Finding the pathway

Bird droppings May 13, 2011
Finding a pathway

I happened to have detention yesterday afternoon and from there to a get together for one of our special education teachers who is retiring. I picked up dinner for my family on the way to the house and missed senior awards night as I got caught up in working in the garden. The rain that five days ago was supposed to come has not come yet and a burn warning is in effect in north Georgia. As I worked in the yard I found a path where the deer cross to the wheat field behind our home. Cutting through the yard and hedge row behind our house saves them many foot steps I am sure over going down the road and avoiding and or jumping a barbed wire fence. As I went our earlier I was thinking about that pathway and how each of us has our own often skirting around the back of others and or just beyond view maybe a short cut maybe the easiest route in a difficult situation often simply the most practical.

“By identifying your true motivations and desires, it becomes easier to find direction in life. Now we know where your goals come from. What’s the root beneath your dreams? There is no right or wrong answers, just ideas at the core of you. We could probably analyze what in your past makes you want to become the things you put on your list. We could analyze how close you are to being all of the things you’ve listed. It’s not important. What matters is that now you know what it is you’re aspiring to become.” Skye Thomas, Tomorrow’s Edge, Finding Direction

Could it be so simple making a list of goals building a set of actions and plans, a road map of sorts for where we want to go? When I first went to college nearly forty two years ago I was aspiring to be a Biology teacher. It was a few years back I was certified to teach Biology but with that many shifts and changes along the way. My oldest son can tell you where you are within a few feet any where on the globe with satellite tracking with ion he gained in college. Amazing now my camera and phone will mark photos with GPS information. One day I hope he finishes up his certification I watched several years back as he did one project. He is working on determining pine beetle infestation in areas and pin pointing target areas for treatment and timbering for the forestry service. Eventually aerial maps and infrared sensing will show exactly where areas are. With many of the new cars if you drive the right car finding directions is simple no more stopping just talk to your car. I love it our male egos can remain intact. But in life sometimes more is needed.

“Synchronicities are not flukes or random events. They’re intentional reflections of our intuition working with the perfect order of all things in the unseen world. It’s why fish swim upstream, birds fly south and bears hibernate. Everything in nature intuitively gravitates toward what best serves its growth, and that includes the human race. The only difference is that we have the choice to follow our intuition or not.” Sonia Choquette, Trust Your Vibes, Finding Direction

A little new age thinking never hurts but a good thought often we choose intuitively to go in life a certain direction it may not be a quick choice but one over a period of time. For me the decision to return to teaching after nearly thirty years was not quickly made it came in series of events that culminated in a job at this school nearly eleven years ago. Even this specific job fell through four times and the fifth try with a teacher out on medical leave it worked out. I often wonder why this school yet I was not hired at six other schools I applied to. Why did this particular principal hire me and want me to work literally hiring me five times.

“Being committed to some goal in your life – a sense of having a mission, a purpose, even a calling – is a very motivating, very comforting thing. Some people’s mission steps up to greet them; others have to hunt theirs down.” Sam Baker

In a class the other day a question was asked, are you where in life you are supposed to be? Many hands went up some did not. For twenty four years as I searched I couldn’t answer that question however today it is easy, I am.

“Do the things you love to do and are passionate about, then you’ll have few regrets. Conspicuous success or public acknowledgement for these things may or may not come, but it won’t trouble you much either way because you’ll be happily enjoying yourself.” Sam Baker

The word passion seems to pop up a lot for me. Are we passionate about what we are doing? Are we passionate about our direction in life? I do believe it is true if you are passionate about what you are doing there will be few regrets.

“What intrigues you? What questions about any aspect of life or the universe absolutely enthrall you? There’s your direction! Although we cannot map out lives in advance, much can be done to make desirable outcomes more likely. Acquiring an exceptional ability is one such outcome.” Sir Bernard Cohen

Recently as I wrote about learning to lead as a progression or developmental aspect of growing up I started to think we actually learn how to teach from a young age. I started to think I wonder if my own kids have learned such endeavors in their turn at life. I wonder if my mother and father realized that they through bits and pieces laid out to me were directing me along a path.

“Your accomplishments will bring great pride and joy to your closest friends and family, but in the long run it will hurt all of you badly if you’ve done it only for them. You have to do things for the passion in your own heart.” Helen Fielding

I go by the school most off days as I do weekends to think and plan for the next week. Some days just a bit of catch up and I recall last weekend was an odd one I was cleaning up my school email with over four thousand past emails. I was going through and deleting ones that were not significant since I have a bad habit of saving emails. Working my way through last years emails saving those that were specific about students and parents correspondence I had found several emails congratulating me on being named teacher of the year in our area by Sam’s club in 2004. I have the blue vest in my closet at school and a letter on the wall for a quick reminder. One of my students had sent a letter to Wal-Mart it wasn’t something specific I did but a letter of recommendation from a student and I was honored. As I thought I really did not do anything different for that student. She graduated and is doing great we still keep in touch. I just did as I do each day. I feel I do it with passion and what is funny people see that when they are around you. What ever you choose whatever pathway you go down do it with passion and truly you will never go wrong. Please dear friends keep all in harms way on your mind and in your hearts.

A continuing saga

Bird Droppings August 18, 2010
A continuing saga

It is so often that I write of coincidence it may seem boring to some. To me it is a never ending saga of special moments one after the other. During a college graduate class we discussed science and measuring of data, intuition and coincidence it seems are difficult commodities to evaluate. Carl Jung split with Sigmund Freud over similar matters and coined the word synchronicity. Yesterday as I was talking as always it seems I never stop I was drawn to the door of my room here on C-hall and as I stepped out a friend passed by exactly as I stepped to the door. This was a friend with a problem. If I had been a few seconds later a moment later and that friend would have already passed by. I was drawn to the door like a moth to a flame. I wonder was I meant to interfere to get involved in a problem or simply to offer advice or questions, was it coincidence, perhaps simply a chance happening, or was it synchronicity as Jung would proclaim.

“The images of the unconscious place a great responsibility upon a man. Failure to understand them, or a shirking of ethical responsibility, deprives him of his wholeness and imposes a painful fragmentariness on his life.” Carl Jung

“Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.” Eric Fromm

Which direction do we go as we try and unravel the human condition the frail substance about which we have evolved from. Can we separate out and categorize, analyze and measure that which makes us human versus a pack animal.

“Man may be defined as the animal that can say “I,” that can be aware of himself as a separate entity.“ Eric Fromm

“The mind is like an iceberg, it floats with one-seventh of its bulk above water. “ Sigmund Freud

“The path of least resistance and least trouble is a mental rut already made. It requires troublesome work to undertake the alternation of old beliefs. Self-conceit often regards it as a sign of weakness to admit that a belief to which we have once committed ourselves is wrong. We get so identified with an idea that it is literally a “pet” notion and we rise to its defense and stop our eyes and ears to anything different.” John Dewey

When beset with an issue or a problem we so often fall victim to the easiest route the way of “least resistance least trouble” as John Dewey would say. Years ago in a book on Loss Control management my father used the illustration of an ice berg we only see one seventh of the problem. We too as we journey through life are only one seventh visible. There is sixth sevenths that stay hidden away secreted somewhere from view.

“Thus we see that the all important thing is not killing or giving life, drinking or not drinking, living in the town or the country, being unlucky or lucky, winning or losing. It is how we win, how we lose, how we live or die, finally, how we choose.” R. H. Blyth

It is how we choose that is important. Each day for several years since I began this morning endeavor I have talked of the journey in life. I had used as a screen saver my son’s image crossing a stream in north Georgia stepping stone by stone across a rippling rolling stream. My son is soaking wet and could of just as easily walked the stream and avoid falling from the rocks he was wet already but he choose to step on the slippery rocks. The challenge for him was doing it, making the journey not simply surviving.

“Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence.” Mourning Dove – Salish

This becomes the difficult task trying to explain how a problem has purpose how a human issue has reason in a world of measurement where non-measuring is constant and so often the point. I can never find the distance between the stones of the stream as my son’s foot steps fall crossing rock by rock.

“You can never cross a stream the same way twice” Zen saying

“Traditional people of Indian nations have interpreted the two roads that face the light-skinned race as the road to technology and the road to spirituality. We feel that the road to technology…. has led modern society to a damaged and seared earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction, and that the road to spirituality represents the slower path that the traditional native people have traveled and are now seeking again? The earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.” William Commanda, Mamiwinini, Canada, 1991

Going from a single person’s problem to that of the North Slope of Alaska may seem a stretch. But as we journey in life we essentially do not get to replay our hand once we lay the cards upon the table. Yesterday by chance somewhere before 4:00 AM I was reading an old National Geographic and how the oil fields are so enticing in the Wilds of Alaska. Greedy people see only money. Others see loss of habitat wildlife and wilderness that can never be replaced. Another amazing coincidence this morning I could not pull this up it literally disappeared and I wrote another piece which I emailed instead yesterday as I look at each it was time for this one today and now for this a good follow up, peace my friends and have a good evening and please keep all in harms way on your minds and in your hearts