The Light

After a tough couple years of starting with losing my health, job, and generally losing my way, I’ve done something radical. I have chosen happiness!

If you had asked me three, four, or even five years ago if I was happy, I would have lied to you. I would have said, absolutely! I have a great job and wonderful home life. Only I had no home life and my work life was a life consuming hell. I was in a constant state of hurrying, overworking, getting sick, and playing catchup- no rest, just repeat. I was in a cloud drifting far from the present moment. When I caught glimpses of the present it was like being electrocuted so, of course, I kept it distant. When the present would creep up I would be fearful and angry with my life. I tried fix things by studying things like A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, unsuccessfully. I felt I understood his ideas but, I absolutely did not act on it. It hurt. My body was exhausted and painful, everything in my life showed signs of neglect, and I was allowing myself to be abused. It was all my choice. I did not choose to be present or compassionate.

I have been sick with a cold for the past nine days. In the past, when I have gotten sick I am very sulky and grumpy about HAVING to stay home, rest, and recover. It has been one of my greatest fears and frustrations. I had to much to do to tend to my health. I always went back to work too soon which resulted in feeling sick longer- adding to my general feeling of anxiety. This cold has been a bit of a roller coaster. Some days I felt okay and others I felt awful. So for perhaps the first time in my adult life, I just stayed home and rested. It didn’t come without frustration or stress but, it did come with compassion and forgiveness. It is what it is. Let it be.

I know I have said this before but, RA has been a great teacher. It has taught me to be more compassionate to myself which has allowed me to be more compassionate to others as well. It has also taught me to be present and grateful for everything in my life. I can now find the good in most things. The darkest times have shown me the brightest light.

May your happiness and joy increase. May the causes for your happiness increase.

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Breaking the Silence

Hello friends. Is anyone even still out there after my extended silence?

You see, I have joined the workforce once again and unlike student teaching, I actually get a paycheck. Rad! I wake up alarmingly early, greet children ranging from K-12 for the day, and arrive home overjoyed to see my husband, critters, and dear friend- my worn-out red couch. Yep, I am a substitute teacher. This was a career choice that was dreaded and horrific until my second day. My first day, I was in a second grade class which fulfilled my feeling of dread. I didn’t know until I arrived but, I was the 5th sub in 8 weeks (a teacher was out on medical leave) and I was recommended to be very strict to get through the day. As you would expect, all 33 kids were completely out of control… tantrums, tattling, screaming, peeing pants… it all happened. Internally, I even had a meltdown. Despite the fact that I committed to three days with these untamed beasts, before noon I decided I would not be back again. I drove home in a trance mixed with frustration, sadness, and love. The love part added confusion into the mix. Once home, I got on the computer to do my daily search for a permanent job. Is Starbucks hiring? I have had a few former students who were employed with them…

Then I found myself reading Harry Wong’s, a spectacular educator who has written numerous books, teaching strategies for the elementary classroom. By the evening I had a plan to get these second graders back on track. Afterall, it’s not their fault they are out of control. In the end, I was with this class for two weeks. These fabulous kids taught me more than I could ever teach them and I sobbed at the end of my last day with them.

Once I plop onto the couch at the end of each day, my body reminds me that I have already overspent my energy for the day. I know if I press forward with other things, I may require a day with the couch tomorrow. And who wants a day on the couch when you could be teaching kids? Not me.