Trust Falling

I am beginning to think I learned one of my biggest lessons about trust in high school.* I was a dumpy, clumsy girl. At least that’s how I felt. I was heavier than most girls and was always, always aware of that. I walked through life half wincing, so that when everyone started laughing at me, I was prepared.

Our school was hosting a gathering of kids – including foreign exchange students – from other schools in the area. We played team games and getting-to-know-you games. Then came the dreaded trust exercises. Continue reading

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Portrait of a Young Six

One of the first questions we were asked in our enneagram training last fall was some version of “What’s your first memory of being your type?” I found it an interesting way to see how the different types reacted, often at a very young age, to similar early experiences. It also helped me get – deep down – how my type has been influencing how I move through the world for a long, long time. I found the simple answer to that simple question very enlightening, and from their reactions, I think my fellow trainees did too.

I first answered that question over six months ago, but just recently I started thinking about my answer again. Right now, to be honest, I can’t remember what got me thinking about it, or what my sudden insight was. I remember the flash that came with the insight – it truly was like a cartoon light bulb over my head – but no details. I have thought and remembered and pondered and rolled those things around in my head too much the past couple of weeks for me to remember what’s the original thought and what I have added on sense then.

But let me start with the story I shared in answer to that question. Compared to some early childhood stories, it’s pretty mild. Continue reading

Patterns, Habits and Finally Taking Action

Spoiler alert: I just sent the email.

I need to email Barry back.

A few months ago, I met Barry at an enneagram workshop. We got to talking about how cool it would be to have a discussion group just for Sixes, because as he said, we certainly need it. We exchanged emails for a while, then met for coffee and laid out some plans. I offered to come up with some content that we could start with. He agreed to create a description and some group expectations we could share. I send him my ideas to look over.

And then things stopped.

Not, to be clear, because he didn’t do his part. He sent me an email with his ideas and feedback on mine. It’s still sitting there in my inbox. As is his follow-up email.

Since sending my email to him I have been second guessing myself in ways that are far too familiar. Did I overstep my bounds? Was the material I came up with good enough? Am I being to assertive? Not assertive enough?

Continue reading

Being More Grateful

Three weeks ago, I was looping the pickup/baggage claim area at the MSP airport, looking for my daughter’s face in the crowd. We hadn’t seen each other since last Christmas and the daily mini-chats online and random three-hour phone calls were just not cutting it anymore. We needed time together and her extended vacation stretched out before us like a long expanse of warm water.

It only took moments for that sense of calm to be shattered once she was loaded into the car. The barrage of words began before we were even on back on the freeway. Mom! I missed you! Veronica! Did you have a good flight? Are you hungry? I missed you too! There’s pizza at home! Tomorrow I need to call the office! It’s so cold and dark here! Aaron wants to know what movie we want to see! I got beer, too. The words themselves really meant nothing. Just our way of reassuring ourselves we were together again.

Then she said the words I love to hear from my daughter: “I’ve got an idea I want to talk to you about.” Continue reading

More Than a Feeling

It’s fall in Minnesota.

fall leavesWell, other places, too, I suppose. But I am in Minnesota, and after 50 Minnesota falls, I know the signs. Things are dying. Other things are turning brilliant colors. And a few things seem to inexplicable just disappear back into the ground. Night comes sooner. Mornings are frosty and getting dark. Folks are digging out jackets and scarves. Heating repair companies are impossible to get a hold of.

But the biggest, most personal sign is I morph into a giant Pooh Bear, wandering aimlessly around, scratching myself and whining “Where is honey?” Continue reading

Gathering Sun Rays

Today was a good day.

There was a lot on my to-do list. They were not all pleasant things. I had some emails to answer that I wasn’t looking forward to. There were minutes from a meeting months ago I needed to type and send out. I had work to do for a client that — although I do this kind of work a lot — I was suddenly worried I would not be able to do. Worst of all, it was a beautiful day outside and like all Minnesotans this time of year I am aware these days are ticking away.

Continue reading

I Don’t Want to Write this Post

I realized about 5:00 this morning what I’ve been doing.

Last Friday I decided to do a brain dump; I wanted to get all the various thoughts, half-baked ideas and things I wanted to write off the “white board of the inside of my skull,” as David Allen says, and get them on paper. Then I could see them, connect them, moved them about and hopefully decide how to go about writing.

wall of notesIt was an invigorating weekend, I’m not going to lie. Me and my music and my markers and my sticky notes and a bare chunk of wall. I loved it. And in the end, I had what you see at on the right. Some blog post or short article ideas were a single word or phrase; that was all it took for me to know what to what to write. Others were a bit more complicated. And one – as you can see right there in the middle – went on and on and had connections and theories and thoughts until I started to feel like the guy from A Beautiful Mind.

Someday – hopefully soon – those sticky notes will become a post or two or three about how the internet and social media have changed teaching and learning and the passing on of knowledge and how we must all be both teachers and learners and the beginner’s mind and the gift of ignorance and the synthesizing of information and what it means to be an expert and so much more, maybe even a reference to the Gutenberg Bible.

But first I have to own up to what that mass of sticky notes that have been carefully arranged and rearranged really is about. Continue reading