embracing what is

today, i had a heartfelt discussion with my middle school students.

they are currently disappointed in a change regarding our upcoming performance and they are hanging on to the frustration of the situation.

one defining characteristic of this age group is their intense sense of justice. in the realm of moral development, they get very passionate about what is and is not fair. in fact, they get so invested in this that they often have trouble seeing beyond the moment.

so we discussed getting stuck on anger, frustration, and disappointment when life presents unexpected changes.

i shared my personal philosophy with them...

i offered the idea that change is always going to be present in our lives and that how we handle it is a choice.

through our talk, they came to the conclusion that there are two main choices for our class at this point:

to stay stuck in the disappointment
and allow the show to go down in flames


to accept that our show has changed
and find a way to rock it in its new form

this idea is so important in my world.

my mother taught me to try to throw my arms around every situation in whatever way possible.

i have used this idea in big ways:

when confronted with the cancer and death of my father
when seeing my love cope daily with multiple sclerosis
when experiencing the deep heartbreak of a miscarriage

and i have used it in smaller ways:

when losing a job
when frustrated with teaching
when stuck as an artist

my approach to life's challenging experiences is to consciously accept what is happening so that i can work with it, move through it, and find the new path that is waiting to evolve in front of me.

i have found that when i stay rooted in the middle school mind of "it's not fair!" or "this isn't what i expected!" i cannot move through the troubling times with grace.

so, i choose to meditate, write, connect with others, and create art as a way to throw my arms around it all and embrace what is.


tea and chickadees said...

I have such deep, mad respect for you.
Along with the word Risk, I also need to Embrace. Thank you for that reminder.
Also, thank you for blogging your way into my life - you are an inspiration.

aubrey said...

It is wonderful that you shared that with your kids. I teach middle school too, and know how seriously they take fairness and how they hit a wall sometimes. You are a wonderful role model and mentor for them.

jackiebean said...

it's wonderful that you share your love and light not only with your class, but with us here, too. thank you!

you are a wise woman.

this is such a lovely and personal post, and i'm sure it hits close to home for many of us. i know it does for me.


ALFIE said...

what beautiful insights to share with your students!!! you are a wonderful teacher! loved seeing all the pictures from your drama's as well :)

diane said...

caren...the feeling of deep, mad respect is mutual. and you made me think about the relationship between risk and embrace -> i do believe the two are closely interconnected.

aubrey...thank you. middle school teachers have a very special place in my heart! <3

jac...this is one of my more personal posts and although it felt a little risky on a heart level, i really wanted to share it. thanks for the love!

alfie...you are so sweet. thanks!

beccaj said...

You are a brave woman and I so admire you for this post. This is art, life, creation, passion, love...this is what we're for. You are healing the world through your words everyday. xoxo

diane said...

becca...thank you for the love, my dear beany bean! it feels wonderful. :)

A Bird Out of Water said...

Ummm, I may just tattoo this on my forehead! Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck in middle school. ;)

Great post Diane, and SO true!


diane said...

ab...wow! this would make lovely ink, right? great idea. thanks for the love. <3

Anonymous said...

I wish I would have had a teacher that took these feelings of being treated unfair seriously back in the day. it took me ages and lots of hard work to embrace what is, and to not dwell on things endlessly. still working on it, actually ;)

the interesting thing is that now I get almost excited when things don't go as planned or change unexpectedly because you never know what comes out of it or what you learn from it...

humans are strange, lol...

diane said...

petra...i'm still working on it too! i had a rough weekend and needed to reread this post a few times.

a teacher once told me that it's a gift when things don't go as planned because it's in those moments that your talent has a chance to shine through and flourish.

yes, humans are very strange! that's why i love us so much. :D