On Marriage (or deep relationships in general)

Good friends of mine are getting separated.  In support of them, I attended Second Saturday with the wife of the couple.  I would 100% recommend Second Saturday for any couple or person considering separation or divorce.  I thought it was great for me, too, which probably sounds odd since I am married to. Mr.UpCyclist.  Why?  Because I am a curious soul.  I love to learn.  It was great to support my friend and the information made me think about how deeply I adore Mr. UpCyclist and that often times, I take things for granted in our relationship.

At Second Saturday, there is usually a team of people who present - a lawyer, a mediator, a financial consultant and a coach/therapist/psychologist.  Though, I thought each presentation was highly, highly valuable, the coach's presentation really spoke to me.  It was this quote below that just nailed it for me.

Marriage quote

Man, that quote made (and makes) so much sense to me.  The coach, Karen Winter, went onto say that "we need the deepest level of intimacy in a relationship to do the hardest work of healing and improving."  It made me think of how I can be at my absolute worst with Mr. U, Miss O, and Jedi. They see me at my lowest of lows and most crankiness of moments.  Yet, they still love me, support me, and ultimately only want the best for me.

Deep relationships like marriage are like that.  Not all deep relationships, but the ones that really matter and are really worth healing and improving for.  I think those relationships are a gift from the universe that points me (and you) to the areas in life that need improvement, healing, and/or cultivating.  

I've alluded recently to how cracked open I feel lately because of the six month coach certification program I am in right now.  This quote sums up that cracking in such a beautiful way:

There is a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in.
Leonard Cohen

What relationships are you in right now that are pointing you to important places within yourself that need healing, improving and/or cultivating?  Are you brave enough to face those areas?


So Many Reasons

I've been doing a ton of soul searching lately.  I think the catalyst has been a combination of a few things:  my current coach training (I'm in month two of an awesome six month certification), my intense desire to transform K-12 and college educators' professional development offerings, spending time with good friends who are getting separated, and wanting 100% to live my values - joy, creativity, connection, and taking initiative.

When I feel this cracking open of myself, I have to be really aware of this:  There are so many beautiful reasons to be happy.  It is far too easy for me sometimes to focus on what is not right or sane in the world and instead, I am bravely choosing to focus on what I want to grow.

Amy Tangerine's free coloring page

If you need a reminder, you can download Amy's free coloring page here.  Miss O was lovely and colored this for me after celebrating her birthday this week.

Live bravely, friends.  Your braveness is what will make the world just and true.


Our Roots

You may have seen my post on Instagram about this.  The other day, Mr. UpCyclist left this catalog photo for me and a note.  The catalog is Patagonia's newest catalog, by the way.  They graciously employed me all through grad school.  I love that company.

The note read, "This picture reminds me of you when we met.  Toyota pickup, bed for sleeping in the back, gear all neatly organized, enjoying nature and life.  We have come a long way, changed, but that spirit lives on!

I may live in one of the most populated parts of the US, have a "real" job, and my sweet Toyota truck was traded in years ago, but man, do I love my roots - our roots.  I love messy hair, adventure, living on wheels, all things outdoors, and having a mate that appreciates the spirit of those things, too.

Happy Monday, friends -


Self Care

More importanter graphic

I am just relishing over the kick-cool humorous mugs at Mug Empire this morning over coffee.  And I felt compelled to adjust their gymnastics mug to fit us educators.  What I am discovering in my coaching certification and coaching a zillion hours a week now is that we educators (and parents...and business owners...and humans!) are so great at putting other people's needs first, that we often leave zero fuel in our own tanks to take care of ourselves.

I say no more.

You are wayyyy more importanter than anyone else.  Yep, own it.  Believe me when I tell you this.  If we all took better care of yourselves, imagine what we could do for other people with our expanded energy and wellness.  Right?  We would be on fire with energy, self love and compassion, and then we could inject that into your relationships with others - students, family, colleagues, and perfect strangers.

The big question then becomes:  What will you do today to make yourself more importanter than others?

Me?  I'm going to keep savoring this cup of coffee right now.  I will go slowly today and be present at my five hour department meeting instead of thinking about all the to-do list items I need to complete. Early evening, I am attending a professional development event which includes a mini-talk about mindfulness (how appropriate and what great timing to make myself more importanter!) AND when I finally roll into my home in the mid-evening, I will not open my laptop and work, but inside savor my family, pet sweet Jedi, light my new candle that smells awesome, and treat myself to a hot bath. Ahhh....now, that's making myself more importanter.

What will you do?


Edcamp - My First Experience

This past Saturday, I attended my first Edcamp near my college in Maryland.  It was hosted by Anne Arundel County Public Schools.  Yep, I am an edcamper :)

And, I think I'm hooked.

Edcamp AACPS 2016

If you aren't familiar with Edcamps, they are basically unconferences.  That means there are no set speakers and no set topics for the event.  The participants all contribute ideas and topics that interest them and share expertise in smaller break-out groups, called "sessions."  Edcamps are one of those things that are hard to explain, though this video takes a shot at it.  Evidently, Edcamps are based on the unconference model of Barcamps, which I hadn't heard of either - though, I must be honest - Barcamp conjures up images of learning, fun, and a whole lots of drinks in hand.  Ha!

Back to Edcamps...I found the Edcamp experience really, really powerful.  I loved that what I was interested in learning that day was a driving force in what topics were discussed in the sessions.  To no one's surprise, I had leadership and coaching on my mind in relation to kids, teens, and adults. The session on coaching was pretty powerful for me (and the other 20+ people who also had an interest in the topic).  I also - last minute - decided to attend the classroom management session.  That, too, was uber-powerful!

When you have passionate people who have a genuine interest in a topic, you don't need a speaker or workshop leader.  You just need a safe space - like Edcamp - to speak, share, grapple with ideas, and learn from each other.

My mind is spinning with all the ways I want to use Edcamp in my position at my college, the coaching community, and other areas of life.  What about an Edcamp for moms?  Or an Edcamp for bicyclists?  Or...wait for it....an Edcamp for crafting?

Mark my words.  There will be many more Edcamps and unconference experiences in my life for 2016.

What is your Edcamp or unconference experience?