Sometimes you have a conversation that takes you back in time. Wednesday night, during the Spiritual Discussion on teaching and teachers, a participant talked to me about all I had taught her since she has met me. It was a truly humbling moment. She said there are times there are not words in my heart to express what I am feeling so I do not say anything. She said she thought there were others for whom this was true as well.
I am not sure why, but this brought me back to a powerful lesson one of my students taught me decades ago when I first started teaching. I had a student whose mother had intentionally enrolled in my class. Her mother was a faculty member at our college and said she knew if anyone could help her daughter pass a class it would be me. I was not able to do so. However, it was not for lack of my trying. Read More
So today I want to thank you for the lessons that Dr. Wally and Mr Mittens have tried to teach me. Some of them I have mastered more then others, but at least they have tried. So thank you for sending them into my life. So here goes.
Lesson #1 – Never be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Mr Mittens has taught me to be willing to explore what is on the other side of my comfort zone. He always tries to get through the doors that are closed and when he senses it is not where he needs to be he leaves and if he really likes it, then he stays. He has taught me a similar message to what I am reading about now in Kyle Cease’s book I Hope I Screw This Up. It is the same message my Bubby used to tell me, “She who fails to fail, fails to succeed.”
Lesson #2 – Take a nap. Cats seem to do this so well. Whenever they are tired, they sleep, which with them is about 16 hours a day. Working at home, I have the luxury of taking a nap when I really need one. Sometimes it is the way for me to quiet my brain so I can hear your ideas and inspiration coming to me. Sometimes it is just that my brain and body need a break. Even you took a rest from creating, so I should too. Read More
Honestly, sometimes it is so easy to see the meaning in what is happening, but sometimes life seems so busy it is hard to hear you speaking. So right now I am working on slowing down and being intentional about having the time to listen.
What I have learned is that taking the time to listen is like taking a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where I have to enter life and lean in and listen.
This past week I have been reminded that life is unpredictable. By listening to you and your guidance I have found what I needed to lift me up and been able to find new ways of thinking about things. Even what initially felt like the worst of situations became transformative and life giving because you challenged me to enter into the situation, sit with you, and grow. Read More
Recently, a fellow blogger, Ariffa, nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award. It was not like it was one of those big deal awards. It was one of those ways of getting to know other bloggers and to allow other bloggers to get to know you. It was a simple process. You had to list fifteen bloggers that you follow with links to their websites (that was the easier part for me). Then you had to list seven things about you that were interesting. This is where I found myself being stuck. I realized as I stared at this blank screen that I did not think I, or my life, was interesting. The two things I wrote down were not things that I found interesting or thought other people would find interesting, but maybe different or unique. That was that I had six parents (birth, foster, and adoptive) and that I used to say I was part Vulcan as my left ear has a slight point to it. Neither of which seems to fit the definition of interesting, or so I thought. According to the dictionary interesting means, “arousing curiosity or interest; holding or catching the attention.” The only thing I could think of is that sometimes I am able to arouse the curiosity and interest of my students through the material I share with them in the classroom. Read More
If I had to give myself a song for this week, it would be slow down you move too fast by Simon and Garfunkel. Seriously, this is the lesson I needed to learn this week. Last Saturday, I was trying to do too much. I was breaking all my own rules and as a result did not pay attention to how I was putting the top on my new teapot. As a result, after putting the tea blend in the infuser basket and filling it with boiling water, my left hand plunged in because I had not put the top on properly. At the same time, our home was rapidly filling up with guests. So with a hand which was red, swollen and puffy, I graciously retreated to my office to keep ice on it, let the waves of pain move through my hand, the tears roll down my face, and work on meditating my way back to a place where I was controlling my pain and not vice versa. The process I was assisted by loving friends, of which one is an LPN, and my wife who kept people away from me while I calmed down and suggested I take a pain killer. Of course, I also did what I always do when I am in need of prayer; I posted on Facebook about how I had just burned the crap out of my hand and asked for prayer. LOL isn’t that what everyone does when they are in my situation. Read More
To all my spiritual teachers,
Most of you are no longer living in this realm, however, some of you are. Some of you I have never met, others of you I have. Some of you have taught me through your writings, your lectures, and other things you have done to assist others and me in our journeys. You were walking in your calling as a teacher and sharing the wisdom of your life with people like me and for that I am grateful.
A while back, in one of my earlier blogs, I made a list of 10 spiritual teachers in my life. They were: Read More
Hmm. me be creative in the work place. Lol. You know I really didn’t think I was all that creative until recently when I realized that my just being me is pretty creative. For example, my whole approach to teaching has developed in response to the complaints of my students. It was not grounded in any theories of adult education or learning. It was all about me responding to my “customers” and their complaints. I just saw it as doing good “customer service.” so I started by giving people choices about when to turn assignments in, then it was how much an assignment wa worthy, then it became pick what you want to do, how much it is worth and when you want to turn it in. now, I get the opposite complaint that I give too many choices. So maybe next semester, I will add the option of your standardized homework package. One that I design with fixed dates, percentages, etc. and I love that. I love the creativity and the free flowing nature of my courses and how they are never the same course twice. Read More