Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A lesson from Twilight revisited and final thoughts on my Masters Journey.

This is the last reflection I have to submit for my Masters course. This has been a wonderful two years of transformation and awakening. When I first decided to take the course, I didn’t realize how “stuck” I was. I loved my job, and it was joyous, but I was really inspired by the learning of other people on my staff. The conversations that we had around the staffroom table were inspiring, and they were leading other staff members to improve their practice, and were building great connections with each other. I was yearning for that in my teaching and life. I didn’t realize fully, how flat my energy was and how unhealthy my practice, spirit, and self were becoming.

But I must have known on some level, and thank goodness had the will to seek something better.

How do we change? Tom Peters say it’s with real work and processes, and being connecting with improving performance. Murray Bowen says it all begins with awareness, and that awareness is movement. I believe that is true too, but without the real work behind it, seeking change and betterment just becomes words. I have learned the true value of standing behind your words. For years I have been looking at improving my health. I would get all excited and juiced up about losing weight or exercising, and then it would last about a month, and I would go back to my original habits. Or get all excited about some professional development workshop, and tell myself, you need to apply this to your teaching, and never do it. I have had two years of amazing learning, and on September 18th I could be completely finished the degree, and will be. It is essential for me to honour that process and the growth that has happened, and to continue to grow and reflect on my learning. If I don’t do anymore after September 18th, and say to myself, “Wow, I’m finished. No more assignments, reflections, and just going to take the money and run!”...would be like being handed Hank Williams guitar, and letting it sit in the case on the corner of the room collecting dust.

So here is where the real work comes. I have surrounded myself with some pretty amazing people who are like minded in continuing to improve their practices and their learning, and I have asked two people to check in with me once a month to make sure I am keeping true to my goals. I have given them a copy of professional platform, and I plan continue to reflect in my blog, as well as my platform. I also realize one of the most important things I need to improve upon is my will and strength to follow through on my goals. To have then is great, to achieve them is divine.

When I was traveling over to my niece's wedding in Langley I gave into temptation and started reading Twilight. I am an avid reader and lover of good stories, but I had put this one off. I had made a deal with myself that I would read it after I had finished my Masters. But on the ferry ride over I needed something to read, and after two years of reading research and non-fiction I was ready for a novel. So I caved to temptation and bought the book. It was so good I finished the book in one day, and because it is a saga, four books in total, I bought the next ones the next morning. I had to find out what was going to happen next. I love books like that. I was mesmerized, and really surprised that I enjoyed it so much. I am thinking it is the best love story since Elizabeth Bennett and Mark Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. All of that aside, I actually found a lesson for myself in the book, which surprised me even further.

No I'm not jumping on the team Edward or team Jacob bandwagon, nor am I rushing out to buy myself a pair of g-string panties with Edward's name written on them. I'm after all I'm 35 years old. What I really loved in the book was Edward's strength and fortitude around is relationship with Bella. She's human, he's a vampire. His whole desire is to suck every inch of blood out of her. He even refers to her as her own personal brand of heroin. Sometimes I feel that was about food, and I was surprised how much I really admired Edward's restraint. He doesn't give in. To consume Bella is something he wants so badly, but he wants the relationship even more, so he uses every ounce of his will and personal fortitude to have a relationship with someone he wants to devour.

Wow. I love food. Sometimes I feel it so hard to keep on track and eat what's healthy. But what I truly desire even more than food, is to be a slimmer, healthier version of myself. SO I am going to take a lesson from Edward Cullen (I can't believe I'm saying this), and really focus on what matters most to me right now. A healthy Me in all areas.

And when I feel temptation running through my veins, or the wavering feeling of giving up, I will remember a teenage vampire, and his will to achieve what he desires most.

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