Writing as a Practice of Mindfulness
A sort of remembering of a past experience.
This time with detached emotions,
Through the lens of an adult who stepped back into the past to recover a memory that had shaped her life.
It was-like browsing through a picture album of the mind seeing a distorted image of a life lived; from on top of the mountain; into the deepest valley, only to return to the same spot from which I had begun.
Holding onto that image of a little girl sitting all alone, with the innocence of a new born.
Caused undue stress and strain on the body. Now fifty years later has taken hold.
Fifty years ago Pamala sat and tried to make sense of what she was experiencing.
Words eluded her.
She only had a feeing that she could accurately describes,
Which etched itself onto the soft confines of her mind;
It was a seed planted in fertile ground.
As the seed took hold and began to grow;
Unaware Pamala feed it fear, loneliness and unworthiness,
Experience proved her right.
As she continued to hold onto this image like a covering for her loneliness.
She tried to comfort herself.
Only her tiny arms could not fully embrace her whole self.
She was left feeling empty.
Never would her belly be full.
She never knew that she was always whole and complete.
Feeling empty was a falsehood that she told herself and was determined to make real.
So began the process of creating a life
Experience shaped her mind; fear filled her heart.
Her soul continued to search for a resting place.
A quiet spot to call her own.
Glimpses of a life would appear
Only to be covered over with the Karma she created each time she told herself thelie.
The lie shrouded her truth.
The ache in her heart grew stronger pounding her head until the mind shut down and went into hibernation.
Down a deep dark cavern she sunk.
With no light Pamala wandered for many years trying to find a way out.
Shrouded in darkness forced me to look within for a source of light.
Winter of Discontentment
This cold, freezing temperature has me frozen solid unable to move, to distinguish what is solid and what is flowing water.
This ache in my belly; this unfamiliarity has me stuck as waves of biting cold lull me into a deep sleep, sort of like a coma that I seem unable to wake from.
The the claws of fatigue drag me into an unproductive stupor; a kind of holding place before I am swept out into the open sea.
Out into the middle of the sea, the frigid water take my strength away as wave upon wave crash onto me. I hold tight to as the hammering continue.
In a bewildered state I see familiar faces and words that I reach and try to grab a hold of which has held me to the bottom of the sea and given me a sense of inner security.
My arms start to flail as find a rhythm that will keep me afloat.
One long deep breath and I am swimming across the surface of the sea.
Days I drift until shore seems approachable.
Nearing the shoreline I see people wave; two males swim out and greet me.
I lay limp as they drape a life vest around me and pull me to shore.
On solid ground I open my eyes to the bright sunshine; to the winds brushing across my cheeks; to the smiles and laughter that greet me; to the arms that embrace me; to the love surrounding me; to the open waters that have cleansed me.
I turn and take one last look at the vast waters that I have just emerged from.
A smile crosses my lips; a copper glow emits from my skin…
My insides have been emptied into the depths of the vast sea.
Education As a Moral Undertaking
The position of the educator/mother as feminine leader and sovereign obliges you to act in an ethical manner. Not only do women mother and teach, but you also have the moral responsibility to sustain the continuity of human life. As mother/educator, you impose the social norms and values both through formal and informal education.
The Current Focus in Education
The emphasis on testing and learning the ABC’s has pushed to the rear more important courses that young people need to learn. Examination of facts and numbers have shaped the culture in schools. This has led to a decline in the purpose of education and of human life.
Grades and Self-Esteem
Just recently a study was conducted on the correlation between student grades and self-esteem. It was found that a student’s self-esteem is tied to the grades she or he makes. Thus, student’s self-worth becomes measured by a test. A test which oftentimes is biases towards white.
Cultural Images for Children and Society
In the role of cultural keeper, women teach young people how to behave socially in everyday life. In the past the role of mother/educator has been used by the state and women have been willing partners in maintaining the status quo. I want to challenge you to become a believer in young people. Ensuring that their interest and needs come before the demands of the state.
I had the opportunity to work with a teacher in Florida. I was a Para-professional. I thought I would be a teaching partner, but instead I was a teacher assistant. Roles sometimes become blurred in the classroom.
Granted I am a seasoned teacher and could have provided valuable support to the teacher. I was not utilized as a support but used as someone who carried out the demands of the teacher.
She once told me to run a personal errand for her. I would have, but it was the attitude of this teacher that I could not bear. She once told her students, “if I tell you to walk around the table three times, no matter how ridiculous it may be, just do it.”
Schools Have Become Unsafe
In the elementary school where I taught, fighting was a normal thing. There was violence and bullying, disrespect and fights. School was an extension of the neighborhood children came from. Instead of teachers and the administration shaping the culture in school. It was students who shaped the disruptive climate in the classroom and made it impossible for them to learn.
The days of blind obedience to authority is over. The teacher isn’t always right. Just because of your position you do not have inevitable rights. The teacher must utilize moral guidance when she relates not only with students, but other adults in her classroom.
A Means of Control
Unfortunate, most teachers are on a control trip. In my twenty years in education there were few peers that I could relate to. Most teacher used teaching to an end. Which was a way to exercise personal power and to dominate the lives of children. This is the one problem I see with education that does an enormous disservice to both young people and the world.
Change the Purpose for Educating Young People
Even though the society that we live in set the standards, women have the power to impart the lessons that are valuable for the full development of young people. In education and as your child’s first teacher you can transform learning into a process of empowerment. A style of coaching that inspires a new generation of young people who want to change the world.
A Heart to Heart Exchange
It is the art of teaching that touches the heart of young people. It is more than a mere passing along of useless facts. You can create the environment that becomes the perfect place to practice democracy. Regrettably, it is only taught, but not actually lived.
When you teach with your whole self-young people get the best of you. Oftentimes because of the nature of teaching, most teachers are stressed. There is a tremendous demand of your time. In addition, parents want you to teach their child and give her the best. Lastly, the city and state want you to produce loyal subjects who can pass a test and not question, but only follow the orders that are given to them.
Teacher Professionalism Integrates Moral Purpose.
There are plenty of opportunities for professional development for teachers within education. Most teacher, in addition to earning a degree can have letters and citations added to their name. This does well for professionalism, but there is a need for personal development.
Personal Development is not offered in educational training. Schools and universities have steered away from the morality of teaching. Oftentimes confusing it with religion values. One’s religion is personal, but on the other hand, there are universal values that we all can ascribe to, such as honesty, integrity and compassion. These values are left out of teacher development schools. I want to propose that teachers seek out Personal Development independently of a formal education.
Personal Purpose are Fundamental to the Future of Society.
A moral purpose keeps mother/educator of children close to the needs of children and youth. A moral purpose for education is key to changing the course of the world. Currently our world is on a trajectory headed toward the edge of a cliff. We educator/mother of children must impart to young people a desire to do good and find meaning and purpose in life.
Morality is also Core to Educational Renewal
You are central to the direction the world will take for the next one hundred years. When can find meaning and purpose and disengage from the state you become an Agent of Change.
Creating a Culture that Empowers Young People
Culture is created in schools and in the home. In the way we women allow young people the freedom to be themselves. It is how we interact with children that must be changed if we want to change the world. Oftentimes we want young people to conform which puts the woman in charge. We want control. This does not go as planned and young people rebel.
Children’s violence and disrespect reflect the decline of the purpose of education and human life. I propose that the learning environment becomes one of sharing. Both the teacher and student, parent and child learn, develop and grow. It becomes a shared partnership. Where each one has something to give and share.
The Educator as Change Maker
Love and Accept Yourself
Chapter 1 Day 1 The Exile
Last week her life hit a tailspin and mushroomed out of control.
When anxiety struck,
She was unable to concentrate,
Or find a way to quiet the voices that wanted to deny her a place.
Her family and friends
Had become estranged.
She could no longer hang onto the façade. Tired of playing the game of control and consumption.
Trying to live up to the standards of a sick society.
She left her job.
Walked out on her marriage.
Even the people in her faith organization betrayed her.
She had given them over fifteen years of her life.
She scanned the forest for any sign of life.
The only things that reflected were shadows and greenery.
She took out a match and struck it on the box.
Quickly the fire set ablaze.
Her eyes opened wide as the wood began to crackle.
Now a roaring anticipation could breathe.
One more log on top made the blaze light up.
Fire and the night sky created the perfect environment for the unfurling of her pent-up rage.
Virtual Retreat with Pamala, Anik and Ashi