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When does today end? The Corona Mothering Life

Night and day bleed into each other. With everyone around all day, there is no beginning and no end. I've desperately tried to carve out some none-work time. Turned off WiFi for a while so that we could all connect. And it was nice. But then the minutes and hours continue ticking along and though the younger ones are asleep the older two keep coming down for snacks and conversation. I'd decided that instead of feeling stressed about how much work I had to complete with everyone home all day, it was time to work. Younger children were in bed and I had tidied up most of the kitchen and eating area. Could have been perfect. But the older two lag, waiting for the final closure perhaps. The rigidity of a bedtime enforced by Mother. Well they were in the kitchen and my hand was hurting from all the tapping and typing. Walked over to hang out, chat somewhat. But they seemed to cranky. Once they had my attention, or in order to get it (can't remember the sequence!) they squabbl

City Streets - Review and Teaching Resource

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I've always found this song inspirational. "City Streets" by Chanale picks up on a story in the Talmud where Rabbi Akiva takes a positive spin on a challenging circumstance. The nation is in mourning. Everyone is stuck at home due to a terrible virus. Just kidding: the Romans persecuted the people, destroying our central place of worship. Once, Akiva and his friends visited the site of the former sanctuary. His friends cried, he laughed. You can see the details in the song or download my PowerPoint on the Gemara which I created for my Jewish History students. In truth, this lesson isn't just history. It's a powerfully transformative tool all growth mindset and positivity.  (Can you explain to me why the editor doesn't like my spelling choices! Anyways, here's the song:) I love how Chanale completely picks up on the hope and optimism of Rabbi Akiva. When he saw destruction, he didn't SEE destruction. He saw a promise fulfilled, a stepping ston

"TODAY" - a poem

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You are hired To be inspired Drop the blues Pull on your shoes This is your life: choose Jump in and live it See Divinity within it  Ta'amu u'riu Future's mostly up to you Attitude you can craft Choose joy. Choose to laugh. What has been, was What will be, will come This moment is it Dive in Explore Hayom la'asosa Make it proud Make it yours THIS MOMENT Gifted from above Choose to live it with purpose Dance through it with love

Decided to Be Decisive

You can't cram in life. It only creates strife.  Be the choice wrong or right Just drop the fight And do it right You have a purpose, a mission.  Go and live it.  Stop retracing your steps,  Time to jump in it.  I am constantly re-deciding to be a teacher. It would be so settling to be decisive. To know that I am not adjusting my work commitments and just proceed ahead. But that's not who I am. I am a thinker. I've tossed around the same question of "should I work" so long that it morphed into, "how much should I work" until it reached a point where my best friend identified my work cycle. Stage One: Made a commitment Stage Two: Overwhelmed with the commitment Stage Three: Cut back my responsibilities Stage Four: Bored so make more commitments Then back to stage two and round again. She figured that out a while ago. A year or two even. So for the first year I followed the cycle as usual with her laughing sadly. At the start

In but not of - becoming a "Guide on the Side"

On the one hand, there is an incredible advantage to taking things personally. In Chassidic terminology, that is called being a "Pnimi". A Pnimi is someone who integrates their learning, has in inward-focus and applies everything. They know that it's real and applicable and take the journey seriously. And yet... it is exhausting to live life Pnimiusdikally. I consider a particular student who has questions about  everything.   She struggles, man. I feel for her. Constantly battling integration or seeking authenticity. It is a heavy-duty approach to life. Thing is.. she's real. I feel her struggle because I do it, too. That's me. In the classroom, letting the girls behaviour get under my skin or their questions rankle me deep inside. NO! Part of moving to being a  Guide on the Side is placing the students front and centre. I've been working on this for two years! Of course, I need to put myself in the class, be present and be a part of it. But it needs

Choosing a Point of View

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They are a good class, a marvelous class. I am so blessed to be their teacher, what a wonderful class they are. You should see their energy - Geshmak! I set them up to learn b'chavrusa and that buzz of learning… its out of this world. The passion and energy with which they debate each other highlights their zest and curiosity. At times, their enthusiasm reaches a crescendo as they break out into song. This class is a real gift. The girls are alive! They care! They have opinions! They are engaged! What a joy. Thank you, Hashem for the opportunity to teach this special cohort. OK, you guessed it: I’m out to convince myself.  Most of my colleagues would describe this group as chatty, impossible, unrestrained, challenging or even dysfunctional. And they are not wrong! Thing is, my description above was the truth, too. It was the truth through rose-coloured glasses, desperate to see the potential in the problem.  Dear Hashem, I pray that I may find the strength to

FOCUSing

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New Beginnings I feel like it's been years since my last post here. Technically it's only a year and 3 months, but that's not the point. I've been thinking a lot about why I have this blog in particular and an online presence in general. For starters, I'm going to state my intentions with the title. It's been 7 years and I never made the "about" page. So here's to letting go of perfectionism and making ‘baby step’ progress! 💥💜🙌 It is my firm belief that life’s challenges and experiences can be perfected and enjoyed via developing a healthy, growth mindset. Sure, this requires huge effort but this sort of internal success is an incredibly empowering experience and makes for an immensely satisfying journey. When I named the blog, it was a cute quote from my toddler  but also had profound personal significance. I felt like “Focusing My Inner Mindset” was the most powerful tool available to me and I wanted to share the journey and hopef