I am so grateful to have my position as a teacher. At the start of each semester I am reminded what a blessing and privilege it is to be in this position. I have heard way too many professors at my school talk about what they have to teach their students. I talk with my students about how we teach each other. Yes, I know a lot and I am here to share my knowledge with them. However, they have taken classes, experienced things, read things, taken courses, and know things I could not learn if I had not met them.
I am also reminded of how much harm the educational system has done to students. I remember reading a book a while back called A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger van Oech. He helped me to understand how our system has taught students that there is A right answer, when there is really not. He wrote,
By the time the average person finishes college he or she will have taken over 2,600 tests, quizzes and exams. The 'right answer' approach becomes deeply ingrained in our thinking. This may be fine for some mathematical problems, where there is in fact only one right answer. The difficulty is that most of life isn't that way. Life is ambiguous; there are many right answers - all depending on what you are looking for. But if you think there is only one right answer, then you'll stop looking as soon as you find one. Read More
I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for giving me so many things in my life that give me joy. Sometimes I do not realize how joy filled my life is until I talk with someone who has forgotten how to have joy in their lives. Life for me is not about just enduring, but about enjoying. Maybe it is because I have come close to dying a few times in my life, that I am able to find joy in just about everything, even going to the bathroom. Having experienced what it is like to not be able to perform a function we take for granted, I find joy in being able to do so multiple times a day. Whoo hoo! Read More
I seriously want to thank you for your sense of humor and for listening to my prayers. If I ever needed to know that you were present, you let me know today. This morning I was thinking carefully about what I wanted my intention to be as this is grading frenzy weekend for midterms. However, I said that I was going to make the time to perform a random act of kindness. So thank you for providing me with the time and the opportunity to extend kindness to someone who was in need. Read More
Good morning and welcome to a new day! Happy Valentine’s Day. Have I told you yet how much I love you? Hmm. it feels good to be able to say that, smile, and feel the love radiating through my body. Oh, how far I have come. I can remember a time when I did not love myself, at least not completely, and definitely not unconditionally. I can remember a time when my sense of self was depending on others telling me I was ok. I can remember when I felt as if I needed to be with someone to feel lovable. I learned, however, that feeling lovable is not the same as being loved and that nobody can make me feel loved. I am the only one who can make me feel the way I am feeling about me at this time in my life. Happy Valentine’s Day to me. Read More
I am sitting here this morning trying to take in the news that you are no longer with us. It is not as if you were sick, you weren’t. Your not being with us in this realm anymore reminds me of how precious life is. How many times have I really thought about how blessed I am to wake up? I am grateful, however, somehow hearing the news that you have transitioned to the next realm of being, was a wake up call for me. This morning, I truly am grateful for another day to be of service to the world.
After I got through the initial shock of it all, I could hear a few voices floating through my head. One was my Bubby asking me, “So Sara Bella what are you grateful for?” that is so easy. I am grateful I had the chance to meet you and get to know you. It brings me back in time to when I was pastoring at TPUFC and you would bring groups of students up to our church. I remember all the conversations we had about life, spirituality, social psychology, women and gender studies, and vegetarianism. I remember the opportunity we had to catch up in Los Angeles when you moved to UCSC Read More
I have been thinking about my relationship with my body for a while now, as it has not always been the healthiest of relationships. Some teachers in my life have tried to tell me my body is a prison which limits my spirit. Others have taught me my body is the love of my life. What I know is that my body is what it is at any moment of my existence and it is what houses my spirit which lives within it. Whether it is a panacea or a prison, I have come to this place where I must appreciate and enjoy it for what it is while my spirit is in it. Read More
I just had this awesome conversation with my brother and it reminded me of how we each have the opportunity to co-create with the Infinite and with life. How I talk about my life, how I tell the story of my life is about me and it is a work of art. Nobody can tell the story of my life as I can. Your story about my life is your story and your work of art. I can observe it, but I do not participate in it. It is your story. How I tell my story, how I create my story is about me. I am the one who decides how to paint the picture. I am the one who decides how to explain what I perceive to be real. I am the one who decides how I am going to justify what I do or do not. It is my life and my story. Read More
The goal for today was to plan this great adventure to some place we want to go and go there. my great adventure is to go ride the ferries in New York state. I love ferries. We were to write about what permits us or doesn’t permit us to have what we want right now. We were to write down what the world of our wealth is right now. She also suggested we right about how the state of your birth, the feelings of your future, and eh wanderings of today affect and show who you are. Write what you know about rebirth in living. Write what your soulful self wants you to know.
So if I were really going to have this grand adventure, I would do one of two things. Read More
I have been thinking quite a bit about this whole notion of life, birth, and rebirth. Life for me is the entirely of my journey from birth to death. Birth is the moment I came into this world, until then and since then I was and am a work in process. For me, the time in between birth and death I am in a constant state of rebirth, whether it be conscious or unconscious. Every moment of every day there are countless cells in my being being regenerated, so physically at the end of the day I am not the same person I was when I woke up that morning and I am not the same person I was when I went to bed the night before.
The same is true in every other aspect of my self, every movement that I make in my life consciously or unconsciously which takes me to that higher place of spiritual evolution is about my being reborn Read More
If this were the last day of my death, and I knew it, I think I would make a point of being with those people who are nearest and dearest to me and sharing stories of love and gifts that I would want them to have. I would want the opportunity to say goodbye to them in my own way and on my own terms. I would not want it to be somber, but a time of celebration. I would eat and drink whatever I wanted and throw all caution to the wind. I am reminded of this scene from the movie Chocolat and how the old woman celebrated her last birthday. That is what I would do if it were my last day. the practical side of me would make sure I sent an email and an excel file to my department chair so she knew how students were doing, I would let Zoe know what I wanted for my homegoing, and I would write a final reflection for Inspiritual telling everyone thank you for being part of my ride. And of course, I would leave Zoe a things to do list, which she will definitely procrastinate in doing Read More
As I reflect on this period of my childhood, I remember having this sense, as a child, that I was not fully appreciated for who I was and what I was growing to become. I rarely felt fully seen or fully appreciated by the members of my family. While there are many experiences of joy during this period, it was also a time where I went from feeling as if I were an integral part of my family to feeling as if I were not as much a part of my family as my brothers. There was this clear sense of otherness that developed as I was growing up, of not fitting in. Yet at the same time, there was this fear of being abandoned, rejected, and set aside. There was also this fear that if I was abandoned then something bad would happen like when I was sexually abused by my dentist. What I did not realize was how that experience also moved me to a place of fighting for my dignity and the dignity of others. For example, in nursery school there was this boy who tried to kiss me. I said no. So he peed on me. Read More
I have to laugh on these day 7 days as we are supposed to take ourselves to these outdoor places. However, as it is winter and I have no para-transit services for a few more weeks, I kind of have to improvise and be creative.
For today, we were supposed to take ourselves to a body of water and ask the water to pour its wisdom over us. Use streaming to learn from water’s qualities what you need to live with. Cluster about something living in water. Dialogue with the teacher of the water.
Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. Ah well I can kill two birds with one stone and take a shower. I love showers. Turn the lights on, Zoë will yell down the hallway. I love taking showers in the dark at times – ok, so at this point in the day, it is not exactly like dark, but the water sounds differently when I am showering with the lights off then when they are on. Not sure why that is, it just sounds different. Maybe with the lights on I am thinking more about why I am there Read More