Nurturing Your Life

How are you nurturing the unfolding story of your life?

I am working consistently to be authentic, courageous, and vulnerable. I am finding situations that demand my integrity, forgiveness, and gratitude. I still work on breaking old patterns of approval seeking, especially with old friends. I still have not mastered patience. I am still seeking to be kind and loving even as I establish boundaries for how others will interact with me.

I must be fully myself. If I am not authentic, courageous, and vulnerable, my growth is short circuited and I feel the pain of stagnation.

I find myself at another growing edge, a new threshold.  I must commit to growth, even when it is uncomfortable.

Building Community

I have begun reading Parker Palmer and Arthur Zajonc, “The Heart of Higher Education: A Call to Renewal.” I find much for discussion in this passionate work. Their work, research, and discussion make it clear that whole child education, the renewal of human purpose and meaning must be at the heart of education. Our work is transformational education. We invite deep dialogue, integrating the inner life with the outer life. We make real, diversity and global sensitivity, servant leadership and compassionate communities. They offer this powerful quote by Wendell Berry in their introduction:

“The thing being made in a university is humanity . . . what universities are mandated to make or to help to make is human beings in the fullest sense of these words—not just trained, workers or knowledgeable citizens, but responsible heirs and members of human culture . . . underlying the idea of a university—the bringing together, the combining into one, of all disciplines—is the idea that good work and good citizenship are inevitable by products of the making of a good—that is, a fully developed—human being.”

Palmer proposes that the thread running through the nature of being, knowing, teaching, learning, and ethics is the concept and practice of building community. This is the essence of our work. I am so grateful to be a part of a team that offers programs that explore our sense of purpose, core values, and mission.

It is rewarding and meaningful to share our authenticity, creativity, innovation, and passion. I believe we can create schools that build community, mentor servant leaders, and allow educators to share their truth through deep dialogue.

Learning the Essential Lesson

Hearing a doctor say heart attack or cancer has a very specific way of giving our mind a pinpoint focus. I believe that social emotional learning can do the same thing. Courageously exploring authenticity, vulnerability, and integrity like a life-threatening diagnosis is a blessing. Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” I passionately agree. This life is an exquisite learning process. We enter the classroom of life unprepared and inadequate. Social emotional learning is the best preparation I have found for the challenges of life. Whole child education, balancing the mind and the heart, enables us to find our sense of purpose or mission even in a world that breaks us repeatedly. Social emotional learning helps us gain perspective, resiliency, a belief in possibilities, and passion for life.
Sometimes it takes illness, knowing you have already loved longer than you will live, to learn the essential lesson.

Life continues to speak to me. Be still, be courageous, listen.