In just over 24 hours, the year 2011 will be behind us. All of the events, thoughts, choices, growth, moves, meetings, struggles and successes will be closed up in a place reserved for “that year when…”
2011 was, for me, completely packed with changes. New: state, job, house, plot of soil, goals, community, school, and the minute details that are involved in each. It was very ebb and flow; for example, a long and lazy Summer, deeply experienced and meditatively approached, was followed up quickly by a fast-paced Fall with a vigorous work schedule and the re-awakening of driven choices.
One major choice was that of returning to further my education. As I wrote about recently, my first choice was giving me pause and I stopped to listen to that pause. I listened long enough to hear a gentle nudge in another direction, and discovered a Waldorf Teacher Training program in Wisconsin that partners with a local accredited college to allow students to also receive federal funding for most of the courses as well as eligibility towards a Masters in Education with Waldorf Emphasis. Being “only” 8 hours away, this solution was gloriously ideal.
I applied to the schools (the training institute and the college) and found out that Foundation Studies begin in 3 weeks! My head was spinning a bit, trying to merge all the logistical details into one semi-organized spot in my brain before brainstorming ways in which it could work for me to start on such short notice. Armed with the strength of hope, I got passed my fears and uncertainty about asking for help and sent out a “campaign” of sorts to raise the funds by taking pre-orders on my handmade goods through the Fall. Within 2 days I had enough orders to pay the registration fee, and within a week a few other generous donations towards other logistical costs (car rental, gas, food, babysitter, books). I was at once humbled and enthralled! The support of my community, both financial as well as emotional/spiritual, was opening a door for me that seems improbable if not impossible a year ago.
Next Friday night I will be sleeping (hopefully!) in a dorm in Milwaukee, having begun the first course that evening in my Waldorf teacher training. To say that I am overwhelmed would end 2011 with the understatement of the year!
The course itself, guided by the texts How to Know Higher Worlds (Steiner) and Meditation as Contemplative Inquiry (Zajonc), is definitely right up my alley and a part of my life that greatly needs more focus to bring my whole self into balance. To slow down and live consciously and mindfully has rarely been my strong point. My will and ambition often bites off a bit more than I can chew, and my fear of failing other people too often drives me to complete whatever I’ve set out to do — even when my health, home, and family are the sacrifice. If I am to become a teacher within a Waldorf model, then this is a wonderful place for me to begin — at perhaps my greatest personal struggle.
I have been repeating a Steiner verse to myself and to the kids often these last few weeks. I gravitate to the very thing I find so hard to do at times: find my Inner Quiet, my Silent Self… Christ in me.
Quiet I bear within me,
I bear within myself,
forces to make me strong.
Now will I be imbued with
their glowing warmth,
Now will I fill myself with
my own will’s resolve.
And I will feel the quiet
pouring through my being,
When by my steadfast striving
I become strong,
To find within myself
the source of strength,
The strength of Inner Quiet.
2012 will quickly find me GOING – off to start this next adventure, trying not to be insanely worried about my kids back home! (aahhhhhh!) But my intention for the next year is not to be GOING so much. I want to become more of a human being, and less of a human doing. I want to have more time to notice what is right in front of me: when my garden needs water, or my kids’ need some cuddling, or my kombucha needs to be fed, or my sister needs a phone call, … or my body needs to rest.
Simply put, my sole New Year’s resolve is to better live in the present.
Happy New Year, friends.