This time last year I stayed in a hermitage cabin in the woods for what I call my strategic planning meeting. It involves a few days of quiet in the woods by Lake Michigan with my journal, poster size paper and markers, my meditation cushion and yoga mat. The intention of my strategic planning meeting is to look back on the year and into the next one.
I ask important questions that shape many of the decisions that I make both personally and professionally.
In 2015, I committed to the theme of space. The freedom and scope to live, think, and develop in a way that suits one. Unconditional friendliness.
As a result of the theme space, I expanded the BYC to create a more comfortable space for students where they could feel at ease and at peace. I stepped back from teaching to allow for extra space in my personal and professional life and to question my motivations and intentions behind my teaching. After almost 10-years of working at my dining room table, I gave myself permission for an office space.
A couple of weeks ago, I was back at my strategic planning meeting excited about my new word for the year. Courage. Borrowing from David Whyte, Berne Brown, and the dictionary, I created my working definition of courage for 2016.
Courage is the confidence in and commitment to life. It lies deep within the heart of the human spirit. It is the source of inner strength with a soft, open and vulnerable heart.
In putting courage at the center of my life for 2016, I have reflected on my devotion to living a meaningful life, not a perfect one.
For several years, I’ve been tangled up about teaching. What I teach in class is a reflection of what I am practicing in my personal life. That was deeply vulnerable for me to share. I developed an expectation that if I am teaching these things, I should be perfect at them, knowing that I wasn’t.
With the intention of space, I learned all sorts of things about myself that wouldn’t have been revealed had I not given myself time for reflection. And while I am still in process, I do know that I am devoted to courage and sharing practices that are deeply woven into my life.
I want to share those with you and hope that you will join me for my collection of classes beginning in December called Mornings of Nourishment.