"Be the change you want to see in the world."
~ Mahatma Gandhi
I know I have mentioned before that I have gone back to school and will finally be completing my degree next summer after a...um...10 year process. Yep, going to school, being a mom, being a partner and working a lot is a lot to handle. However, I gave myself the goal of completing my degree before Fish Girl graduates High School and she is now a Junior. Time to get a move on!
Through the process of starting classes again, I have been given the opportunity to allow myself to grow. I have been challenged to explore what really moves me, inspires me, pisses me off and brings me joy. Growth is not always comfortable but it is always necessary. It's been one helluva Fall.
As I've navigated my way through this semester, I've been reminded that it really is necessary to "Be the change you want to see in the world." I've also been reminded that affecting change on a personal level can create inspiration for those around you.
Through my required readings and interactions with classmates I've also come to the realization that it isn't necessary to compartmentalize my existence. I am a whole person who has lots of interests, skills and opinions and I don't have to keep them all separate from each other. So, as part of a project for one of my classes this semester (aptly titled "Be the Change") I have begun integrating different pieces of myself into this blog (poems and quotes that inspire me here and here and my photographs of my paintings with inspirations here and here). This process has given me permission (sometimes we really do have to give ourselves permission to do the things we want to do) to express myself in ways I hadn't before on this platform and I intend to continue to do so even after the project is completed.
Here is part of the proposal I submitted to my Professor:
I am a mother and a partner, a daughter and a big sister. I love my family very much and am grateful for each moment I have with them.
I manage a non-profit organization that serves girls ages 5 - 15 in after school and summer camp programs. This program implements hands on experiential activities around a variety of topics including (but not limited to) science and the environment, preventing adolescent pregnancy, media literacy, economic literacy, communication and team building.
I create 3D paintings of trees (and other things) and plan on opening my own Etsy store in the next couple of weeks to share my work and try to bring in some cash to pay down some debt.
I meditate regularly. I believe in past lives and karma and energy and chakra healings and do clairvoyant readings.
I have a small urban farm that includes 7 chickens, a top bar hive of bees and lots of fruit and vegetable growing. I grow organic, save seeds, have rain barrels and do my best to produce more and consume less.
I am a writer and am re-finding my writer's voice, slowly, through blogging (for now). I began blogging about our little urban farm last February. Up until recently, my blog revolved solely around the chickens and veggies and bees, and while it was exciting at first, it has grown a bit boring for me. I began feeling like my blog was separate from me because it was expressing only one aspect of me, not the whole me.
So, I started writing about a few new things. I started integrating a poem here and there, shared a picture of one of my paintings and have included a few inspirational quotes. I have yet to integrate all of me into my blog. There is a bit of fear involved in sharing all of the aspects of me in a public forum. Pushing through that fear, though, equals an honoring of myself. Maybe someone else will be inspired. Maybe lots of people will be inspired. Maybe I'll share new ideas, or ideas that just need to be repeated. But if I am sharing who I am, all the time (the good, bad and ugly), then the ripples will spread.
Of course, most of the time I will continue to write about our urban farm and all we do here because it is such a huge part of our experience, but I will also sprinkle in some new topics as well that I hope will resonate with you on some level. I hope to inspire and be inspired on a daily basis and I wish the same for you, Dear Reader. Thank you for your continuous support and comments and thank you for coming along for the ride.