I am so grateful to have my position as a teacher. At the start of each semester I am reminded what a blessing and privilege it is to be in this position. I have heard way too many professors at my school talk about what they have to teach their students. I talk with my students about how we teach each other. Yes, I know a lot and I am here to share my knowledge with them. However, they have taken classes, experienced things, read things, taken courses, and know things I could not learn if I had not met them.

I am also reminded of how much harm the educational system has done to students. I remember reading a book a while back called A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger van Oech. He helped me to understand how our system has taught students that there is A right answer, when there is really not. He wrote,

By the time the average person finishes college he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes and exams.  The ‘right answer’ approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking.  This may be fine for some mathematical problems, where there is in fact only one right answer.  The difficulty is that most of life isn’t that way.  Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers – all depending on what you are looking for.  But if you think there is only one right answer, then you’ll stop looking as soon as you find one.

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YOU NEVER KNOW

May 12, 2017

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.

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KITTY LESSONS

May 5, 2017

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.

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SILENT

April 29, 2017

 

 

MR MITTENS MEDITATIONS

April 21, 2017

 

I love God’s sense of humor. The Ultimate Consciousness know that once I get going working, I am on a roll and can easily forget to take my micro fast breaks. It never ceases to amaze me how the Infinite uses everything in my environment to keep me balanced, centered, and focused. Normally Dr Wally and Mr Mittens spend most of their human interaction time with Zoe. They only come to my side of the desk when they want treats and she is not here.

The last few days I have been going like crazy, trying to stay current with those areas I am current in while catching up with those areas I need to catch up in (still). I know I need to take micro fast breaks, but the pressure to catch up seems to want to cancel them out. Enter Mr Mittens stage right. He has developed this new habit of three to four times a day crawling up on my shoulder and not leaving until I have patted his bottom and held him for at least 15 minutes.

Being who I am, I decided this was a great time to take my micro fast and meditate. So I pat his butt as part of my meditation and we both go into a deep silence until he tells me our time is over by licking my ear and going back to his blanket to nap. I guess meditating with me wears him out

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TIME FOR A MICRO FAST

April 15, 2017

I have been thinking a lot about Thich Nhat Hanh’s idea of fasting from all forces of information. I have been intentional the last few days of being more mindful of what I am physically digesting through what I eat and drink. However, I need to be more mindful of what I am consuming in addition to physical food and beverage.  This is just one of the nutriments I ingest each day. I try to be mindful of what I am ingesting sensorally as well. It has helped that we have deleted television from our lives, as so much of what is in the media these days is not what I consider to be nutritionally helpful or energizing for me in my journey. Other then what I have to read to teach, I intentionally work at surrounding myself with sounds, smells, feels, images, and tastes that are positive, calming, and uplifting. I have intentionally worked at removing sensory nutriments which are not contributing to my own spiritual evolution.

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THE SILENT SPACE

April 7, 2017

Today I just want to thank you for what Elizabeth Gilbert calls the Big Magic in my life. I know for years you placed the idea of a prayer and meditation garden in my heart. I am so grateful you did and for the miraculous ways you worked to make it happen.

I continued to be saddened by how few places there are in this area where people can go be quiet and at the same time feel safe and alone.  I remember when I was more mobile, how I could go to a house of worship and sit in a sanctuary. However, those days seem long gone as most places are locked during non-worship hours. There are places where you can go play, socialize, or walk your pet, but virtually no where that you can just go and sit and be still; no place where you can just go and sit in the silence which is you.

This is why I felt so called to create our prayer and meditation garden. It is that space. A space where you can just meander back, sit on one of the benches, listen to the sound of the wind through the chimes, gaze out at the plants, and just be. It is a space that radiates love, light, and peace. Even when our neighbors are out in their yards, they honor the space as sacred. I find it humbling when even our neighbors meander back and sit their soaking up the silence and listening to your voices.

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A SHADOW STORY

March 27, 2017

 

Writing about my own shadows is challenging. I remember when I first became aware of the power of shadows in my life. I was watching a DVD by Debbie Ford based on her book with Deepak Chopra. She talked about how shadows are like beach balls in the water. You can suppress one, maybe two, maybe three, but then there comes the point that one more comes to you and in the process of trying to hold it under the surface all the others come to the surface.

It was more than two years ago. I remember watching this film and then this woman told her story and honestly, I cannot remember what she said, but it triggered something so profound in me that I could not stop crying for days. I could feel this wave of emotions moving through my body and pain just wanting to find its way out. It took me a while to understand that for years I had suppressed fear and feelings of abandonment from the circumstances of my birth and my near-death experience.

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RE-SET

March 3, 2017

Here is the link to my new v- log for this month.  Hope it inspires you and inspires you to re-set
http://inspiritual.biz/stirring-my-spiritual-waters/2017/3/3/re-set

CULTIVATING REVERENCE

February 17, 2017

A friend of mine recently asked me who or what helped me cultivate a sense of reverence for life and for the world.  I have been sitting with this question for a while and I am still not sure how to answer it. I think in part it comes from the numerous near death experiences I have had. The first one being when I was born. I think there is something about knowing how fragile life is that makes you gain a sense of reverence for it.

Maybe in part it was my parents who had this affinity for growing things. My father’s domain was the garden and plants in the backyard. He was committed to growing fresh vegetables and fruits for our family. My mothers was the front yard and side of the house where she constantly worked on her flower beds, making sure they were weed free. They had stories to go with several of the trees in our yard. The weeping willow was planted, according to my father, the day they bought me home from the adoption agency.

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