Saturday, February 18, 2017

Dream dreams!!!!

I just ended 4 days I have dreamed of and pursued for over 6 months. 

And they were everything and more than I could have hoped for.

As I drove home feeling humbled and grateful I stopped on my beloved dyke just as the sun broke through the clouds of the rainy day and I paused to reflect. 

I wrote a very poetic and astute blog post in my head as I snapped a couple of photos and stayed in a mindset of reverence as I marvelled at the days I have just lived.

But now I am home, diffuser bubbling away, in my comfy pants.....and feeling more fatigued than poetic but wanting to capture something of what has transpired.

As a leader in my work I long to offer my colleagues sustaining and relevant and stretching Pro D experiences.  We have come a long way in our current work but we have a ways to grow. We have sought mentors and allies across this country and in the USA and we have learned SO much from them.

But one voice, one mentor, one deep thinker is most aligned to what we are doing and in a position to both affirm and assess our current work and shine the light on the path ahead for us. 

Her name is Ann. 

Ann Pelo.  

I have read her books, watched and listened to her give keynote addresses and last year she came to work with our leadership team.  She was back again this week to visit all our centres and help us think deeply about our work.  I was her chauffeur while she was here and I had the immense privilege of hearing her speak 6 times and linger over lunch with our executive team.  I can truly say we are now good friends - which is a dream and a gift in itself.

I dream big and while one dream was realised these past 4 days another one was born..... well actually it was born in the middle of a night some time ago but I was BRAVE enough to give it voice this week, to nurture it and now I have to let it go.  It will become what it needs to become for me, for the SRCC (our organisation) and for Ann.  I trust that.

And so in this moment of quiet after a busy, exhilarating, exhausting few days of connection with Ann and colleagues and friends I am proud to have lived into my brave word, to have allowed myself to dream and beyond grateful to have seen one more dream come to fruition.  

Our work as Educators is so WORTHY and so complex and so nourishing and so very important.  I was awed by the thinking and commitment in the gatherings I was in these past days as Educators strive to be the best they can be - to be as human as they can be (to quote Tom Hunter via Ann Pelo).

We live into being as human as WE can be so children can live into being as human as THEY can be..... SUCH amazing work to be called to do, to lead. 

My friends - DREAM...... dream big..... be mighty and brave and let's change the world together.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Night Drive

When one leaves the house at 2:30am there is a certain quietness to the night.

Deeply relieved to soon have some precious kids back home safely after a 15 hour ordeal on a Greyhound bus on a snowy highway, I was driving downtown with a certain hyper-alertness.

With the usual city buzz muted I felt like I could see more - was noticing more.

I drove familiar roads in unfamiliar quietness - just me and taxi's.  

I imagined each taxi carrying a story of its driver and passengers at this late/early hour. 

The moon was reflecting on the river - rippling light.

I saw the odd lone walker - head down, coat pulled tight, hood up.... coming or going?

The light from storefronts casting unique patterns over the road.

A chef hanging up his apron and locking the a cigarette on the sidewalk.

A car races by me - startling me...breaking the silence.

A young couple weaving along, laughter evident in their posture, stumbling a little.

Suddenly an all night dinner packed full, people milling on the sidewalk waiting for their turn to eat greasy, salty fries or fried eggs.  

And then finally at the majestic, old, slightly shabby, station in a tough part of the City.

Waiting with others for exhausted travellers to return - checking phones for messages, keeping the heat running. 

More taxi's.  More people but these more marginal people, addicted, lost, cold.


And then people spilling out of the doors of the station, looking for their people, making calls, hailing cabs...tired, relieved, frustrated. 

My boy and his friends - despondent and exhausted - hugs and hellos, details to fill in the story between text messages, trying to be ok with how things turned out. 

We turned for home.  

Now more attentive to the rise and fall of breathing and sleeping teens, the glow of screens on their faces, the odd snippet of conversation.

As each arrived home, grateful and ready for their beds they said their thank you's and disappeared into warm house where relieved parents could breathe easy again.

And home.  Back to our quiet, deserted street.

A hug, a comforting word, creeping upstairs to a wakeful partner glad to have us home.

And my head on the pillow with a very grateful heart - for safety, for family and a quick prayer for those still out in the night.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

One little word 2017

I have been stalling on writing this post which is all the more reason for the word I have chosen. I choose a word on Feb 1 every year for my year ahead - It's known across the interweb as the One Little Word project.

I love words and I always have a hard time choosing only one. 

And as I want to use the word as a light to my feet, an inspiration to my heart and therefore be accountable 12 months from now as to how I lived out my word - even if only to myself...... It's a big decision.

for 2017 - BRAVE called out to be picked.

Now for those paying attention to previous words I have chosen this word seems the same as last years..... which was "courage"..... Courage and bravery are often considered as synonyms but philosophically, they differ in meaning. Courage involves the presence of fear, while bravery lacks it. Courage entails a cause but bravery maintains its essence even without a cause.

I spent last year cultivating courage - thinking about it, trying to be courageous (and I was a few times!).  This year I want more action.  Not less thinking or less courage just more bravery in moving from philosophy to action.

Last year was being - this year is doing.


Brave enough to speak up
Brave enough to be silent
Brave enough to reach out
Brave enough to allow someone to help me
Brave enough to love unconditionally 
Brave enough to be loved 
Brave enough to take a stand
Brave enough to be wrong
Brave enough to start hard conversations
Brave enough to walk away 
Brave enough to allow hope to push out fear
Brave enough to stay present
Brave enough to listen
Brave enough to learn
Brave enough to change
Brave enough to dream
Brave enough to act

Brave enough to show up wholeheartedly in my own life and the lives of those who matter to me and in the lives of people who will never know me.  

"I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death." Leonardo da Vinci

Here's to 12 months of acting brave that will maybe settle deeply enough in my heart and mind to help me be brave always.