Current Events

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Downward Facing Dog - Upward Facing Dog, My Cat and Easy Does It

Many times a day I actually watch my cat do a series that is predictable: yawn - downward facing dog - upward facing dog. Now, finally I learned my lesson....

My cat - Tuxedo - is ever so relaxed. True, he has not many responsibilities, but still, he is taking care of himself and is not letting himself go. So, once I got over the funny fact that my cat is doing yoga (downward facing dog and upward facing dog are yoga poses), I started watching him a little more carefully. I love to see how it comes over him so naturally. He does not seem to be conflicted whether or not to stretch now and do a little self-care.

Despite of him sleeping some 19 to 22 hours a day he is fit. I read that the purring might have that effect, since it is quite strenuous (did you ever try Ujay breathing - also needs effort). Scientists believe that this and the stretching is enough for cats to stay fit and limber. Wow, I want that! Why over exercise?

Well, I love learning from my cat. So in this case I realize that a little goes a long way when it is focused and just the right thing. Also, being conflicted about an action is a waste of energies and comes with a questionable outcome. From that I want to vow that I will make up my mind and either do something in a fully present way at my own speed and pace or I let it be.

Once I apply all that I myself might have 19 hours a day freed up and could sleep or do some other things that never seemed to fit in.

Let me know what you have learned from your pet. I would love to hear about it.


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Judgements from the Past

I was looking through a workbook from my high school years. It was a cute accumulation of work with a lot of extra attention that I put into decorating it. I was amazed that I would have done such extra and inspired work. Then I saw a comment from my teacher from many years ago...

Wow. My teacher, who I remember as a fairly uninspired and limited teacher (today I can see that) had the need - or guts - to judge my extra work in the book with "quite nice". I don´t know about schools here in the US, but in Austria that was the least she could say and a term used when it was time to be polite and the situation was rather hopeless.

Immediately it hit me, how that statement had taken the wind out of my sails and made me feel untalented and less than average. How is it that teachers think they need to judge in a way other than grades? I thought of many little comments of other teachers as well that stuck with me to this day. Art is a delicate subject. How come a teacher can decide, whether what we put down on canvas or do with clay, is not enough of this and too much of that? It is the personal statements that get to the kids, not the technical help and feedback. It is a shame that these things happen.

I love the concept of inspired learning, where the focus is on what works and thus the whole person grows and learns more and more ( There is no need to trample the seedling of any talent in kids just yet - or ever. I am not against grades and learning and hard work. I find that many comments and judgements are uncalled for and do no good and only harm. We do not need this - ever.

So here is to some of my teachers, who encouraged me and my parents and accepted the parts that were yet to develop. You are true teachers, thank you so very much. Kids never forget. Kids grow into adults and will pass it on.