Joy has been on our minds and on the agenda, as we all work toward the end of a third school year disrupted by a global pandemic. How do educators sustain themselves under the seemingly endless crush of challenges heaped upon them? What School Could Be would like to help. Thanks to a generous grant, Project Joy launched in January in the WSCB Community, offering yoga, mindfulness sessions, games, film screenings, and a space to share and celebrate your joys along the way, big and small.
Throughout the spring, Project Joy will offer:
- Mindfulness training and practice sessions
- Weekly yoga classes
- A monthly virtual screening of the film Mission Joy, the story of friendship between Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama, followed by a facilitated conversation on including joy in our daily lives
- Weekly puzzles and challenges via our friends at BreakoutEDU, including training in game design
- A photo challenge with prizes awarded monthly
The program is free and available to all WSCB Community members. If you’re already in the Community, you can join here; if you’ve not yet joined the WSCB Community, here is the link to sign up.
If you have any questions, please be in touch. And please do share this offering with colleagues who might benefit – there’s plenty of joy to go around!
Free Mindfulness training tools for teachers https://www.calm.com/schools
The conventional view of emotions as good or bad, positive or negative, is rigid. And rigidity in the face of complexity is toxic. We need greater levels of emotional agility for true resilience and thriving.
“How To Be A Poet (To Remind Myself)”
by Wendell Berry
Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill—more of each
than you have—inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work,
doubt their judgment.
Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensional life;
stay away from screens.
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
Accept what comes from silence.
Make the best you can of it.
Of the little words that come
out of the silence, like prayers
prayed back to the one who prays,
make a poem that does not disturb
the silence from which it came.
From Parker Palmer’s post on OnBeing true words “But it’s not for poets only. It’s really about how to be a human being.” https://onbeing.org/blog/parker-palmer-how-to-be-a-poet/
1. Stop: Get comfortable in the position you’re in, almost as if you’re relaxing into this moment.
2. Breathe: Take a few deep breaths, and as you’re taking these breaths, see if you can pay attention to the sensation of the breath coming in and the sensation of the breath going out as if this was the first time you’ve ever noticed this breath before.
3. Observe: Begin to observe your experience right now in this moment. This includes your body, your emotions, and your thoughts. Beginning with the body, notice the position of your body and gently scan the body to notice any sensations that are there, being aware of any emotions that are present, too—if there’s a sense of calm or restlessness, or neutral emotion of some kind. Become aware of if the mind is able to focus in this moment, or if it’s off distracted in the future, or the past. If need be, gently guide the mind back to this moment.
4. Proceed: As we proceed we want to ask ourselves the question: What’s most important right now to pay attention to? And whatever comes up in your mind, that’s what you’ll continue with.
Great way to take a short break and tune in. https://www.mindful.org/s-t-o-p-stress-tracks/
The way that we move through space is really interesting to me, and I am conscious of the fact that we are moving and dancing, in our way, all day long. It’s funny, because Nietzsche said that a day that doesn’t have a dance in it is a lost day, which you wouldn’t expect from somebody like Nietzsche, who was crazy.
Loved this podcast from OnBeing with Maira Kalman about The Normal Daily Things We Fall in Love With.
But there was another word in Greek, kairos. And kairos was deep time. It was when you have those moments where you say, “Oh my god, this is it. I get it,” or, “This is as perfect as it can be,” or, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” or, “This moment is summing up the last five years of my life,” things like that where time comes to a fullness, and the dots connect, when we can learn how to more easily go back to those kind of moments or to live in that kind of space.
Now, I think that’s what the tradition means by the word “contemplation,” that to be a contemplative is to learn to trust deep time and to learn how to rest there and not be wrapped up in chronological time. Because what you’ve learned, especially by my age, is that all of it passes away.
Loved this podcast from OnBeing with Richard Rohr on Living in Deep Time.
OK, the heart of who I am is the contemplative. And Gerald May, in this amazing book Will and Spirit, says that the only thing that we bring to the contemplative life is a willing heart. And that the two things that shut down the contemplative life are fear and holding on, grasping. And so what I’ve come to realize is that, for me, this journey is about continuing to walk willing towards the hope, the vision, the perspective, the opportunities that are given.
I just loved this podcast from OnBeing of Simone Campbell and How To Be Spiritually Bold.