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 ‘learning’

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:)


Who I Am

Before I can tell my life what I want to do with it, I must listen to my life telling me who I am.  Parker Palmer

I have been listening…trying one idea after another.

Yes you have.

But other people seem so certain about themselves.

Haven’t you felt that way before?

Yeah, then life steps in and mixes things up, leaving me with doubts and a shaky foundation. Then I wonder if I’m really who I think or say I am.

Who are you today?

A bunch of questions and ideas. Listen…I have this idea…I could write the Palmer quote in a little notebook and go about my day. A gardening seminar, lunch with a friend, some reading, a trip to the grocery store…and those words would be right there, like a foundation for the day. Pretty much what I do with this blog. But then tonight before I go to bed I’d do a timed writing going back to the quote as my topic to see what happened.


You know when I say these things out loud, they really sound silly.

Silly? It sounds to me like something you want to try. Go ahead and do it. Let me know how it goes.


The Dude and the Zen Master

For the last several weeks I’ve been reading The Dude and the Zen Master, a dialogue between Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman. It has taken that long because I’ve needed lots time to stop and reflect.

The Dude is based on Jeff Bridges’ role in The Big LebowskiBernie Glassman is founder of Zen Peacemakers, whose Three Tenets that serve as the foundation of Socially Engaged Spirituality, include:

-Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe

-Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world

-Loving actions towards ourselves and others

Books. They move me. They inspire me. They challenge me. Here are more profound words from some of my favorite writers.

What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.   Anne Lamott

A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe. Madeleine L’Engle

When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.  Maya Angelou 

Books are like mirrors: if a fool looks in, you cannot expect a genius to look out.  J.K. Rowling

Data Collecting

To write it, it took three months; to conceive it three minutes; to collect the data in it all my life. F. Scott Fitzgerald

Education is not the piling on of learning, information, data, facts, skills, or abilities – that’s training or instruction – but is rather making visible what is hidden as a seed. Thomas Moore

I need projects in the summer when I’m without much of a schedule, so this month I am keeping a reflections notebook.  My beginning teachers will do this next fall to help them self assess. I want to see how it works for me.

I note what I see and hear around me, what I think about what I see and hear, and how I respond. I try to go into each setting with beginner’s mind…to be open to what is.journalstack

Now is the time for new adventures. Tomorrow I will be in a sculpting workshop. A sculpting workshop! Yikes! Breathe, Laura… and pay attention.

I wonder what I’ll learn.

What’s the Passion?

Passion:  ecstasy, devotion, fervor, intensity, spirit, zeal

When and where did I feel such passion?

As a child, the Girl Scout camp

As a young mother, holding my newborn son

As an adult student, entering the graduate library at University of Texas for the first time.

As a newly retired teacher, sitting at the Rio Grande Gorge during a Natalie Goldberg workshop.

Nature, new life, wisdom

Does this sound like babble? Passion is like that for me. I’m working to communicate the connection.

I’ll let a few friends help.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.  Harriet Tubman

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.  Nelson Mandela

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.  Oprah Winfrey

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion.  Martha Graham

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.  Honore de Balzac

U.S. Route 64 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Tao...

U.S. Route 64 Rio Grande Gorge Bridge near Taos, New Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Believe in Magic

Spring break is over and there’s a stack of projects on my dining room table that have not yet been graded.  I wish I had worked on it earlier in the week.

But you didn’t.

Don’t remind me.

I would think the stack of projects would be a constant reminder.

Yep one I continued to ignore.

So what’s the plan now?

Just do it?

That’ll work.

But if I keep sitting here tapping on this computer maybe the little grading fairies will show up in the next room ready to work.

WHO am I talking to?

Me? The one who believes in magic?

OK but you’ve gotta do your part.

What, supply them with red pens?

You’re stalling.

I’m being whimsical.

Whatever.  Go grade your papers and later we’ll do something really fun.

Like what?

What would you do if you didn’t have this stack of work to do?

Plant my beans and okra and corn.

Sounds kinda magical to me.

Words to me were magic. You could say a word and it could conjure up all kinds of images or feelings or a chilly sensation or whatever. It was amazing to me that words had this power.  Amy Tan

And where does magic come from? I think that magic’s in the learning.  Dar Williams

The world is its own magic.  Shunryu Suzuki

Writing in Circles

If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.   Attributed to Woody Allen

Some lessons obviously need revisiting. Again and again.

Yesterday I was so sure my writing intention for the week would be to write daily in a local cafe, making observations. So sure I posted it here and announced it in writing group last night.

This morning Miriam, the female protagonist in my book, appears in my morning pages and she’s not happy! She’s tired of my gallivanting around writing about everything in the universe but her.

OK, OK. I hear ya. I’ll take you to the library and we’ll spend some quality time together.

You know, I got this idea from Pamela and Loretta last night. They let their characters write them letters. Pamela said it was life changing. I figured I could get your attention showing up in your “sacred morning pages”

So you’ve been paying attention to what I’ve been doing?

You bet. Wait till you hear what I’ve learned!

Should I be worried?

Heavens no…I’m your muse!

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


~ creative ideas for making a difference ~

...the house I live in...

A journal of life pursued