Irresistible #messages

Dusk before the rain, 2021

The morning is cooler. I can hear Thursday’s cold front rolling in from the North. I heard it from Crow, who heard it from Mockingbird, who heard it from Cat, who heard it from another Crow, perched at the top of the Australian pine: Hawk, hawk, hawk. Hawk says not a thing, but like this great wise and winged #moment, perched upon my fence, eyeing me with #confidence. She heard it from Me, who heard it from Crow, who heard it from Cat, who heard it from Mockingbird, who heard it from another Crow. The morning is cooler. I can hear Thursday’s cold front rolling in from the North.

#irresistible stories


It’s a humid Monday morning, the week before Halloween. I’ve been toying with new ideas in the classroom in my head all weekend. Our big district shared a “retelling” of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi to teach author’s purpose and comparing and contrasting the presentation across multiple mediums. I’ve never been a huge fan of this narrative, mostly because of its origins and underpinnings, but our class will get a chance to see Nagaina and discuss her character traits. And I, the teacher, may get to hear those robust ELA words like “cold”, “capricious,” “calculating,” and “cruel.”

The thing about stories is that they retell all on their own through what we read, hear, and tell. To adequately improve reading comprehension, one reads. It helps to have a guide, and thanks to the Internet and the fabulous watered down curriculum, I have everything I need to teach: links, 100 page guides, teacher guides, powerpoints, and a sad, sad retelling. A retelling that no student or teacher would parse those robust ELA words like “cold”, “capricious,” “calculating,” and “cruel” from the district’s retelling of the “epic” battle of Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and Nagaina. Maybe that’s the point (to not replicate another feminine demon?). And after three days of graphic organizers and questions that loop about the point in the roundabout, convoluted way, I told students to submit their work. Let’s read the actual story.

It’s a humid Monday morning, the week before Halloween. I’ve been planning the stories I wish my students to read, hear, and tell, so that maybe one day soon in discussion I’ll hear those robust ELA words like “cold”, “capricious,” “calculating,” and “cruel.” And I’ll be able to counter them–as Nagaina would do for her children. Or better yet, my own students will counter them with new words of their time, place, and setting; but that’s another story.

irresistible #algorithm

October 2021

I’m working on this complicated algorithm in my head. It fits not the rhyme or measure of my #thought and current realities, but patterns itself in #memory: the phases of the moon, the rising and setting of the sun, the taste of the morning breeze, the call of birds in neighboring trees, the traces of summer last in the garden, the footstep of my lover, and the scratch of the cat on the front mat. I can almost, almost hear this algorithm, maybe a frequency undiscovered? There’s a heaviness to it, like gravity or dense matter, but there is infiniteness, too, within its formulas. I’m working on this complicated algorithm in my head and how to write this in symbols and letters and numbers.

irresistible #planning

Elijah Clarke, October 2021

It’s Saturday, and I’m sitting down to plan. I had the opportunity for a planning day at school yesterday, away from the constant hums and bangs of the classroom; this being one of the first ones in 5 years or so that involve me carving out personal time, which–since Covid–has seemed so precious. Planning next steps felt a little easier than during the huge uncertainties of 2020, the election of Biden, my husband’s retirement, and hybrid digital format, but the “survival” line of thinking habit is so hard to break. It’s hard to shut down the necessities, self-created in a bygone error for a system that wholly operates digitally now. Learning is, indeed, all about connections, inter- and intra-personal ones. Learning with “survival” thinking–for both the student and teacher–is fodder for getting the same results, declining test scores, especially now that 2021 has brought a new set of uncertainties.

To break out of survival thinking and #moveforward, I’ve been setting myself up with a new set of skills, trying to think away from the idea of higher certifications (although I am pursuing them currently) and into other realms. I learned to do this fluidly last year, creating realities (in this crazy hybrid virtual and realtime, synchronous S&#! show) where there were none for #compassion and #listening so #needs and wants could be heard. I also learned what NOT to repeat from face-to-face past school years, and carry this into planning for the academic school year and retiring common core standards (more to come after training on the NEW new standards once again–my third cycle).

Teachers know the realities of any regular year–the traumas we experience or observe in others, but try to ignore. Once you are aware of an injustice or a circumstance, how can we just ignore it away? The public school systems of the United States have perpetuated many injustices, which cannot be ignored or silenced. Covid laid to bare this at an alarming rate, and we just didn’t have time to argue too much about academic excellence and dress code. Nor plan.

This greater issue for me personally was, and still is, sustainability. I’m constantly looking for an even #exchange of energies here, and constantly reminded we are a business transaction, a human resource (which is smaller in my district than the money dedicated to digital infrastructure). Yet, too, as a teacher and learner, I’m reminded here that I have agency. I try, instead, to learn new skills and explore outside of the box, moving forward. We have to learn how to give and take ourselves, and how to model this #balance in a world under great change. It’s a huge step forward for me to carve out time to plan, to understand its importance, and to be focused in something I once felt a great deal of #passion for, even though its #burdens are not sustainable.

Skill-building is just a fancy way of saying #practice (in my opinion) with a little planning. Here’s some actions I’m currently using as I #plan for opportunities:

Planning – Dream, List, Break apart, Chew On, Brainstorm, Revise, Reflect, Analyze, and Stick To

Getting outside – Camp, hike, sleep, hang out, take pictures, watch the skies, dream

Building intra and interpersonal skills with the goal to be connected to others. To hold and be held in their love. There’s sustainability in this :). What’s your attachment style? – One survey for this here.

Learning a language (or two) – I wrote my first one in German (it’s Haiku–the structure provides me much without getting into my own inner patriarchy) – might share it here.

Reading, writing and creating – A blog, a book, a poem, a video, a website, a masterpiece, a doodle.

Moving – move earth, pick up things, move air, flow like water, breathe the sky, dance, shimmy, move

Learning – Take a class (even if you don’t want to) – Anything! Today’s for me are mostly for professional development but I believe there’s always something to learn and #practice. I practice #NVC in those times of ennui and complete disbelief (there are times when a sense of humor comes in handy and #abandonment is a better course of action).

Practicing with awareness, #NVC, Yoga, Meditation. Turn it into #daily #ritual.

Putting myself out there – EarthmotherYoga is transforming into a business.

Listening without Judgement and Teaching with that in mind and #heart

Here’s one of my favorite videos on how to make #connection and building skills of #listening. May we all be blessed in our #abundance and #practice done and shared in Love.

irresistible #rebellion

Elijah Clarke, October 2021

It’s Wednesday. I am already feeling the pull of rebellious #aquarius, providing plenty of #excuses for Thursday. I look to the #skies for #signs. Wonder about the weather, even though I’m indoors all day long. I look to the skies for signs. Wonder about the weather. And begin #practice.

To embrace the darkness, I focus on the horizon. Night distinct from morning, which creeps even now at 4 a.m. Night is set apart by urban lights, twinkling awake, like the quiet stars hidden from the moment by this process. I draw a #rune, consider the whole and then the parts. Like the #night, there is #wisdom there for me. I embrace this #stillness and say a #spell, words falling deliberately and intuitively, like the quiet stars illuminated in the moment by this process.

Wednesdays bring an awareness of how far I’ve come and how far I have yet to go. It’s a campfire kind of day; I want to sit around and stare into a fire, not really doing anything (because you know you must do something, most preferably, sooner than later).

It’s Wednesday. I am already feeling the pull of rebellious #aquarius, providing plenty of #excuses for Thursday. I look to the #skies for #signs. Wonder about the weather, even though I’m indoors all day long. I look to the skies for signs. Wonder about the weather. And begin #practice.

My Wednesday practice is full of #learning. I listen to podcasts, music, catch up on lessons in classes I’m taking, and focus on hearing other #perspectives. Like Wednesday, this reminds of how far I’ve come and how far I have yet to go.

Here’s one of my favorites. Enjoy! May we be blessed in our #abundance and practices. #loveisall #loveislove #nvc

irresistible #exchange

2015

I return again and again to habits. These turn like leaves in the fall, somewhere up North of here, exchanging one color for other ones. Colors of discipline, floundering, returning, again and again. What makes us strong? What keeps us strong? Is it the exchange of one energy for another? Is it the exchange of effort for time? Is it the compensation for the exchange or the exchange itself? Is it conscious habits, or, like turning leaves, the exchange of practice and slow return?

I could return again and again, revisiting, reflecting. Pandemic conditions have been ripe for opportunities such as these, separated from our comfortable nests of fortitude with social distancing and lockdowns. I know it wasn’t discipline and conscious habits which forged 2015; it was exchange based on #connectivity. To make it an abstraction seems sacrilegious so I’ll return to the leaves turning in the fall. Like the Grand Canyon (which I finally got to see this summer), I know if I saw these lighting up the mountainside, I’d cry. The beauty of exchange is it doesn’t really need words (or money) and it becomes invaluable, if we return again and again. I’ve never been sorry I picked up a weight because I know I can do it. I have a relationship with it, as I did with my fellow crossfitters in 2015 (#CFMDstrong).

Here’s a little different idea of #exchange that inspired me to get moving forward, but one shared in my true hippy spirit–I’m all about the magick. May we be blessed in abundance of Earth’s exchange and our healing practices.

Irresistible Productivity

Fall 2021 – Elijah Clarke State Park, Georgia

No better way to be an artist or a writer than actually writing or art-ing. You wish to do a handstand? A cartwheel? An actor? A mother? A teacher? A producer? You better start acting the part–start doing. But, wait! The falling leaves. How they catch the fading early Fall light! How they herald the change of Seasons, still sturdy with their flashes of chlorophyll and Summer’s abundance.

A recent solo camping trip–really only my second–gave me time to reflect and re-evaluate irresistiblecircumstances.blog, as school is not quite as irresistibly irresistible as our State would like to think it was. Florida legislation is tough on big Districts and their mask-mandating. The type of #inclusivity that our Governor would like to white wash by outlawing #criticalracetheory and other threats to public safety. But, then, this really shouldn’t be a blog about that, so off I went to the woods, thinking not in terms of what I could throw at my mid-life crisis, but what sub-set I could build: chopping wood, tarping a leaky tent, cooking efficiently, spending time looking out and in, and warding off Georgia ants.

During my listening and reading and doing (sometimes nothing), I made the decision to return to this space in a new way, still #practicing but with an eye on producing (for money). Not an easy decision, but one of the heart (could be purple).

I also made the decision to use this space in a more irresistible way through sharing my inspirations. The first is a book review and one of my favorite channels. May You be inspired to listen or read or both.

May we be blessed in our #abundance and continued #practice in Love.

Irresistible #water

Did you send the #pain to hobble me
Take my word for what i see
Read my face, and you will know
 our ocean tide does ebb and flow
Where one begins, one dissolves;
in pain of #change, our world evolves
You watch it now, you know who
does my pain still strengthen you?
Take my word, it's mine alone
I'll claim this pain as my own.

We began summer school in a hurry this year. I took the four days off and went to the beach just about every day, washing myself of the Covid-19 school year in the beautiful elements at Canaveral National Seashore. During the last few weeks of school, I was fortunate enough to complete a long-awaited PD on Restorative Practices (https://www.iirp.edu/) and expand upon this through classes and continued learning at Embodied Philosophy (see below).

As the circle is an indispensable tool for restorative practices, I begin my 10-week, 3rd grade summer camp with a circle, a safe container. I’ve been out of the 3rd grade classroom for about 6 years now, and got my one-year stint at Civics teaching (a very interesting and polarizing subject with the events of January 6th). Civics is a difficult subject for adults, let alone adolescents. The switch to third grade was welcome, and needed as I will the 7th grade English language arts teacher next year.

This summer, circles are more of a tool for me, a common ground where this new class could establish dialogue and safe sharing. Throughout June, I will weave mindfulness practice into this school world. As predicted, there are many obstacles and challenges with cultivating a space of equanimity and compassion. I continue to work on these through unexpected (but not really) outbursts and tears (there have already been a lot of them). Bandaids and ice are wonderful in the moment, but the real work starts in circle.

This blog is a place to reflect and regroup, as well as practice words of NVC. From what I have experienced in 7 days, we can all still use more compassion and time to build trust before tackling learning challenges. There is strength in our differences of #perspective. Irresistible Circumstances was (and still is) inspired by my dear friend and extraordinary teacher, Danielle, who left this world 6 years ago. Her sweet, yet fierce, perspective has sustained my professional passion in any classroom or grade level. Her friendship was and is still a precious #gift, as her work touched so many students and colleagues. Irresistible Circumstances is a blog to share #perspectives and #goodwork which bring about positive change and healing.

Below is the first in Earthmother Yoga’s June 2021 series, inspired by readings, study, and practice of NVC and restorative practices during this summer, post-Covid-19 school year, Yay, for being without the onerous and mind-frazzling requirement of hybrid learning (no live and face-to-face synchronous learning)! June’s focus continues practices for #connection drawing on the elements based upon work of Marshall Rosenberg and his student, David Weinstock (links below), and their exemplars of grounding and mindfulness practices to cultivate and sustain the language of nonviolent communication (NVC).

Last week, we began with Earth (video embedded below), our home with present, familiar footing. Here we will continue to find common ground with ourselves and others. Today, we will expand and explore Water through our #practice of stepping into the deep waters of our emotions, and then returning to common ground in continued awareness of movement and breath. Today’s practice will be posted on Youtube following our live session.

Please help EMY grow by enjoying, sharing, and subscribing my channel. And, thank you!

For more on NVC and June’s practice series:

David Weinstein on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-What-You…/dp/1973115492

Classes with David Weinstock (and so much more) https://www.embodiedphilosophy.com/

More about NVC, Marshall Rosenberg, and the Center for Nonviolent Communication

https://www.cnvc.org/node/243492#abundance#earthmother#yogawitch#safeschools#irresistiblecircumstances

Earthmother Yoga on FB:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/669774807091487/

Please help our musicians and artists, by supporting and sharing. Here’s a favorite new discovery!

Beautiful music to #practice with: