October 16, 2011

Lovely Reminder

Each fall, I get caught in the busyness of the new academic year. This initially comes from a positive place: students bring excited, happy energy into the classroom. I'm energized by them and by my own creative plans for my courses. The first week is magic--it's exhausting, but deeply fulfilling (reminds me why I love my job). Gradually, though, the busyness takes a turn. In fact, it's not the external busyness, but my own internal busyness--the busyness of ego, unrealistic expectations of myself, and the need for control.

Whenever I feel vulnerable, control is my go-to habit. Yet it's a cage; it clips my wings. So I've developed some new, more freeing--yet not as familiar--habits to replace the cage. But what happens when my vulnerability is ramped up? I not surprisingly revert back to familiar--if unhealthful--habits. This has been the back and forth of my days and weeks. Sometimes I quickly realize my need for a genuine pause to recenter; other times I plow through the day without a single deep breath. Such is the work of creating a new habit.

Quality time with my nieces and nephews always brings me back to my authentic self. Being with them allows me to easily access mindfulness, joy, perspective, and play. These are things I always carry with me, but sometimes (like in the middle of the term) I need a reminder. I got that pleasant reminder last weekend.

Yay for that! And yay for cookie monster cupcakes:

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