Tootsie, Circle of Trust and the Ten Challenges!


Life has changed over the past year for me. Parker Palmer’s work has lead me on an inner journey that challenged my place in my work. Did my soul and my role match? We wanted a dog… and we found Tootsie! Volunteering at Kirkridge led me to a book group that is studying Leonard Felder’s Ten Challenges. People talk about the perfect storm – and ominous, dark images come to mind; a hurricane, the state and federal budgets, climate change. Not for me. The perfect storm is manifesting itself through a journey of  reflecting on who I am and what I do; in Circle of Trust work, practicing love and kindness to an unruly chocolate lab, and reflecting on the how my life can be in sync with my spiritual belief that there is a mysterious internal energy that is present and dwells among us.

 Over the past year I began a practice of reading and reflecting on a passage from the book “An Almanac for the Soul, Anthology of Hope” by Marv and Nancy Hiles. The perfect storm ripping through my life over the last three years causing fear and doubt. I found myself divided, broken, and hopeful. Each morning the call to something deeper appeared. Sometimes I found peace, sometimes tears, but always a sense that I was not walking alone. The inner teacher, as present as the woodpecker at the bird feeder this morning, shows itself at the corner of our table as the sun rises.

 The braiding of these gifts is with me as I walk the trail with Tootsie each morning. My dream of a starting a School at Kirkridge, making prayer beads with differently abled youth, and seeking the heart and soul of public education – maybe even teaching at a college. There are no footprints to follow on the path these days. Winter has melted into spring. Today I see trees budding, small flowers sprouting in the most unlikely place, and small newts walking the path with Tootsie and I. Unlike winter, in the spring I see new grow, birth, change. The winter snow made it easy to see those who are walking this path with me – now in spring I am seeing the others, watching them grow and change. And like my morning reflection, I am aware of the numinous on this spring journey.

Today “silence assumed the air”… and I walked the path – thinking of growing and changing as I prepared to interview one more time. I considered the fact that there has been so much noise that keeps me from hearing that numinous spirit. Tasks to complete, meetings to attend, applications to fill, dinner to make, a house to clean. The voice in my head says accomplish, accomplish, accomplish. The souls says, accomplish what?? I turn to the silence assuming the air and I know that I am blessed and my path will open. My gift of enthusiasm for life, people, and light shining through the darkness of the storm. Listen. Listen carefully to the sound of your self, your soul. Dream and work. Love and play. Listen. In the silence there is a peace that comes – and with it I am in a divine space.


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