September 26, 2015

I own my own point of view

I was just listening to an interview featuring Shawn Calvin on NPR and she commented, "many subjects have been covered but I own my own point of view." Very inspiring for finding and expressing our creative voice.

September 9, 2015

Being A Spaz and Owning It

I received some feedback that a student described me as being a "spaz" sometimes in the classroom. It wasn't meant as a kind label. In receiving the information I initially felt hurt. The wind was taken out of my sail and it was like my cover was blown. This is because I have often felt like a spaz - being different and not fitting in with the norm. In high school I was bullied by popular girls who saw me as an easy target because I was a "spaz".

But as I reflected on the label, I realized that I am proud of this difference and not fitting the norm of being polished, poised and passive. My passion for the subjects I teach, the energy I use to share my lessons and the sense of urgency I feel is authentic and passionate. If that comes across as being spastic, good. There is nothing worse, in my experience, then squelching your vivacity.

September 7, 2015

Inappropriate Wedding Songs

Overheard while walking around Lake Merritt:
"I keep thinking about inappropriate wedding songs, like, I Would Die 4 U which is inappropriate and appropriate."

September 5, 2015

Creating a Life Free of Over-Commitment Clutter

"Think in concrete terms so that you can vividly picture what it would be like to live in a clutter-free space."  - Marie Kondo

Earlier this week I was chatting with my parents about over-commitment. We have a habit, perhaps even a practice, of making promises because our nature is to see the potential in almost everything and everyone. People love Kweskins because we follow-through, rarely drop the ball, and ensure that we get the job done - with excellence. In fact, I think we thrive on seeing people happy, fulfilled and us getting a pat on the back.

However, I would equate this life-long practice with being a giant ball of Velcro that becomes wobbly with all kinds of attachments. Let's call it over-commitment clutter. Some would call it the need to set boundaries or just learn to say, "thank you for asking, but no thank you."

On our family phone call my mom mentioned The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo and how she is expanding the concept beyond stuff and also considering all of her commitments. This book has been sitting on my shelf for almost a year, set aside after I had read the intro, and now I've been inspired to pick it up again.

With this new filter in mind, decluttering my commitments, I read Marie's statement at the top of this post and inserted "life" into "space" and a feeling of clarity began to bubble up in my over-crowded thoughts. "Yes, I can do this!"

How appropriate on Labor Day Weekend to give some details to a vivid picture of what my life can be if it is over-commitment clutter free. Yesterday, I was helping my students identify goal-setting success indicators. How do you know when you have reached a goal? What might you be seeing, hearing, doing, and saying? This further anchors the goal into a positive framing. So, as part of my practice this vivid picture I will include the success indicators.

September 1, 2015

Lessons Learned from Hector's Search for Happiness

Feeling a bit stuck and found an inspiring film with these Happiness Lessons:
  1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
  2. A lot of people think, happiness means being richer, or more important.
  3. Many people only see happiness in their future.
  4. Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time.
  5. Sometimes, happiness is not knowing the whole story.
  6. Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness.
  7. Does this person bring you predominantly: a) up or b) down?
  8. Happiness is, answering your calling
  9. Happiness is being loved for who you are.
  10. Sweet Potato Stew!
  11. Fear is an impediment to happiness.
  12. Happiness is feeling completely alive.
  13. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate.
  14. Listening is loving.
  15. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.
Hector and the Search for Happiness is worth watching. Now to read the book.