Twenty years ago if someone would have told me that I needed to find myself by searching within myself I would have said they were totally "bat-sh*t crazy". Not that we all aren't a little crazy at times. But that's for another day. Seeking answers in the "outside world" is much like searching for a diamond in the ocean... They just doesn't exist. Pearls on the other hand are a whole different story.
Once we settle in to adulthood, we tend to create a sort of merry-go-round for our own life in the pursuit of what we think will create happiness, peace, or success. A lot of those moves have to do with blindly making decisions based on nothing that has any inner depth for ourselves. I remember very clearly being so incredibly excited to get my first teaching position at a public school district north of Denver. What an amazing experience it was to be entrusted with the minds of these middle school students. I was on cloud nine. Until I wasn't... I made the decision to be a teacher because I wanted to make a difference. I worked and worked and worked. I literally wasn't mindful of the fact that I had no idea how to balance work and home. I lived to work... that was it. And I convinced myself that I was doing a good thing... Until it occurred to me that I had no life at all outside of the confines of my classroom. I started to feel trapped. It didn't help that the public school system focused solely on standards, check lists, and grading. As an art teacher and reading specialist, I knew that none of those things mattered to a developing child. The system was bogging down teachers with busy work the same way teachers did to students. None of it mattered to me anymore. I wasn't living by my values...
I stumbled upon the Montessori teaching philosophy because I was looking for a more holistic way to educate our son - two years old at the time. I wanted an educational environment that was natural, created choice, and was an enjoyable place for him to be and also everyone! I was so shocked that I hadn't learned about this philosophy in college or even grad school, but I hadn't. You don't know what you don't know. This statement needs to be etched in every adults mind... We must keep an open mind and always be looking out for learning opportunities. We cannot ever stop learning. When you do, your mind becomes stagnant! Yuck!
Montessori was a breath of fresh air to me - and the teaching philosophy aligned with MY values. My number one value is connection. If you've ever been in a Montessori classroom and observed the students all doing something different yet all of them having a connection to their teacher, you will understand why this educational philosophy resonated with me so much.
There's another part of my world that aligns with my values and that's working with horses. I love to train them, raise them, and partner with them in my Equine Gestalt© practice. Horses require connection - with your mind, body and spirit. They don't want anything to do with you when you're on your phone or even talking with someone else. They want fully present humans. You know who else require being fully present? Children. They not only require it, they need it to develop trust, empathy, responsibility, and, you guessed it, connection. Without it, they get lost, retreat, and become disconnected. It is one of the fasted ways to losing a child to drugs, gangs, or other destructive paths in life.
The next time you are struggling with your own life's path and you're wondering, "What the hell am I going to do?" What are my core values? If you struggle with this, email me right now... Carolynes777@gmail.com
You cannot waste another day living someone else's life. Your values - they're the beginning of living your best life!
Photo credit - Steph Cope Photography