Tuesday, January 5, 2010

3: Hero of the Work Sanctuary

Work can indeed be a sanctuary. In the past, I associated work with drudgery, a poor substitute for whatever else it was I'd rather be doing. And this is from a woman who has had moderately interesting jobs: seamstress in a bridal shop, midwife's apprentice, childbirth educator, assembly performer for Mad Science, singer with a traveling gospel singing group, group facilitator....
When I became a Waldorf teacher, I started the year my grandfather died. There was just a lot of "stuff" around his passing and my heart was heavy. One day, I had a mentor and in my conversations with him, he reflected to me that I seemed crabby in my teaching. I told him that maybe it was because my grandfather had just died. He said something that has stuck with me: "You've got to leave that outside of class. You can't take those things into class." For a long time now, these words hit home. Being mindfully present wasn't just an amorphous concept...I had a place to practice. And so I have. Walking into each classroom affords me the opportunity to take my mind off of everything else and be present to a group of kids. I consider my opportunity to teach in a Waldorf School the best gift I've been given. Like anything else, I've had my doubts and concerns and frustrations and all sorts of things that come from working in a non-profit, but I remain committed to nurturing creativity in children, and helping parents find the resources and strength and knowledge to enrich their journey.
My goals for my teaching work this year are to deepen my parent-child program. I need to give some thought and attention as to how to go about doing this. I will ask for feedback from parents. For handwork, I am going to commit to attending the handwork conference at Sunbridge College in April.
This also applies to my work in the home, especially to my work in the home. It is harder to walk into my house with the same mindset I have when I walk into a classroom, but I can lose my worries and dream heavily into a sink of hand-wahsed dishes. I want to keep making positive changes and tweaking our rhythm. Right now, my goal is to work on the "soul" mood of our home around chores. It seems that everyone having their own chores is not a system that is working for us. Instead, I am going to try out a few"group chores" like everyone doing dishes together, or putting together socks. My hope is that when the people in this house feel accompanied in their work, that will take some of the "drudge" factor away, especially for the teens, and give us family time. Even chores can be fun. (I keep telling myself that!) And mindful.
The archetypes I relate to for work are: Teacher, Mentor, Seeker, Student, and even Initiate.
Any Goddess suggestions?
Alright, my self-imposed New Year's goal-making and ruminating is almost at an end. I must say, I am completely intrigued with how this has evolved for me and how writing about it has helped me. I wanted to give myself 5 areas to work on. The remaining two are: Hero of the Child's sanctuary, and Hero of the Spirit's Sanctuary.


  1. May I suggest Badb - celtic goddess of enlightenment, inspiration, life & wisdom? Think I need to be calling on her often!

  2. Hi Angela,
    What a wonderful post. I was just talking to my mom on the telephone and she was sharing how her goal this year is to be more mindful, to clear her mind. She recently retired from teaching and shared how when she was in the classroom she was able to be 100% on - everything else left her mind during this time.
    Many warm wishes,


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