A Reflective Blog Post on My Word of 2017: Present
“The Way We Treat Each Other and Look Out for Each Other . . . It Has To Somehow Get Better.” – A Quote from Netflix 13 Reasons Why
This blog post is a reflective post on the word Present. I started the 2017 year with selecting a word that I could remember, reflect and use throughout the year. This past year has been an amazing journey for me, and I have three points that stand out most to me. My one word for 2017 was Present. At first I thought it was just being around people and listening, rather than focusing on my response in a conversation. The last two years my one word in 2015 was Listen and my one word for 2016 was Time.
This year being Present allowed me the privilege of seeing beauty and connecting with others. It began with me sitting and listening to stories; then it molded into going back to those people who told those stories and asking them how they were doing. Later I would follow-up to ask how their husband was doing or how their dentist appointment went or something specific I listened to.
Spending More Time
This word Present forced me to be more tech-savy, to save time to spend with others. For example, I would write drafts of emails to people, and then send them the next day if someone needed to talk to me; I chose to send text messages to friends and family when I thinking about them. Being Present meant looking at my thoughts and appreciating them. In turn this appreciation would turn into remembering someone or sharing gratefulness to others. The process allowed me to feel honoured they would share their stories with me.
Efficiency and Perspective
I set up a Digital Agenda with my 30 students in my Grade 4 class because often paper agendas take a very long time for students to write all their assignments or upcoming events. We use our classroom iPad and one of our students takes a photo and uploads it to a digital folder that is shared with parents. This has saved time and I use this time to spend with my students getting to know them. Also, this Digital Agenda also has allowed me to put up “Table Talk” on the agenda which means parents can look at our Digital Agenda and find out what we talked about today and connect with their children at home while driving to soccer practice, or over a meal. Using time to develop relationships has become important to me.
My daughter looked up at an airplane. I glanced up and said, “Every time I look at an airplane I want to go somewhere.” She said, “Every time I look at an airplane I want to fly.” Wow! Being “Present” meant sitting with others who have different perspectives. Wow!
The flow of empathy and compassion at times when I sat at the memorial of Brooklyn Flores – one of my past Grade 4 students who tragically died in a car crash in March. The moment my son sat on Santa’s knee and saw hope, joy and delight as he asked Santa for his gift. See it’s hard expressing these moments, but this word Present brought me into the immediate, whether it was bitter or sweet or somewhere in between. I think this is what makes us human, but also so fragile. Our strength, our pain, our joys, our lives are in the Present. Just allowing the moments to happen are the most beautiful thing; instead of rushing to the next thing.
Bringing Breath to A Moment
Breath can truly be a way to connect to the present. The now. Looking and listening with a calm breath can help sooth a soul; calm a classroom; show empathy and deliver compassion. In this world where I rush-rush and I’m busy-busy, stopping to breath and recognizing my breathing during the day can be miraculous.
As I walk along this journey, looking at passions and breath are important to me. In a world of Bigger, Better, Best what choices are we making to create a better future for us and our children? What are we doing to be present? Are we sharing stories to be listened to? Helping us understand their perspective? What does breathing create for us as people, as well as building connecting relationships?
If you are interested to learn about my word Time from 2016 click HERE to read my post. My new word for 2018 is Quiet. We’ll see where this lovely word will lead me. Maybe it will help me be more “Present”? Thank you for reading my post and to end my post here is one of my all time favourite YouTube videos.