Sunday, April 22, 2012

This past month has been long and trying. In my emotional exhaustion I have been reflecting on what makes relationships and partnerships work.  What makes a workplace that is inspiring and comfortable, that is welcoming and productive?  I am a keen observer of people, and push myself to get at the root of the issue.  I am certainly aware that my reactions and perceptions color the picture, so I routinely turn the reflective lens on myself as well.   In reflection, I notice that the most effective partnerships in my life are based on loyalty, trust and a common work ethic, but also on  some far reaching intangibles.  What are they in my book? Read on:

First, It is not a competition.  As a partner I am here to help you and support you. In fact you will be the one who I will most promote. I will sing your praises and tell all who listen how blessed I am to have you.

Second, You can't take yourself too seriously. This means I am not interested in perfection, and most things in life work better if you are flexible and have an open mind. Learning is a process not a destination.

Last, Keep it positive and laugh! So much of the stumbles in life are blips not boulders if you keep a positive perspective. Laughter really is the best medicine, so laugh off the frustrations and just keep moving.

Thankfully when I do face a struggle I am reminded that I am surrounded by people who fit the bill, it leaves me in a grateful state of mind. Celina and the many others, please know I appreciate you!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Do You Know Someone

Converse friendship circle Pictures, Images and Photos
Image found here
Do you know someone amazing?
…someone who laughs at your jokes
…someone who acts silly for the benefit of being silly
…someone lighthearted and carefree
…someone who shares the same passion as you do
…someone who shares the same thoughts in the same moment
…someone selfless and generous
…someone who knows you for who you are
… someone who loves positive energy
…someone who turns your tears into smiles
… someone who believes in you
Hopefully you are fortunate to share your life with many people who fit this list.  Value and appreciate them, as they are gems. 


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Incredible Us

Colorful flaming shooting start clipart zooming through the sky.
Image found here
As we returned to school yesterday from our spring break, we dove into our third and final theme:  SOAR.  Our students began the year working hard building their own unique STRUCTURE for learning and developing a plan of relevant personal goals.  In the winter, they were courageous as they began to BLOOM.  Students were excelling in their goals, and continued to raise the bar for themselves.  Now they are ready to celebrate their growth and SOAR.
Yesterday we began decorating our classroom with inspiration to encourage us all to SOAR.  They worked individually to decorate a star that represented their personal goals and aspirations for the remainder of the school year.  In teams they developed banners for the windows to inspire others in our school community to SOAR.  We reestablished routines and rituals to help us SOAR to success.  And above all, students reevaluated their personal goals to SOAR to new achievements. 
Today our school Social Worker and her amazing Intern came in and shared a beautiful story, “Incredible You”, written by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.  They share in our desire for students to believe they can SOAR to new heights and celebrate their amazing achievements.  The book explains 10 ways to let your greatness shine through, which was a perfect tie-in to our theme.  As I thought about each of these, I connected them with the overarching philosophies that Ann and I remind each other of daily; the words of wisdom we truly live by.

1.       Share the Good:  Attempt to inspire others, and seek out inspiration around us.
2.       Find What You Love:  Be passionate and never allow fear to guide us. 
3.       You are Filled with Love:  Extend our compassion and empathy to others.
4.       Find a Quiet Place Inside:  Be mindful and find ways to calm our thoughts to process clearly.
5.       Make Today Great:  Live in the moment and treasure the day we are standing in.
6.       Change Your Thoughts to Good:  Recognize the good and presume the best.
7.       Take Care of Yourself:  We must be healthy and happy to support others.
8.       Picture What You Want:  Honor our vision.
9.       Everyone is Special, Especially You:  Take time to celebrate ourselves and our students.
10.   Good Thoughts Give You Energy:  Thrive on positivity, novelty, and humor.
Ann and I model our Building Blocks to Success (Work Hard, Be Courageous, Celebrate Growth) for our students every day, and these 10 ways allowed me to reflect on how even as adults we must allow our greatness to shine through.  As we work hard, courage is necessary to help us celebrate our own personal growth.  We must soak up our moments of greatness and be careful to not minimize the work we have accomplished.  Every goal reached is a stepping stone on our personal journey, and valuing our own personal successes gives us the momentum to keep going through the ups and the downs. 

Ann and I attribute our incredibility to our students.  They inspire us often and give us the courage to keep going each and every day.  They help us believe.   Incredible Me… Incredible You… Incredible Us… 


Friday, April 6, 2012

Sometimes We Need to Breathe

Everyone in my life who truly knows me for me would tell you I never slow down, but they also accept my drive and passion and resist their criticism. Infact they treasure me for me, as I feel their unconditional support. They know me well enough to know I love my daily work. They know me well enough to know I will prioritize appropriately. They know me well enough to know I will take a break when my body and mind requires it.

Spring Break has been that time for me, when life literally came to a screeching halt- it doesn't happen often, but giving in to the exhaustion allowed me a time of rejuvenation. A chance to breathe and let go negative energy and stress.

As I disconnected a bit to engage in a little personal therapy, I fell back on the things that inspire me: exercise, books, coffee, music, and sunshine. We all need "me-time" once in awhile, and all of these things helped me to breathe deep and gain perspective.

I downloaded new books to my NOOK and hibernated a bit. But I also loaded my iPhone with variety of new music, laced up my Nikes often, and soaked up every little bit of sunshine the Pacific Northwest has had to offer. I have been exercising daily again, which has brightened my spirit. And coffee has been warming my heart as usual- but enjoyably so.

My mind is clear, my soul is calm, and my heart is full of hope. I am ready to resume my routine and push forward towards my personal goals. My breath of fresh air has sent me on the persuit of inspiration again.