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Monday, May 28, 2007

Random bits

I'm at home with a sick child this morning, so my mind has a little time to wander to random places...

- I've been thinking alot about the Ethiopian coffee ceremony lately. It's a beautiful thing, where you watch them "create" rather than simply "brew" your coffee. I'm not a coffee drinker, but when someone roasts the beans over a small fire, grinds them with a well-worn wooden mortar and pestal, and brews your coffee in a elegant yet simple black urn, all while burning frankincense over a separate small fire, of course I couldn't resist. I've been thinking about it, because it was such a simple yet profound example of "anticipation". When we consume the instant meals and instant drinks we're so used to in our culture, we forget the value of anticipation. It's not just in the food we eat either. We want instant entertainment and instant gratification too. I want to concentrate on enjoying the anticipation. Unfortunately, my tendencies toward impatience and laziness get in the way all the time.
- I attended my aunt's wedding this weekend. She is a widow who married a widower who was a close friend of her husband's. I'm happy for her - this particular aunt has been through more pain than most, having lost 2 sons and a husband. A wedding like that takes on a whole new feeling, though, when you have been to a similar wedding where your own mother got married. I think I know a little bit about how their children are feeling. You want so badly for your parents to be happy, and yet you want to stomp your foot on the floor like a four-year-old and whine.
- I taught another leadership workshop this weekend. We've been working through the Leadership Challenge, and this session was on "Inspire a Shared Vision". Someone asked "don't you think it's true that it's virtually impossible to truly give birth to a fully formed vision without stepping away from day to day life for awhile?" Yes, I think that's absolutely true. Just like giving birth to a child, our dreams need to be given time to emerge, even though the birth might be painful. When I was a young child in school, I used to get reprimanded for daydreaming now and then. Now, here I am, teaching a leadership workshop, encouraging adult participants to step away for awhile and do exactly that - daydream. Take THAT, Mrs. S - my daydreaming WASN'T just a waste of time!
- In preparation for the workshop, I re-read parts of The Path, a book about creating your personal mission statement and vision. I first read through that book and did some of the exercises it suggests about a year and a half ago. One of the exercises was to write "a day in the life" of yourself five years in the future. The author says she is always amazed how many people who do that end up very near to their vision five years later. When I re-read my own last week, I was pleasantly surprised that some of my vision has begun to come true. Facilitating this workshop on the weekend was one of the things I'd written in the vision, and in the past year, I've gotten to do several of them for a variety of groups.
- My sister bought a house this weekend. Their househunting process has caused me to reflect on why we ended up in our house. It is far from our "dream" house, but I have come to love it none-the-less. When I was crossing the street toward our house this morning, I had a little memory of the first sighting of this house and why I was drawn to it. We have massive trees all around the house. When they are in the majesty of full foliage (like now, which is right around the time of year we first saw it), the house (an average-sized bungalow) looks dwarfed in the middle. I kinda like that - it makes the creation of man look so insignificant when completely overshadowed by nature.
- A few years ago, I facilitated an eight week workshop on unleashing your creativity. It was one of the best, most inspired experiences I've ever had. More than one of the participants has told me that it has had a profound impact on their lives since. This weekend, one of those people released her first cd, and she told me that she would never have done it if she hadn't taken my workshop. She said it had "given her permission to create". Hearing that statement made me realize that I have a longing to do it again. I think I need to make that happen.
- Marcel had to prepare a presentation for his class this morning. As part of the presentation, he included 2 video clips showing positive and negative classroom management styles. We set up a "film studio" in our dining room - Marcel played the teacher, Nikki, Julie, and Julie's friend played the students, I was the videographer, Maddie was my helper, and we all had a hoot!

7 comments:

Michele said...

oh my
i could comment on every -, but i will leave it at the coffee ceremony. that is why i force myself to buy beans. and sometimes i'm too impatient to grind them as much as they should be ground. it is so HARD to allow life to unfold slowly, and not feel like we must rush it along.
dear micah keeps teaching me that.

Liz said...

Heather, your contact information is no longer in your profile. I need your email for your interview questions.

I'm not much of a coffee drinker anymore either, but that coffee ceremony sounds wonderful.

Gina said...

Isn't it funny how people feel sometimes that they are being "unproductive" when they create? It's just so wrong.

Bobita~ said...

Your words about the Ethiopian coffee ceremony brought tears to my eyes. It was the appreciation of the process that did it for me.

Are you going to Blogher in Chicago? Your Leadership and/or Unleashing Creativity seminars would be such an excellent addition to the lineup that they have planned. I know I would LOVE to attend one of your workshops/seminars!

I hope your sick child is feeling better.

karla said...

I love coffee and the Ethiopian coffee ceremony sounds positively dreamy. You are so right about the value of anticipation and a need for instant gratification. That is something I try and remember and I don't always do a good job at it. Thank you for the reminder.

melissa said...

Heather, your posts are always so lovely and full of reminders for me about how I could better live my life. Thank you for writing them.

Janet said...

Heather, you share so much of yourself in your "random postings". I feel like I know you a little better after this one -- thanks!

Janet

PS Good thing I didn't try to get over to your part of Canada after my recent trim in Calgary, given how awful I was feeling. But maybe someday????