Closing out this year with Hope. My gratitude app tells me I have been grateful daily for just over two years. The number one thing I have been grateful for over this time has been Hope. That I can still feel Hope-Full.
I am also grateful that I finally created a family recipe book. Something I have been meaning to do for years now. Compiling all the family favourites from over the years, along with family photos to create a little piece of treasured family history, was soothing to the soul.
So thankful, as ever, for my precious family both near and far for all they are and all they do. I am truly in awe of being related to such incredible humans.
Another grateful moment from this year is my Pelo Tales Heart Art Fundraiser having raised a little money already. This one is ongoing so if you want to know more and find out how you could contribute, then head to Pure Spaces Education.
I am thankful for this weird ‘gap year’ in my career working with a wonderful team of teachers and friends. Bittersweet moving on, again.
Also thankful for not losing touch with the dream team forced to go our separate ways in 2020…. still keeping it real!
And finally… grateful, hopeful and excited about new adventures, new collaborations and new friends in 2022! Can’t wait to see where Pure Spaces Education takes me…
But before all that…. grateful for time to rest this holiday season 🖤
Everyone I know seems to be grieving some form of loss from the year just been. And for some, this new year has ushered in yet more loss.
I have been writing and rewriting this post since the 1st of January, coming to a sad, hopeless end each time. It was the 7th of January that I came across this from my Instagram…. a post from a year ago when Australia was on fire…
I wasn’t sure for a moment that I believed the last few lines any more, given the year just been. I decided to put this post aside and come back to it after applying some resilience practices.
At times like this when I feel particularly despondent, I turn to the words of others. Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good quote!
My first stop was Susan David’s work, Emotional Agility. I have written about this a number of times now. And I constantly share her insightful and uplifting social media posts on My Story 😊
These words struck a chord with me this re-read:
Life’s beauty is inseparable from its fragility.
Susan David PhD
I read and re-read these words. There is grief and loss there but there is also hope and beauty. Can I find some gratitude in loss, I mused?
Well, yes I can.
I lost my job late last year. I grieved this loss deeply, especially all I perceived I was losing in terms of the tribe I found in my colleagues and the hopes I had built around my career projection.
In reality, I was given the gift of time to focus on making one of my dreams come true – getting Pure Spaces Education off the ground. What I’ve achieved in the last couple of months would simply never have happened if it was still business as usual. I am now working towards my true purpose.
And in reality, that tribe of colleagues I mentioned isn’t tied to geography. This tribe will outlast that workplace. We will continue to love and support each other no matter where each of us lands up 💛
I lost my freedom to travel. I still grieve this loss, but I am daily reminded of how blessed I am to be riding out the pandemic storm here in New Zealand! Deeply, deeply grateful I got to spend Christmas with my family and see in the New Year on the beach in the summer sunshine.
I lost “control” over my what and when and how…. Only to realise I never had control over any of that in the first place. I found comfort in stillness. Something I have always struggled with is stopping, letting go and just Being. This past year forced me into giving myself permission to Just Be… and it has been a game changer. It is okay to be still and wait…. In the Waiting there are often unexpected dreams come true.
Here’s a couple of quotes that helped through this time:
I said to my soul, be still and wait… so the darkness shall be the light and the stillness the dancing.
T. S. Eliot
To see the World in a Grain of Sand, and Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, and Eternity in an hour.
Now you might read this and think I haven’t really lost anything. It isn’t real loss I’m talking about. In answer, I’ll go back to the beginning of this post. We have all suffered loss as a result of Covid-19. All of humanity has lost something. We are all changed by this loss of “normal”. I have simply articulated a couple of examples of the loss I have felt. Each of us will have our own examples of how we are changed. I believe it is important for each of us to acknowledge this loss to ourselves, grieve it, and then we can move forward. In the moving forward my hope is that we lean into the changes and see in them opportunity. Opportunity to forge a brave, new world!
I heard a great quote the other day:
We will not go back to normal, normal never was. Our pre-Corona existence was not normal, other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return, my friends, we are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment, one that fits all of humanity and nature
Sonya Renee Taylor
That is what I am hoping for this coming year. I want to be part of stitching this new garment.
So I go back to what I wrote in that post of 7 Jan 2020…Many of my dreams are about a continued journey of treading lightly, living sustainably with Mother Earth in mind. Times like this bring motivation to act on these dreams with a sense of urgency. Hope is not lost if we all do whatever we can, no matter how small it may seem. This growing earthly-conscious collective can turn the tide. I believe this! I do believe what I wrote then. I believe it just as applicable now as it was then.
Its been a few years now since I taught in a traditional classroom in a traditional school system. For awhile now I have turned my attention to the likes of Sir Ken Robinson. His book Creative Schools is a fascinating read and definitely, for me, the direction I think education should be moving.
Anyway, in this quiet start to my year it was time again to look through boxes of old teaching files and papers and decide what needs to go.
A special box put aside to place items that hold significance – valuable memories of that time in those classrooms and the young people who walked through my life then.
But other than that, stuff has to go. Another one of my all important rituals – taking stock, paring back and letting go.
Back to the poster. I had forgotten about this powerful message til I stumbled across it again in this tidy out. I used to look at this message on the wall everyday – strengthening and inspiring. Once again it resonates so deeply with me…. so I wanted to share it with you.
A year ago I gifted myself Kristina Karlsson’s intriguing book – Your Dream Life Starts Here. I got the Dream Life Journal at the same time and got stuck into the business of dreaming.
I decided to take my time with this process unsure of where it would take me.
Chapter 2 is titled “Be inspired by the dreams of others”. At the end of this chapter is such an inspiring story, that of Dr Tererai Trent. Discovering her story sidetracked me from the Dream Life Journal for a number of months as I explored Dr Tererai’s magical idea of sacred dreams and tapping into your Great Hunger.
By August I had 3 delicious dreams safely encased in my Dream Tin! I don’t have a suitable place to bury my dreams, like Dr Tererai did, so the tin travels with me wherever I go.
This part of the process was so uplifting and hope-inducing, particularly on the back of a previous few months of difficult times to push through.
But there’s dreaming and then there’s doing, right!
Back to the Dream Life Journal which I have now completed. Dr Tererai’s inspiration of the sacred and Kristina’s insights into the practicalities of dreaming have dove-tailed beautifully. Those 3 dreams buried in the Dream Tin now have very specific dates assigned and a master action list for each…. a couple of actions have even been ticked off already in the last couple of days!
I have always been a bit of dreamer… a day dreamer wandering wistfully through memories or drifting into future hopes.
As Master Yoda says of Luke ” Never his mind on where he was… what he was doing!”
This is dreaming of a different kind…. a dream life that is tangible and oh so possible… if I keep my end of the deal, stick to my action list and the Universe meets me half way… this time next year will look really different. Let’s see, shall we?