It is July 6th, and as I think about the last 45 days I am simultaneously amazed at how much has transpired in that time, and gratefully acknowledging a much-desired shift in pace and intensity. The end of May through the end of June invited me to spin many, many plates in the air: end-of-school-year activities and commitments as a mother AND as a teacher, including my high school's graduation and the graduation from high school of my little brother. It also included the ending of the spring courses in my MA program, with an immediate jump into my summer courses. My husband and I moved our family into a new house (which included a lengthy stay in Escrow Hell)- an experience that was wonderful, exciting, creative, exhausting and discombobulating at the same time. During this time I also received news and shared deep emotions with loved ones regarding health issues of close friends and family which left my heart unsure. Right after we moved into our home, my colleague Vicki and I facilitated three days of truly exhilarating professional development in our school district around the topic of Voice, Choice, and Authenticity in which we created a space for a cohort of teachers to collaborate and support each other and their students in an authentic way, using 21st century skills and technologies- which will continue on for the next school year. Long before all of this was happening I had also volunteered to plan a retirement party for a close and dear teacher friend of mine, and I wanted it to be awesome. Intense coursework in my MA classes and intense unpacking in our home led me (finally) to vacation time at the end of June. I am writing this now from an ocean-view perch at the Present Moment Yoga Retreat in Troncones, Mexico. In the last week my heart has found a new rhythm, my breath has lost its anxious shallowness, and I am finally feeling relaxed. This morning's sunrise found me in a meditation class followed by two hours of yoga on a platform facing the ocean. Whirlwind turned summer breeze.
Why do I share all this? Because clearly I have to learn how to find balance in my life, and I bet you do too. Most teachers I know have minds and hearts larger than their energy reserves. Finding balance and restorative practices that are authentic to each of us is so important if we are to have the energy that leads to the creativity and empathy with which we connect to our students. I'd say I usually experience more balance in my life than this recent chunk of time, and I don't want to put myself in that type of taxing crunch again, even though most of what I experienced was positive and good. It was just MUCH. I'd love to know what YOU do to help you stay balanced. How do you reserve space within yourself just for you?
This afternoon I logged on to the Google+ community for our new Voice, Choice, and Authenticity cohort, and the collaboration that is happening in that forum just made my heart smile. It is just what I imagined: teachers coming together because they want to, finding real connection, and creating and sharing because they are passionate about it an feel supported. I am enjoying that same type of collaboration and support in my MA program as I come together with fellow students who are teachers and collaborate on projects- even from Mexico! (Gotta love technology!) I am realizing that part of creating that sense of balance in my life as a mother, wife, teacher, student, friend, family member- is connecting with other people who support me, genuinely care about me, share their ideas and want to hear about mine, and enjoy and acknowledge that same magical synergy that is created when we share, connect, and flow. To all of you (you know who you are)- thanks for helping to support and balance me, and for listening when I'm not so balanced and start freaking out :) Let's keep tapping into our support systems so we can stay energized and keep the good stuff coming.