Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Good Work

I just started reading the book "Crossing the Unknown Sea: Work as a Pilgrimage of Identity," by David Whyte that was lent to me by a friend who knows all that I am going through right now.  She was certainly correct to think that this would be a book that interests me at this time.  As I mentioned in my first post I am grieving from the loss of a piece of my identity related to my work.  I am only about 50 pages in and already have a few takeaways from this book.

"At its simplest, good work is work that makes sense, and that grants sense and meaning to the one who is doing it and to those affected by it."

Yes, I would say that I am trying to find good work.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ah, to be 25 again

Last weekend I was visited by a former student, her husband and couple of her friends.  She and her two friends work in higher education (my chosen field) and they made me remember why I chose to do the work I do in the first place.  We had some wonderful conversations; some about their work and some about mine, but all of these conversations delved deep in to why I do this work.  I helped them process some of their experiences a little bit, asked them the whys to what they were doing and got to share some stories about my Semester at Sea adventures.  The young energy that they brought to my weekend left me feeling rejuvenated, nourished and excited to see what is next.  The gratitude they had for my hospitality was something special.  Just talking about the work that I have done and to see it manifested in a new professional makes a very intangible job quite tangible.  While I am not sure if the field of higher education is my career destiny I do know that there will be a helping component in whatever I do.  

It also did not hurt that the apple picking adventure we set out on turned in to discovering a winery 5 miles from my home that was hosting a fall festival.

I am in a position now that if I let myself I can just sit back and let things unfold.  I am doing some of that but I am also ensuring that I am an active participant in this unfolding.  I am deciding to not curl up on the couch and watch TV all day (thought there are days when that is tempting) and to still connect with the people in "my village" no matter how near or far they may be.  I am surrounding myself with positive, enriching people and seeking out opportunities that will allow me to figure out my next course of action.  Some of these opportunities may seem unconventional; driving 2 little girls to school once a week, cleaning the yoga studio, volunteering at a local food pantry and working a seasonal retail job.   I am learning incredible lessons from all of these things and will be sharing more about these in posts to come.  Who do you connect with that affirms something in your life, your worth or the work that you choose to do? Seek those people out and surround yourself with that positivity.

"The most subversive invitation you could ever accept is the invitation to awaken to who you are and where you have landed." ~ John O'Donohue

Friday, October 26, 2012

What Can I Say

This post is in honor of last night's Brandi Carlile concert that I went to at the Calvin theater in Northampton, MA.  As I mentioned live music is very special to me, I would even call it a spiritual experience.  When she sang this last night fully unplugged, including no microphones, I was certainly a little emotional.  Though most of my days are positive, I am relatively happy and I am keeping an upbeat demeanor I would say that I connect to this song on the days or moments when the contrary is true.  I am learning to accept all that comes up including the times that are not positive, a little sad or that even make me angry.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Do It Anyway

I am not normally a Ben Folds fan but I was driving this morning and this song came on the radio and the lyrics really rang true.  I think the best place to really HEAR a song (besides live of course) is in the car.  Also, this video has Fraggle Rock in it and how can they not put a smile on your face!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hey Hey Hey

I derive a lot of inspiration and motivation from music.  I am a huge fan of good lyrics and if a song can elicit emotions that to me is a good thing.  I went to my first Micheal Franti concert November of 2008 thanks to a good friend and have been hooked ever since.  His lyrics are so powerful and to see him perform live is definitely some sort of spiritual experience.

Don't let nobody ever tell you that it couldn't be done
Don't let nobody ever tell you that we couldn't be one
Don't let nobody ever tell you that it shouldn't be sung
Don't let nobody ever tell you you're the only one

Monday, October 22, 2012

Words that resonate

So as this whole blog thing is newish I am going to try to post something daily and those things may be an article, poem, quote or song and I will at least once weekly post something that I have written.  I did blog when I was on Semester at Sea but I was on a different sort of journey!!

The following poem was shared by one of my yoga teachers in class and has certainly resonated with me:

"Maybe Not" by Danna Faulds

Begin somewhere.
Take one deep breath and dive.
Plunge into the core of your most persistent fear, or your greatest joy.
Grow comfortable with the act of exploration.
Well, maybe not comfortable, but confident of your ability to be sure footed on slick rocks,
steady while the winds gust.
Well, maybe not entirely confident,
but willing to set out despite persistent doubts,
breathing your way
into whatever you are facing.
Well, maybe not even all that willing,
but you take it anyway,
that first step into the unknown.
Courage is starting where there is no secure outcome,
no sure result.
The secret is you can begin at any time.
Take one deep breath, and dive.

Though not entirely comfortable, confident or even always willing I am stepping out into the unknown and certainly breathing along the way.  I am learning that it is fine to not have a clear plan.  I have had to let go of an idea of some sort of long term plan a little bit ago.  Can I make plans for a summer vacation right now...Nope!!  Can I schedule a time to help out a friend with some work in DC in a few weeks...absolutely. I am taking little steps at a time and to me that is the best plan right now.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A month has passed...

More then a month has passed and after suggestions from a number of very important people in my life I have decided to blog about my experiences.  Over a month ago I became unemployed, though the circumstances surrounding that are inconsequential to this blog.  It is the time that has transpired and the love and support that I have felt since that I will be writing about.  I know that others have suffered loss and for me that loss is a piece of my identity which in our culture is synonymous with your career.  I hope that the lessons I am learning (because there are many) could provide some support for others who may find themselves in similar situations. I am doing lots of soul searching and yoga to figure out what my next life and career steps will be.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting and some writing and plan to share that through this venue.  This journey has been a humbling and freeing one and I will share the stories of people who are helping me through, quotes and music that are inspiring to me and articles that I have found helpful. I welcome comments and questions and offer to you my friendship and support.The reason I chose the title of this blog is because I truly believe that the support I am receiving from the members of "my village" is what is helping to lift me up and sustain me.
For those who may be worrying about me and need the more pragmatic information, I am currently job searching locally for a job in higher education, applying to part time and temporary positions as well and plan to do a national job search in 6 months if things do not pan out locally. I really do love where I live and believe the communities I have become part of are what is keeping me so grounded and positive.  Though this ‘plan’ will I am sure change as life is ever changing.  This blog will not necessarily focus on the details of my job search though I will certainly talk about what I am learning through this process.

"This moving away from comfort and security, this stepping out into what is unknown, uncharted and shaky - that's called liberation." ~Pema Chodron