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What does it mean to settle?

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Recently I was talking to a friend about the concept of settling when it comes to love, relationships, even possibly marriage. What followed was an interesting conversation about what does  settling mean in the context of life and love?

For many of us, our twenties are a time when we are wide-eyed about love and hopes for our future. We want a life filled with financial security, stability and regular passionate lovemaking. We want to have a partner who is visually pleasing, physically fit, intelligent, well-read, and pleasant to be around. We want it all.  We want the fairy tale ending, our soul mates. The one person in the world who makes us whole.

What happens if that complete package, the one we have been told to wait for, doesn't arrive? What happens if we meet someone who is not the one but meets some of the criteria, do we settle?

Settling means to accept or agree to something that is less. Settling, in the relationship sense, is to be with someone who may not have all the q…

Journey of the soul...

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The heart is an unusual organ. It is the size of a fist but, although it's small size, is the most important organ in the body. Without it, there would be no life at all. Made of muscle, connected to the brain, the heart pumps vital blood to the body while removing waste to keep the body healthy and strong. The heart, a crucial piece of us, also is where our soul is centered.

Our soul is the center of our being. It is where our life, spirit, and consciousness come together as one. The soul guides us, directs us, it is our guide through this life. Many philosphers have written about the soul in an attempt to understand it. Plato believed that the soul was in three parts: the logos, located in the head and relating to the mind, the thymos, located in the chest and related to emotion, and finally eros, located in the stomach and related to desire. Rudolf Steiner, and Austrian philosopher, believed that there are three stages in the development of the soul. The first, the sentient sou…

Habits of Mind...

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The Habits of Mind are a set of problem solving and life related skills that are necessary to operate within the world. These habits help each of us navigate through a variety of situations so that one can have positive outcomes. Habits of Mind, like persistence, flexibility, taking responsible risks, finding humor, responding with wonderment and awe, and applying past knowledge to new situations, help us in ways beyond what we can even know. These habits help us form other types of habits that create the foundation of the life we want to live.

I think about my own life and how I have integrated these habits to make my life better. Persistence is easy. That goes without saying. I am persistent in my work, in my play. I'd like to think that I have persisted through times that have been challenging in my personal life, times from my youth, times in adulthood, times with Javad. I sometimes think my stubborn qualities work in my favor in this area. I can be like a dog, unwilling to le…

Goodbyes....

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The school year has ended. It was a long one, filled with thirteen snow days and an extended year that seemed to last forever. My chosen career is one that I love...I can't imagine doing anything else. When a year comes to an end, it's a time to say goodbyes.

Goodbyes can be healthy, a way to move forward, a way to close one door and open another. Fresh beginnings can be a beautiful thing. A flower pushing through the soft dirt, stretching in the sun. Its face turning toward the sun warming itself.

Goodbyes can also be difficult. A closing of a door, a dark alley that is closed off with no where to go. An ending of sorts but these endings can allow for new beginnings to arise. It's cyclic, a never ending circle, one leading to the other.

Watching my students move forward, beginning their new lives was a gift, a glorious moment of success that will last for years to come. Ending their lives as high school students and moving toward new and better things.

When does one know,…

Who would you be if you weren't afraid?

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Fear...a driving force in so many of our lives. The thing that stops us from doing great things, acting a certain way, reaching goals. Tonight I read a NY Times article on Lady Gaga written by David Brooks. It was excellent...I highly recommend it. One line that really stuck with me was "Who would you be and what would you do if you weren't afraid?"

This line encompasses where I am in my life. Here I am in the middle of my life wondering what would I be. To some this would be a shock...I am a successful teacher, I run a great after school program, I am involved in a variety of professional activities, I am starting a side business. I do many things. I am perpetually busy. Some comment on the fact I am so busy as a reflection of my inability to be still. This is not entirely true...being still is a goal, but a struggle for me.

Back to the line, "Who would you be and what would you do if you weren't afraid?" If we really examine this line is is both a challen…

Dear Seniors...

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Dear Seniors,

Tomorrow I start the last week of school for this school year. Last week I watched you graduate. It was a moment unlike I have felt with other students. You, as a group, hold an extra special place in my heart. I have watched you grow, from sixth grade to now. You started as children and now are young adults.

You seem to have special bonds with one another...more than other groups I have taught. Even as you have grown, and maybe not hanging out with each other as much, you still have a great deal of respect and love for each other.

You have experienced great tragedy together and great joy. You have had experienced that no one your age should have had to experience and yet, you rose above, you stood tall and showed the world what you are truly made from.

I remember when you would have lunch in my classroom in middle school. You were such a large group that I would talk to my friends about the unique qualities you had as a group and individually. So grown up and mature and …

Love....a journey of the heart

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Love...the mention of the word gives feelings of butterflies, makes your heart pound, your heart soar. As a high school teacher (in the Spring), love is is the air. Teenage love is special. It's the first time that someone near you really makes your heart beat, that you feel a bit out of control. It's an exhilarating and frightening feeling, the edge of control. I watch my students, googly eyed, looking at the target of their affection, whispering "I love you." I remember those feelings, just wanting to hold hands, a touch that implies more. Young love is glorious and lays the foundation for love of the future.

Love in your twenties is like a series of tests, figuring out who you want to be with, what traits you desire. Each date, each look, each touch laying a foundation for your future. What do you want? What is your desire? What do you need from another. So many questions, so many answers.

What is love? An emotion? A feeling that you convey to others? Are there le…