This morning I'm thinking about:
1.The challenges of practicing forgiveness without becoming apathetic. And the importance of fighting without letting the fight turn you into a monster too. I have so few answers in this department but here's the quote that comes to mind.
2. Samskaras. These are the impressions left on our minds from past experiences. And they do the funniest things. I've been thinking a great deal about samskaras lately, about how in trying to protect us they often cut us off from what we need the most. Or, worse I think, how they keep us stuck in old habits and patterns that no longer serve us. Samskaras are something that can't be unseen once they are seen, and you'll look around you only to see people milling about, reacting to some past experience that is no longer real in the present.
I see samskaras play out a lot in education. First, I see teachers who react to a present student because of some experience with a student from their past. So a male student who wears a Red Sox hat is chronically late to class and now all male students you encounter who are wearing baseball hats are trouble. Our samskaras lead us to make judgments on people before we've ever really interacted with them. I see this in my students too. Many of them carry trauma from past negative educational experiences. I am saddened to recall how many of my past students have told me that I'm the first person to ever say they are smart. That scar comes along with them into my classroom, and it takes work to overcome those samskaras, even when I wasn't the one who created them.
The cure? Prayer, meditation, practice, patience. And a constant vigilance to return to the now instead of living in the past or projecting in the future. I'm a work in progress in this department. There's times when the desire to snap our fingers and get a blank slate might be all-consuming, but that's not an option, we have to do the work.
3. Teachers. There is so much negativity in the world about teachers, but it stands in stark contrast to our experience this week on my son's last day of school. I can honestly say that I can't imagine him having a better Kindergarten teacher than he had this year. His teacher loved to teach and loved kids. She had very high-expectations for the children and held them accountable but there was also a wonderful sense of play and fun in her classroom.
My son and I have this thing where I'll ask him if something is thumbs up, thumbs sideways, or thumbs down. On day one of our summer vacation yesterday, I asked him to rate Kindergarten. He thought about it for a few minutes and then he said, "Thumbs sideways."
I was shocked. "Why sideways?"
"Because I didn't want it to end."
Then I asked him if he'd rather stay in Kindergarten all summer or have summer vacation, and he picked school. And why wouldn't he? Learning, fun, friends, playing pretend, reading and writing, what's better than that? I know that once we get settled into our summer routine, he's going to have an amazing time with friends and family. But I am very grateful that he loves school and that he'll always have this positive foundation, thanks in large part to a wonderful teacher.
That's all I've got this morning and I have to say those three reflections just drained me. Was it just me or did Mercury linger in retrograde this week, just to show us who's boss?
In the coming couple of months, I'll still be blogging but slowing down a bit to make room for some new work responsibilities, an intuitive coaching training I'll be completing in August, and a ton of time with family and friends and sunshine.
Wishing you and yours peace and light, love and happiness. Have a great summer solstice everyone.
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