Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Landscape of New and Unknown

Photo by Richard Shaw

How do you know that you are ready to change? At what point does the reward of the risk outweigh the risk of staying the same? Does this happen over a series of days or weeks, or is it a momentary shift that takes place without much notice? Maybe it is just a feeling in the heart that grows strong enough for courage to take over fear.

Recently, I read a blog post by Sam Davidson. The post is a total of twenty-six words. And one image. It could not be a simpler post. Yet, the complexity of the message made it hard for me to breathe. I read it about a month ago and I have thought about the message every single day since then.

If you want to grow, you may need to leave where you are.

But where do you go? Can growth really occur from just changing your environment, or are other factors at play here? Is simply wandering into new spaces, finding new perspectives and meeting new people enough to spur the kind of growth I crave? And if so, then why is it so amazingly frightening?

When I think about my experience in the classroom and as a teacher, every change and risk I have taken have allowed for incredible growth, personally and professionally. Making these changes have shaped my love for kids and deepened my conviction for excellence. At the same time, fear and sadness have always been a part of change for me. Leaving one space, moving on, journeying into unknown territory, all these risks must happen upon a foundation of incredible courage. Courage that sometimes takes time to build stronger than any fear associated with the change itself.

As we move into spring, the whole environment is changing, leaving behind a landscape of winter and exploding into growth and rebirth. Let us take some time to watch the flawlessness of our earth as it transforms so effortlessly. Let us grab strength from this natural phenomenon and use it as a metaphor for our own lives. 

Where can we be brave enough to not just grow, but to completely shift into something beautifully new and different? Who around us is emerging into our space and how can we nurture their journey? How are we building our own courage and strength to traverse the landscape of new and unknown?