Enchanted confinement – 5 weeks

IMG_0944
#pandemic2020 #incasa enchanted confinement New Mexico style

 Some days are boring while others are exciting and full of activities. 

Week 5 of confinement. Routine is settling in. Each morning starts with setting a positive intention for the day. “May I be healthy; may I be safe; may I be at ease; may I have pleasant, productive day”. After a meditation at my labyrinth the work day begins.

Virtual teaching schedule starts at 8:00. I have “prep” first block so I’m not really accountable until 10:00. I’ve been getting up later than during the normal school year when I have to be at school by 7:50. During the confinement I check email around 8:30 and respond as necessary. DTC duties have fizzled with the cancellation of standardized student assessments. I have taken on the responsibility of daily staff check-in email which have been fun. The intention of the daily staff check-in is to continue schoolwide community relationships. From 1:00-4:00 I am have Writing Lab tutoring. Students sign up for a 30-minute appointment to get help. On Tuesdays at 2:00, I have a group check-in for students taking a foreign language using Rosetta Stone.

Around 4:00, my virtual teaching day is over and I can transition outside for physcial exercise. This is my ultimate motivation for each day: the sanity break that comes from balancing body, mind & spririt through movement in the natural environment.

At the end of the day, I fill my mind and soul with further meditation, teachings & reflections through podcasts, videos, reading, and journalling. Some of the teachers I’m following: Deepak Chopra, Caroline Myss, Oren Jay Sofer, Ten Percent Happier Live, Brené Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Abraham Hicks.

A Kinder World?

Screen Shot 2020-02-23 at 9.39.16 AM

(This photo came up on Tara Brach’s Insta page this morning. May the photographer and subject enjoy the love and appreciation that we experience by sharing this image.)

The Dalai Lama once said that “If every 8-year-old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.”

This quote appeared in my social media thread this morning. It seems it had gone viral several years ago and just today came to my consciousness. Serendipity? What is the message I am to get from this? Did the Dalai Lama really say this? When? Where?

Anyway, it reminded me of a fundamental goal of Mindful Youth Mindful Future: teaching youth mindful meditation and compassionate awareness are ways to encourage a kinder future. I’ve had this idea for a while when contemplating future endeavors in mindfulness. I’m curious whether teaching mindfulness-based calming practices would be a way to avoid school shootings in the future. What if one would-be gunner had learned mindfulness meditation, and if that child used meditation instead of guns to deal with stress, how many young lives would be saved?

How old is “old enough” to teach children mindfulness, meditation, contemplation of self in the moment? Surely, the very young can sit and color a mandala, walk a labyrinth and follow a finger labyrinth. Eventually, each child could learn to focus on breath, bodily sensations, internal feelings.

Article on teaching youth meditation from HuffPost

One million youth meditating for world peace in Thailand from https://www.enlightened-consciousness.com

 

New Year – New job – New experiences

img_7894

At the end of the semester, a couple teachers announced they were leaving half-year. As I listened to this announcement, a thought came to mind. Since I am retiring at the end of the school year and a new teacher will need to be hired to replace me, AND these two staff members are leaving mid-year, should I tell my administrators that I’m retiring? The message I received from Source was, “yes, let them know that you’re leaving and maybe there’s a new job in this for you”. So, I told my instructional director and offered myself to a new position if my talents and skills could be of better use elsewhere than in the classroom and/or if I could help train my replacement. She already knew that the group of 9th graders had been challenging me and that I am not really happy teaching them.

So, here I am in a new position: District Testing Coordinator. Completely different from online curriculum adviser and English Language Arts classroom teacher. I’m learning a whole new set of duties and skill-set. So far, in the first month, I have attended several online webinars, learned new vocabulary, collaborated with a staff I was not directly involved with before and joined the Leadership Team for weekly meetings. I’m well suited to this new position with strong organizational skills, attention to detail, technical knowledge, leadership skills. I CAN do this!

… And there’s a possibility that I could do the DTC job next year on an individual contract and work mostly from home. If I could do this along with my family meditation project and teaching a class or two at the community college, I would come out way ahead income-wise. I’m sending out energy towards this for sure.

Chapter 5 is looking like this:

  • Family meditation group: $400 / month
  • Teaching at UNM-Taos: $2000-$4000 / semester = $500-$1000 / month for 8 months)
  • DTC contract: $5000 / semester = $900 / month
  •  Creativity projects sales on Etsy and eBay: $300 / month

May It Be So!