Wow. The last week and a bit has proven to be very life changing for me. Last week my blog talked about my trip to New York City and finding myself empowered by my adventures. I'm still very heavily weighing my options about spending more time there. Do I invest in some much needed weekend trips? Do I spend some of the summer there? Do I just pack up and move? Time to meditate? lol
Simply Blessed. The title of my blog today is referring to a trip I literally just took to Buffalo. My Principal invited myself and a few other amazing teachers to partake in a Symposium called 'The Leader in Me'. This Symposium is inspired through the great work of Stephen Covey's '7 Habits of Highly Effective People' and implementing the habits within a school culture. The 2 day experience was very transforming and empowering. This system basically gives us a toolbox to teach children and people to be GOOD people. Naturally I use a lot of the principles already in my own daily life and so you can imagine that it trickles down to my students. The part I love about implementing the 7 Habits in the school system though is that it gives educators and students the language to then take action to become good people.
The closing keynote speaker at the Symposium had the entire auditorium in tears (okay - maybe I'm exaggerating...but my table group was in tears). Muriel Summers is the lady responsible for making this possible in schools and she was incredibly warm and loving.
The habits are;
1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with the end in mind
3. Put first things first
4. Think win-win
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood
6. Synergize (collaborate)
7. Sharpen the Saw (take care of you)
(from Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)
I have only recently started to become fully aware of the 7 Habits and how effective they are in practice. I've been listening to the audio tape on my drive to work. Like I said, most of them are already a part of ME - but the one that I have committed to work on for myself that I don't otherwise do is Habit #4 Think Win-Win...here's the thing about me, too often I think Lose-Win...me being the lose...and not because I want to lose, but because for some reason I think other people need the win more than I do...and actually...it kind of breaks my heart a little that I've felt that way in the past. I've literally compromised my well-being, my intelligence, my needs - all in the name of making someone else feel good, 'win' or shine. When in actuality I should have been thinking 'win-win'...somewhere where both people walk away feeling happy and content...I have a lot of things to be proud of that deserve equal light and there is absolutely no reason for me to compromise to the point where my needs are not being met...so my personal goal for the next however long it takes...until it's embedded in my DNA is to improve my 'think win-win' mentality.
Okay, back to Muriel...this woman took these ideals and used them in her school to build a culture of students who respect one another as people...and she extended it so much as taking care of the lives of her staff also. When she spoke I felt a really warm feeling of love and care in my heart.... for me, it was like everything that I love about teaching children came flooding back into my heart. For the last 10-15 years I have felt that the education system was truly failing to meet the needs of the HUMAN beings passing through. I felt like the heart and compassion needed to educate young people was missing. Everything about the 7 Habits puts becoming good, loving people first...get it...first things first...you can't learn until your soul and being feels loved and safe. Gosh I'm incredibly lucky for having participated in such an inspirational event. lol
So much of what Muriel said resonated with me and one of them was this quote;
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why."
- Mark Twain
Amazing. Celebrate life people!!! Your presence on this earth is on purpose and likely for a pretty stinking cool reason...but...as much as I loved what she said, I don't think I have entirely realized my purpose. I know a lot of what my purpose is...but there is so much of the 'why' that hasn't presented itself yet. I've had many traumatizing experiences, uplifting experiences and inspirational ones...and really everything in between also...but there is something that just hasn't clicked...but in hearing Muriel speak about motivating children to be their best person as they find their why, I felt a huge sense of hopefulness shoot up and down my spine, that I, like her, will eventually find my 'why' and change people's lives...
I would absolutely love to hear from you about your 'why' ... Have you found it? What's it feel like? How did you notice it? If you haven't found it...what are you feeling? What are signs that are showing up for you?