If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.-—Joseph Campbell

Posts tagged ‘connection’


“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”
― Brené Browntnhchildren

So grateful for my life’s connections…


Learning about Learning

Common core and current education research encourages students to use higher order thinking skills. We turn to Bloom’s Taxonomy for guidance. There is a revised version that I like. It’s found here:


This is a newer version of Bloom’s using revised categories and a circular image rather than the hierarchical pyramid.  I will use higher order thinking skills to journal a “section” a month and each word in the section for four days. After six months I will put together a book of anecdotes, activities and new ideas for each section of the taxonomy.

It’s a plan. A more specific framework than I have tried before, and it’s scary.

But I teach a college seminar for beginning teachers. Using experiences from my thirty years as a public school teacher, I have been encouraging students through a version of theory (abstract ideas from college methods courses) into practice (the reality of a class of one’s own) for the past five years. Now after thirteen years of writing practice I am ready to document this journey.

A Month of Presence

I made little quote notebooks for family and friends this year.This is the letter I enclosed with each book:

I really like quotes, but often wonder what others’ words mean for me. Here are some ways I attempt to satisfy my curiosity.

1. Read one in the morning as a morning meditation.

2. Consider connections when first reading it.

3. Write it over and over. (Remember learning spelling words that way?)

4. Go through the day watching for examples of the quote. (Like when hearing a new word or idea and suddenly it’s everywhere.)

5. Come back to the quote at the end of the day. Do a ten minute free write using it as the prompt. (Set a timer. Put pen to paper and write. Don’t edit. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just write what comes up.)

The following is from the blog I used to write, itstartedwithaquote.wordpress.com.

“The entire universe is within us. My answers are inside of me, and yours lie within you, too. Everything that seemingly happens externally is occurring in order to trigger something within us, to expand us and take us back to who we truly are.”  Anita Moorjani

In the little notebooks I wrote the following month’s worth of quotes.

1. Write it on your heart that each day is the best day in the year. Ralph Waldo Emerson

2. Instructions for living a life. Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it. Mary Oliver

3. Follow what you love and it will take you where you need to go. Natalie Goldberg

4. All creation teaches us some way of prayer. Thomas Merton

5. It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts. Attributed to Harry S. Truman

6. There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one you in all time, this expression is unique. Martha Graham

7. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Eleanor Roosevelt

8. The most sophisticated people I know–inside they are all children. Jim Henson

9. Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. Rumi

10. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. Rachel Carson

11. I believe that when we ask to be led, we are led, and there’s nothing too small or esoteric for spiritual help. Julia Cameron

12. In a gentle way, you can shake the world. Mahatma Gandhi

13. The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. Thomas Merton

14. The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. Joseph Campbell

15. If you want to be incrementally better, be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better, be cooperative. Unknown

16. To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind that to be hopelessly in love with spring. George Santayana

17. You’ve got to keep the child alive; you can’t create without it. Joni Mitchell

18. Their story, yours and mine–it’s what we carry with us on this trip we take, and we owe it to each other to respect our stories and learn from them. William Carlos Williams

19. Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand. Sue Patton Thoele

20. Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

21. Every survival kit should include a sense of humor. Author unknown

22. Those who wish to sing will always find a song. Celtic proverb

23. Wherever we go, we take everything we’ve ever known with us whether we know it or not. Maya Angelou

24. Always walk through life as if you have something to learn and you will. Vernon Howard

25. As long as you live, keep learning how to live. Seneca

26. The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away. Pablo Picasso

27. Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are. Marianne Williamson

28. Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is. Francis Bacon

29. It was in the 1920s when nobody had time to reflect, that I saw a still-life painting with a flower that was perfectly exquisite, but so small you really could not appreciate it. Georgia O’Keeffe

30. Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others. Marion Wright Edelman

31. A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary. Thomas Carruthers


Sacred Narrative

People need a sacred narrative. They must have a sense of larger purpose, in one form or another, however intellectualized. They will find a way to keep ancestral spirits alive.  E. O. Wilson

A new thought while walking this morning. It’s time to take a hiatus from this blog and put my energy into writing the book I keep “talking” about.

I have a morning routine that is waking me to new-to-me ideas and I would like to try the morning pages, quote and walk, then work on the manuscript.

Thank you for your support, your ideas, and your just being out there. I’ve learned a lot. At some point I may show up again, but for now, I don’t know.

What about me?

You, dear friend, seem solidly with me. Thanks.


Oh, one more thing. I highly recommend the new Robert Redford movie, The Company You Keep.


I Believe in Stories

My life is storytelling. I believe in stories, in their incredible power to keep people alive, to keep the living alive, and the dead.  Tim O’Brien



Scenes and conversations from the week are playing through my head on this morning’s walk. When I get home, I can’t settle on a quote.

Don’t think so hard.

This quote is one I chose about a month ago and didn’t use. I love Tim O’Brien’s book The Things They Carried. He came here a couple years ago and talked about how writing the book helped him work his way through his Vietnam memories.

Ah yes, telling our stories (and writing them) is healing. What are you doing to celebrate the Fourth?

I’m going with a long time best friend to a movie and then to her house for supper.

Lots of stories there, for sure. Have fun. (And don’t forget to write!)…

Very funny…

Deeper than Name and Form

When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the I Am that is deeper than name and form. ~ Eckhart Tolle

All these voices…it’s hard for me to touch the inner stillness. Some are so loud, so persistent.

Be still. Let them just come and go.

Easy for you to say. Some are really able to get under my skin.


How do I participate in the world and stay in touch with myself?

Ah such a conundrum.

What do you mean?

Where do you think those voices come from?

Well, sometimes they sound like my mother or a particularly opinionated acquaintance.

Have you ever heard yourself sound like that?

Oh yeah!

The world. The world in you. Be still.


By the way, how was the nature park yesterday?


I thought that was a good idea. 🙂

  • The Now (sjcwellness.wordpress.com)

New Strength and Thoughts

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s day 15 of the Starting with a Quote Project

And what are you learning?

You want details or the big picture?


This morning on my walk, I realize this project’s addressing my “thinking too hard” behavior.

Tell me more.

Well, I have all these crazy spinning thoughts in my head.


And I’m watching this morning routine (morning pages, walk, then blog) give my spinning thoughts some structure, focus and direction, which then allows room for new ideas. It’s like what Cathy was showing me a few weeks ago when we were cleaning and organizing her classroom.


Yeah.  Now I’m going to the nature park north of town. Today’s a bit cooler (high 80’s) and a nature walk was an early morning idea. I’ll take a water bottle, trail mix, my notebook, bug spray…and some room for new thoughts:)

Listening to Learn

Learning to Listen

Listening for Lessons

A Teacher and her Writing Practice

Writing Is My Drink

slake your thirst; find your voice


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