Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thirty Eighth Post - Rebalanced

I have a burning need to cover over my last post 'Duped' with something more positive. My blog world feels out of balance: too much negative energy. In an attempt to re balance my place in cyberspace as well as my physical world, I offer my second post of the weekend.

It is stunningly beautiful in my part of BC today! Our place is about a 20 - 60 minute drive to Vancouver. Yup, traffic varies that much. We have a spectacular view of snow topped mountains (and a busy freeway, but hey today is about being positive). Our  mountains are a balance of pure white snow melting across  a canvas of  spectacular bright blue sky.  Today there is no rain. Today there are clear, crisp, rays of sunshine. The temperature is still low enough to kiss you with its cool freshness.

British Columbia mountains!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Thirty Seventh Post - Duped!

Aaughhh!!!.......I've been duped. Months ago I received a poster  about a 'Train the Trainer' 2 day workshop sponsored by our teacher's union.  I hemmed and hahhed.  It was allegedly worth $2400.00 and included breakfast and lunch. I googled the website to find out more about the presentation and the facilitators. The purpose of the workshop was to equip us with the skills to teach our teens how to be safe. Sounds pretty good, eh? The  website looked legit, the facilitators were suitably credentialed, and most importantly it seemed to be 100% relevant to the demographics of my students.

Over the thirty-one years I have been in education (now counselling), I have become extremely cautious about the workshops I choose to attend. While some have been fireworks......many, (sadly enough) have been duds! I snooped around, asked some questions and was satisfied that this training would be worth missing one day of school plus one professional development day.

PRESS THE 'BIG MISTAKE' BUTTON!!!!!!!!!! What was clearly advertised (by our union) as a Train the Trainer was not a train the trainer at all. Huge disappointment! I already had the update ready for  my resume. Equally frustrating was the biased and somewhat tiresome, albeit sincere, preachy posturing of the presenter. While the intent was honourable and I am certain some  groups this presenter works with  benefit greatly from  this training, there was little for me to take back and use at my school. What took up a whole day, could have been shared in at most two hours!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thirty SIxth Post - Valentine

Love is in the Air!
Or at least in my kitchen. Next to Christmas, my favourite occasion for baking is Valentine's Day. There are so many mouth-watering recipes to choose from. In this brief post I've included one I'd like to test this year. Seeing it's already the 13th of February and cupid arrives in the morning, I best get busy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Thirty Fifth Post - Restless

February 11, 2011 and I am restless. I'm also at home sick. That gives me more time than usual to think, plan, dream, plot, scheme, and reorganize my life. Fortunately unfortunately, I don't feel well enough to dust, vacuum and tidy up the clutter that has spread throughout our apartment.

Driving through the mountains in February. GLOOMY!
This inbetween season: not so much winter anymore; but not yet spring, leaves me longing for change. I wonder about the things that are in my realm of control. What  can I change? What needs to be changed? Not a lot. I'm in a sort of holding pattern. It's feels like a bit of a log jam; or at least what I think a log jam would feel like.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thirty Fourth Post – Listen

"Just listen!!!!"
"Why won't you listen to me?"
"Stop what you're doing and listen!"

One of my greatest yearnings is to be listened to. Perhaps if I speak louder, slower, or use more words, people will listen. Is this a universal need? We often refer to this as 'being heard'. "I hear you", we say. The sister to being listened to: being understood. Do you understand me? Do you understand what I'm saying? Let me say it another way, do you understand now? Do you agree? Do you hear me? Do you care about me? Hmm, maybe the real question is do you care about me? Do you care about me enough to listen to my words?

Mama, are you listening?

As a teacher part of my role was to talk….to be listened to… be understood. I had power in that role; I gave marks that measured the level of listening. Sadly, other relationships do not carry the same power imbalance. Or do they? If you don't listen, maybe you can't be my friend. 

As a counsellor/therapist I must listen to my clients. In training, we clocked air time; how much time did I listen, how much time did I spend talking. We practised active listening. I don't want my relationships to consist of active listening. I want my relationships to include love listening….as in, "I love to listen to you, you have good things to say".