Reflections on Resilience

withholding judgment

here comes the judge This is, by far, the most challenging part of my practice, currently. And my life.  Since forever. My reaction is often swift, heavy-handed and, in my own distorted mind, is completely justified because it is based solely on principle. The principle according to me.   i had hoped practice would help My yoga/ meditation practice shines a glaring light on this ingrained, reactionary habit. When I sit, the judgments come. When I don’t sit, they also come. When I label my thoughts, the judgments come. When I watch my breath…well, you get it. Then when I ...
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the red light of gratitude

  I’m well-acquainted with the incredible physical and mental health benefits of gratitude.  It’s a genuine game changer. So why do I ‘forget’ to do it?  Same reason I ‘forget’ to drink enough water or to get up close and personal with my yoga mat.  It’s one of those habits that is apparently not too hard to break. I’ve used gratitude journals before and, during the summer months when I have more time off work, that method works very well.  But not so well during the other ten months. Recently, I’ve started practicing red light gratitude moments.  It’s as easy ...
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decaying gracefully

November. The birth-month of the colour grey. The dim season that reminds us, in cool hushed tones, that all things decay then pass. Because our seemingly fool-proof escape plan includes the perfect hibernation scenario, we forget.  Surely we will be one of the ones who succeeds to see yet another spring.  It will not happen to us so we sleep even while awake and make plans of the forever kind. Wake up! The gift of the November grey is the necessary reminder that we too will pass and we know not the time or place. We all pass. The gift ...
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not alone even in solitude

  When November Comes Long days tented under gloomy skies, wet leaves beneath our feet and the cooler temperatures all forecasting an even darker season yet to come can weigh on even the most optimistic person. Hope can turn to apathy as quickly as a burnt red maple leaf can be tossed by the wind to reveal a paler, less vibrant underside. This is also the season of preparing to put gardens to sleep and to acknowledge that new emergent growth will not happen for a long, long while. And that some of the richest, most significant growth will surely ...
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grace from fall

sock season This season is made only more delightful for how it recently reintroduced me to my socks.   And while relishing the renewed warmth of my toes, I engage in the ritual chopping of veggies for large pots of bone-warming soup. The soup boils slowly on top of the stove, teasing the flavours together, until it’s hard not to notice the amazing aromas in every room of the house. All the while, the gardens outside are putting themselves to sleep with only a few interventions from me. And what about those compelling bold, soft and subtle hues of a season ...
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why i love being an educator

  Despite the many roles I play in life, I spend most of my days at a school.   With that comes moments of “are you sure you’re cut out for this line of work” only to be balanced  with “I am one of the fortunate ones to love the work I do“.  This often surprises me because I didn’t much like adolescence the first time so never would have guessed that I’d be working with this sub-species of humans. Adolescence is a time of remarkable growth and change. As you may know, neuro-scientists, with the help of the MRI, ...
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making hills out of hills

  Him:  “No wonder you’re tired. You worked much harder than I did.” Me (thinking): I did? How? We both biked about 30 km on a gorgeous fall day. So how was I working any harder than you? Me (speaking): “What do you mean?” Him: “Your bike is heavier than mine. You had a backpack on adding more weight. And the mental hurdles you have to overcome are just not part of my experience.”   He was right. I hate when he’s right. Right and insightful.  Even worse. My mental hurdle shows up as soon as I see a hill even ...
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expect less

Chances are, I would make an awful self-help guru. Tony Robbins and his contemporaries will likely hold a public shunning upon reading my new mantra for this upcoming school year.   My mantra is:         ~ expect less ~   Brutal, right?   Where’s the set-the-bar-high pep talk? Where’s the you-can-do-anything-you-set-your-mind-to encouragement to help others over the 8 months of hump-days? Where’s the return-on-investment for my employer? What kind of educator are you?   Step to the back of the queue, Negative Ned’s and Nellie’s!   I have set my mind to ‘expecting less’ and it is my ...
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student, teacher, student

  A four-leaf clover.  In my front yard. On this day.  A day of no work.  A day of rest. The start of a sabbatical, of sorts. A day of sitting longer at the table after lunch and talking about everything and nothing. Laughing. Listening to the midday downpour through the screen door. A day made for a nap. A day of walking. A day of yoga. And red wine. But not at the same time! I have no need for luck, though. Gratitude about how much I have is as close as my next breath. Funny thing about this ...
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you are everyone

  You are every parent you will ever have. You are every child you will ever parent. You are every student you will ever teach. You are every teacher you will ever have. You are every brother, sister, friend, lover you will ever know. You are every person you will ever meet.   How does it change things to know that you are not separate from others? And that, in fact, there are no “others” because you are everyone. How does it feel knowing that, at any moment, you could react as they do, reflect their level of distorted thinking ...
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