time is almost here for most educators, and for some, it may have already arrived. It’s a time to rejuvenate body, mind, and spirit. Certainly, being removed from the day-to-day pressures of getting projects completed, report cards done, and your materials packed away for the summer is an immediate help in de-stressing. (Non-educators have their own set of work place stressors and can benefit from rejuvenation time too.) But what else can you do that will help you unwind?