Welcome Sandy

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.

mom2015

“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.

stepping stones

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?.)

woods walk

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.

tree in the kitchen 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?

Sandy with hands over heart

I just returned from the Yoga in the Schools Symposium at the Kripalu Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.   Some amazing people from around the country and Canada met to discuss how we might expand the yoga in the schools movement.  We heard from researchers, school superintendents, principals, classroom teachers, yoga teachers, ocupatinal therapists, and program directors all interested in helping our school communities become places of peace and compassion where everyone is able to live their lives from a place of  greater at-easeness, so that there are  better interactions and improved performance by all.

Sandy in reflection with Linga mudra.

 

The new year is fresh, just begun.  For many of us it came in with great gusto and record breaking temeperatures.  For some of us, it comes with the making of new year’s resolutions such as:  I’m going to start that long, overdue diet this year; I’m going to ask for the raise I didn’t get this past year;  I’m going to spend quality time with my family ths year.  I’m going to . . . .  I’m sure that you can fill in the blank.  I’ve never been one to really make new year’s resolutions.  The times I have, I failed miserably.  So, this year, I’m taking a new approach to the new year.  I’m going to “reflect” upon the year that has gone by.  How does that sound?

 

Elliot-and-leaf1-2

Wonderment.  That is exactly what I saw in the face of my little grandson as he sat in a pile of leaves and explored them.  He crinkled them between his hands, picked them up and let them go, studied the stems, and as you might guess, tried to put them in his mouth.  Leaves are new to him, a wonder to look at, touch, smell, hear, and taste.  (No, he didn’t taste them on my watch.)  His wonderment got me thinking about my own sense of wonderment. . . .

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