Friday, October 12, 2018

Authentic Teachers

One of the things I remember about high school were the behaviors of my teachers outside the classroom. I did not live in a tiny town but I did see some of my teachers in different community situations and sometimes had the opportunity to interact with them. A few teachers attended the same church I did. My parents did not attend the church so my interaction as a teen was strictly by my choice with the church community. I observed how my teachers interacted with the other adults and us teens. They were always positive and caring. So when they demonstrated that behavior at the school I knew it was real, not just a persona, not just pretending that they cared for the students in the classroom, not just doing something because it was in some job description for teachers. They were real and authentic. I knew that if I went up to them on the school campus needing assistance, they would follow through and provide assistance as needed. I came to understand that sometimes these individuals went above and beyond the basics when they saw my needs. These teachers who are now retired most likely will never see this blog. But, I thank them. I thank them for being people I could trust and people who truly cared about me when I needed assurances.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Teachers Influence

Who are the teachers in your life? 

We all have teachers influencing us regardless of our age. Teachers have teachers who influence their thinking, behaviors, and actions. 

When I use the word teacher, I am referring to people who hold the role in your life whom you receive instruction, guidance, and modeling. I am not speaking solely of the person in our society who participates in a position in a formal education system. For example, a supervisor in a restaurant may be an effective teacher to the business' employees which contributes to the effect of a very successful business.The teacher who influences your life may be someone you have never met in person and be a celebrity who through her public life has shown her authenticity, her growth, shared her life teachers, and as a result has taught you incredible ideas pushing you to explore your beliefs. The teacher who influences your life may no longer physically walk on this earth and their teachings are accessible in print or other forms of recorded history.

I ask the question because teachers influence who we are.

Sometimes, people who hold the role of teacher interact with you in such a way that what you learn is actually destructive to your ability to do your best at a specific time. I imagine that in most cases that interaction that held you back from the fullness of learning and growth was not intentional from the teacher. But the reality is, this can happen.

I have many teachers I can point to that I feel are key to my growth and learning as a human being. I am a teacher who has had many teachers. And, I expect the Universe to continue providing teachers for me.  

I challenge you to share below who the teachers are in your life and reveal the key lesson, event, or message that took place. You don't need to reveal a specific name (just label 'Teacher X' if you want). During the next few weeks I will be adding a series of posts revealing some of my teachers.

    "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Brooks Adams

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Visual Expressions

"I am a leaf floating, leaving my anchor."

"I am a leaf in the autumn returning to my roots."

"I am a leaf allowing the breeze to move me."

"I am a leaf dancing in the wind."

I awoke this morning feeling like crud. A slight cold/sinus issue dampened my intentions for the morning. Instead of telling a friend who I planned on collaborating with this morning that I felt like crud I gave her the visual: I feel like a brick that had bricks fall on it. 

Word choice in language is powerful. The words we hear, read, and write influences our state of being. We use words to describe how we feel and experience the world. The more words we see, hear, and read gives us more choices and freedoms. Everyone has a unique experience with words. What a gift we have in the ability to record our experiences through written expression. While "a picture paints a thousand words" is an old saying, we have the opportunity to write down what we see, hear, feel, and experience from that picture. I encourage you who have taken the time to read this blog to join me in writing a thousand words.

Do you notice that in the first paragraph I select verbs in the past tense? Do you notice that the verbs in the second paragraph is present tense? If you recall what the words "verb" and "past" and "present" mean, thank your English teachers. 

I titled this post as "Visual Expressions." I selected an image of fall and immediately wrote four personal expressions. This little exercise took just a couple minutes for me. Each statement created a different understanding of the subject I. This is an example of the power of words and how we understand people, places, emotions, ideas, and things. We can learn about our self, others, and the world we live in when we take 5 minutes at a time and put words down on the page. 

So, I do have a greater purpose of writing this blog today. I am part of the Julie Jordan Scott Word-Love Writing Community. And, Julie is creating a women's writing group that begins this month. I love the way technology of today allows people from diverse locations the ability to interact and support each other. If you are curious, have any inclinations towards writing, I encourage you to explore what Julie is putting together. I am signed-up already. I love interacting with Julie on all the social media platforms out there. She is pretty easy to find. So, go to this link: . I look forward to meeting and supporting other creatives in this passionate writing circle.

Monday, September 3, 2018


Recently I've been reflective on the different female friendships in my life. I'm hoping everyone who is reading this post has that one person that no matter how much time passes, can interact as if they just saw each other yesterday. I have a couple of those. One friend I'll give the initials JJ (and not to be confused with another friend with similar initials who I'll refer to in a moment). Anyway, I've known JJ since junior high and now I'm... well let's just say old enough to be a grandmother even though currently I'm not yet and she is. So, JJ and I can talk to each other about anything and everything. We had a very long separation due to life circumstances but once we found each other on social media, all was forgiven. We have our challenging jr/sr high school years that has partly bonded us. But, there are also specific experiences that have bonded us during the adult years.

I also have a newer friendship with a woman with the initials JJS. We have somewhat different life situations but have amazingly been able to find ways to support each other, find the right words to share part of our stories, exchange creative work. We have also found similar interests in books and other components of life. What is wonderful about the friendship is that we have only spent a tiny amount of time in each other's real physical presence but through social media platforms have developed an awareness of each other's needs. While there is no way we can know for sure what to expect in the long term, I anticipate more personal growth for both of us as a result of this connection.

This year has been one of other, multiple, new friends as well on social media. I am amazed how one connection on social media has led to another. Let's just say I love what technology and social media platforms have brought into my life. Each person I've met through the live broadcasting has a unique life story or gift to share and provides an opportunity for being part of something greater than myself. I live in a rural, smaller populated area and so this has been a good year for expanding my interactions with others. There are just too many stories to share in one writing

Another reason I've been reflective on friendship is that I have a couple other friends who during this past summer have experienced some challenging life experiences. Many times I don't know exactly what I can say or do to help other than tell them I am here for them. I believe that empathy is an essential component to friendship. Empathy is sometimes confused with sympathy. Sympathy can be defined as a natural kindness for someone experiencing something unpleasant. Empathy, however, is understanding how someone feels more because you can imagine yourself being that person. Circumstances of the other's experience may be different, but the emotions, the life decisions involved are similar enough that there is a greater awareness and knowing. I would also describe empathy as something I feel at a deeper, spiritual level.

I am writing this post today because I sometimes wonder if we as women tell each other often enough how much we appreciate who they are. I believe that for the most part, women are nurturers who need nurtured by other women. I also believe that personal life coaching is essential because a good life coaching relationship champions who you are, makes the space for your growth, and in some cases is a critical component in the decision making process. And, I have been very fortunate in my co-active life coaching relationship with someone who has modeled these characteristics well. Yes, we women are all different in some respects, but for the most part I think we are more alike than different in regards to needing each other.

We are meant to honor each other's journey, give each other a hug as often as possible, and even verbally say, "I love you for who you are, not just for what you do."

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I Write Because...

Custom Writing Pen from Chakra Wanda Creations
The Foundation...a writing prompt provided by Julie Jordan Scott, Writing Retreat, 5 for 5 Brain Dump, July 2018

(Part 1) I write because through writing I discover. More about myself. More about others. More about the world. The Life Force becomes known. I write because I need to be intentionally aware. I write to know what I taste, smell, see, hear, feel, understand, believe matters. I write because I like to share the voice inside me, like there's more to me than what other's can see with their eyes. I write because I want to record the world as I see it, hear it, feel it, smell it, understand it. I write because I believe that there is more to this life than just "the doing of life." There is a greater purpose, role, place in the workings of the Universe than what one can observe on the surface. I write because I need to reflect, need to listen to the messages of my Creator, need a tool to help me grow and live a fulfilled life.

Writing gives me a way to articulate taste, touch, smell, sound, sight, feelings.

Writing allows me a way to discover.

Writing allows me to document, to plan, to manifest, to ask questions, to wake up the inner spirit, to encourage, to create space for creativity, to feel the emotions of life, to experience the "aha's" that Oprah references.

(Part 2) I like to write free flow of thought as Julie encourages. And then, later, I like to reread what I wrote and expand, go deeper, reflect, and pull out the nugget of what my inner spirit really wants me to discover...

When I write I am expressing more than I can when I don't write. When I set time aside to put words on the page, whether the words are just for me or for sharing with others, I become more observant. I pay attention to others, nature, the workings of the Universe, to me. When I spend time writing, I listen more. I listen to the whispers of my spirit, I listen to the whispering wind. Without writing I become stagnant like the pond that doesn't have an inlet or outlet. Without writing I lose focus and my sense of being in the moment. Without writing I lose momentum. Without writing I ignore the creative spirit wanting to be heard. Discovery implies learning. I write because the process is an essential element of who I am. Through writing the authentic self is known.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Peace Looks Like...

Below is a response from a prompt selected by Julie Jordan Scott and her 5 for 5 Brain Dump Writing Retreat in July 2018.

(Part 1) Peace looks like this almond tree growing in my back yard, a desert terrain with a little TLC. Peace smells like the summer evening breeze. Peace tastes like a light glass of blush wine after a full day of work. Peace sounds like the birds chirping in the morning and evening.

(Part 2-written after more prompting and reflective thought) I remember peace during a few precious moments in time during my turbulent teen years when I sat with a girlfriend (Julie Johnson) on a fork of the Clearwater River in the green north Idaho forest. We slid our bare feet onto the river's edge cold dirt, splashing the clear cool water on our warm skin. We tossed pebbles into the shallow water asking the questions about life we didn't have answers to. We were independent thinking young women who were also still required to be semi-dependent on others. We could laugh at the simplest things, or let the tears silently roll if needed. We were alone in many aspects and yet our friendship has remained after nearly 38 years. We both wanted more that summer day of the unknown. More peace within. More peace with others. And for that blip on the continuum of our lives we found much needed peace through each other. And we can still capture that in a few simple words while living 300 miles away. Thank you, my friend.

Monday, February 12, 2018

A Memory of Second Grade

          "It does not so much matter what happens. It is what one does when it happens that really counts." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Today I was challenged by a writing prompt by Julie Jordan Scott. It began with a quote from Laura Ingalls Wilder. And then Julie pushes with: Make a list of 5 memories where something significant happened. Write for 5 minutes what you did as a result. I focused on writing on one memory from my list that I believe shaped me as a learner and teacher. It was in the year 1975 in Bozeman, Montana.

It is my first day of second grade at Longfellow Elementary and the school year had already begun. The students were on the carpet and the teacher was in a wooden rocking chair. I cannot recall her name but I remember her face. She was reading a story and paused when we entered. After the office secretary introduced me, the teacher brought me to her, almost putting me on her lap as she placed me close to her. The scared girl inside suddenly felt secure. It was as if her arms had been waiting for me, wanting to comfort me, attend to my insecurities. I have a memory of thinking this teacher must be a wonderful grandmother. While I had been an early reader, attending a progressive kindergarten, I had also attended two schools in first grade in socio-economic-diverse schools in the Los Angeles region of the 70's. This school, this classroom, this teacher showed me a very different way of being a student. Somehow I knew I was in a safe place, that one room school settings like I read in the Little House books may have actually existed. Clearly not everything was perfect in that school I know as an adult. But, I realize that my love for school, the learning and teaching environment, how a teacher had the power to create that space, encourage a love for books began that day. And for those who do not know, I chose teaching, loved teaching first and second grade, creating the lessons and space for learning. School for most of my life was my safe place (until it was not and that is a memory for another day).