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Blessing of Your Work

I finished the first leg of my journey and have a 5-6 hour drive tomorrow. I plan on missing Calgary and going up right in the shadow of the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. We drove that way several years ago and it is beautiful driving in the foothills with mountains right there.

Driving provides a break and I spend time meditating differently. Today, I thought about how important my work is to me and how it should serve a greater good. During my time in Spokane, I discovered teaching is in who I am. It makes me complete.

John O’Donohue wrote this beautiful poem about the sacredness of work. I love the line about not becoming lost in bland absences. I retired when pressures from outside the classroom took away from what I was doing in the classroom. I became concerned those “bland absences” would become real and teaching would become a formulaic, technocratic, bureaucratic process.

Whatever we each do in life, should make our lives richer and the world a better place. Several years ago, Kathy and I went to a fast-food restaurant outside Portland, Oregon and staff greeted us in a way that indicated they were happy to work there.  When that happens, work is sacred, heals, make itself light, and reveals beauty.

May the light of your soul guide you.
May the light of your soul bless the work
You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.
May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.
May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those
Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.
May your work never weary you.
May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.
May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.
May the day never burden you.
May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.
May your soul calm, console and renew you.


About ivonprefontaine

In keeping with bell hooks and Noam Chomsky, I consider myself a public and dissident intellectual. Part of my work is to move beyond (transcend) institutional dogmas that bind me to defend freedom, raising my voice to be heard on behalf of those who seek equity and justice in all their forms. I completed my PhD in Philosophy of Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA. My dissertation and research was how teachers experience becoming teachers and their role as leaders. I focus on leading, communicating, and innovating in organizations. This includes mindfuful servant-leadership, World Cafe events, Appreciative Inquiry, and expressing one's self through creativity. I offer retreats, workshops, and presentations that can be tailored to your organzations specific needs. I published peer reviewed articles about schools as learning organizations, currere as an ethical pursuit, and hope as an essential element of adult eductaion. I published three poems and am currently preparing my poetry to publish as an anthology of poetry. I present on mindful leadership, servant leadership, schools as learning organizations, how teachers experience becoming teachers, assessement, and critical thinking. I facilitate mindfulness, hospitality retreats. and World Cafe Events using Appreciative Inquiry. I am writing and researching about various forms of leadership, how teachers inform and form their identity as a particular teacher, schools as learning organizations, hope and its anticipatory relationship with the future, and hope as an essential element in learning.

21 responses »

  1. “Life is for working hard in whatever manner is right for you.”
    I heard this the other day, Ivon,and ca’t help but agree. It seems we humans are at our best when we have a goal, and enjoy the journey.

  2. Oh my gosh, John O’Donohue is one of my favorites too. And I have used this piece of his work before. We sure seem to have similar likes when it comes to literature. Blessings, N

  3. Thanks for posting this beautiful prayer.

  4. Drive safely Ivon and have a wonderful trip.

  5. I wish I could feel this way after 33 years in the classroom. It was never the kids that ruined it but ever changing rules to suit this or that agenda, power crazed administrators and all the high school diversions that distract an already distracted population of teens. I think I would like to have been a paleontologist.

    • I agree Carl. I loved going into the classroom and being with the students. Even on tough days with tough characters, I always had a sense that I was making progress. There is too much attempt at control from outside classrooms and that grew frustrating.

  6. It is a loss to our future generations that you and other dedicated teachers are leaving the classroom. The remaining ‘teachers’ are merely program directors for government programs designed to control thought and pigeon-hole children by personality or government need the mind and body of youth.

  7. That’s great to hear you enjoy being a teacher so much Ivon! You are very fortunate to find yourself in something that is perfect for you, so many people seem to never get that chance, and, there is nothing more deadening than a job that your soul can’t agree with. 😐

    I remember a lot of teachers from my secondary school just didn’t want to be there, they had no interest in what they were teaching or their pupils. The whole school was dysfunctional, and bullying was out of control. I decided it was not a place my thirteen year old ‘soul’ wanted to remain in, so I left, much to the horror of my parents! I was lucky I had parents who could see other options, and I got a home education in the end I survived!

    That experience really taught me a valuable lesson (Don’t remain in a job you don’t wish to do – if you can – change it).

    I hope you have many more enjoyable years doing that job you love!! 🙂

    • Thank you for the lovely comment and sharing so much. School is a place where adults need to want to be. Too often, it is not their calling. An administrator I am acquainted with suggested his dream job was being a school principal. Mine was being a classroom teacher and I struggle with a person who is teacher saying there dream was to be outside the classroom.

  8. Catherine Johnson

    Beautiful words! Have a wonderful adventure, Ivon.


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