When a Tucson Unified School District employee recently told me that some families were still trickling in to enrol, even though school started weeks ago, I asked, “Were they on vacation?” She said, “No, just watching TV,” not aware that school had started.
I was fortunate that my eagerness at starting school each year never faded. School was a place where I enjoyed learning and connecting with friends. My desire for school to be a fun, succesful experience for everyone lead me to earn a masters degree in educational psychology. I learned about a mastery approach to teaching, in which there is no flunking, only seeking to find what approach will help a student master each step in the learning process. My special interest was in studying how we create the conditions that foster creativity.
But during that time, my health seriously declined, and after pursuing many approaches to healing, I thought I was “flunking,” that there was no hope for me. I then became like those parents and students who no longer showed up for school.
While holding little hope for my own healing then, I still had a belief in some larger planetary healing, and put my energy into activism. It was in that context that I got the feedback that I was very good in troubleshooting. My training in systems theory was still going to a good use, examining a situation, seeing how energy was flowing, where it was blocked, and being able to suggest courses of action that were effective.
Years later when a surge of energy came through my body during intensive meditation, I began to heal on all levels. Then I rediscovered a joy in troubleshooting the flow of energy in all situations, moving through layers in my own healing process, and helping others find where they were bloeked and getting energy flowing.
Today I encourage us all to take a mastery approach to learning in all areas of our life, simply asking, what do I need to do to shift this issue, what will help me learn skills I need? Without the option of flunking, we all become more skilled troubleshooters, helping ourselves and others learn and grow, contributing our unique gifts so needed in this time of great transition on our planet.
On the theme of learning, in November at Odyssey Storytelling I’ll share the story of my mother’s last lesson.
In general news, Aqua Vita is open again!
And for all who celebrate Rosh HaShanah, I wish you a sweet new year.
On Sept. 26, we’ll have our third annual sacred water event at the Jewish Community Center, starting at 4 pm. The new shaliach, or emissary, from the Israel Center will give a brief presentation on water issues in Israel, then a variety of individuals and groups will lead psalms that represent spiritual ascent to Jerusalem, and then we’ll make a procession carrying water, chanting Kosi Rivaya (my cup overflows), which not only honors the sacredness of water, but also helps us shift into an attitude of abundance regarding all things. If you have young children, they can go to the outdoor sukkah to enjoy a story, and then join in for the procession.Then we’ll have snacks and peruse water conservation and harvesting resources.