Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Connect. Collaborate. Risk. Innovate.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

On the Edge

I am fortunate to have some incredibly wise people in my life. And although I'm notorious for being a bit of a "loner", fiercely independent, and let's just say, a wee bit stubborn, I have come to understand that I need these people in order to continue to learn, to grow, and to expand my perspective of the world around me.

I was recently reminded by one such wise individual of the saying, learning happens on the edge of understanding. The challenge for me is to figure out where that edge is. It means something different for each of us, and it is often a scary and uncomfortable place to be. It should be. Because it means taking a risk, pushing past the familiar, the "known" and charging into uncharted territory. Scary stuff for sure. But as scary as it is, I have gradually learned to embrace, even seek out that feeling. Rather than allowing myself to recoil, to pull back, I have learned to teeter on that edge for a moment, and then force myself over the precipice, on to the other side. Sometimes I can do this myself, and sometimes I need a gentle shove. It's always uncomfortable. It's always scary. And usually the landing on the "other side" is less than graceful, more often than not accompanied by a few bumps and bruises. But, the rewards are enormous!

I've been fortunate over this past year to have had several opportunities to find my edge and to push beyond it to experience new learning, new understanding. Whether it's through yoga, climbing a mountain, or challenging myself professionally, I am learning that although it's often a scary and uncomfortable place to be, with the patient support and guidance of some very wise people in my life, it is also kind of awesome. My intention for the year ahead is to continue to reflect, to explore, to risk and to find new edges...

What's your edge?

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Finding the Right Gear

          Finding the right gear can be a challenge. The trick is to try to anticipate the gear you'll need, before you find yourself grinding up a difficult hill. Once you're committed to the hill, it's challenging, almost impossible, to attempt to shift gears- you risk your chain coming off altogether. But to some extent you can decide how you want to approach each hill. You can muscle your way up, employing a higher gear, relying mostly on strength. Or, you can rely more on cardio endurance, shifting into a lower gear and faster cadence. It depends largely on your style, your strengths, and on the conditions you find yourself riding in.
          As I approach a new school year, I find myself trying to anticipate the "gear" that I'll need. To some extent, I can prepare ahead of time. I can rely on past experiences, seek advice and guidance from mentors and gather as much information about my new school community as I can. But the reality is that as much as I can prepare, I will also need to be able to "shift gears", adapting to new circumstances, contexts and challenges as they arise. It's simply not possible to predict and prepare for every eventuality. There will be some blind spots and I won't be able to see each new hill as I approach it. I might even have to take the risk of shifting gears mid hill. But it is these very aspects that contribute to my excitement and eagerness as the new school year approaches. I am so looking forward to the road ahead!