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Refreshing Pauses

I need to recharge my emotional, spiritual, cognitive, and physical batteries. In a conversation with a colleague in Spokane, we talked about how we were on the go constantly, busy and, when we got to Spokane we slowed down. I fall into a trap of busyness, which brings about a sense of dis-ease. Regardless of how much time I spent in Spokane, I soon realized I fell into a different rhythm of life, one of ease.

Thomas Merton and Thich Nhat Hanh wrote about an active life, one full of busyness, leaving humans depleted. The result is I need times where stress and busyness is reduced to be more present and aware of the life I live. For me, time used to read and write provide necessary breaks.

“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another.” (Thomas Merton)

“We have to learn to live our life as a human being deeply. We need to live each breath deeply so that we have peace, joy and freedom as we breathe.” (Thich Nhat Hanh)

I wrote this poem about a need to recharge batteries, about being present for others, returning hopefully a better person. It is also about finding deeper meaning in my life not always readily visible as I rush around. Black Elk‘s (Heȟáka Sápa) quote inspired the poem, reminding me much of living is recurring in a circle.

Heart opens quietly,

Listen deeply,

Worth waiting.

Lingering in solitude’s support,

Sheltering in its comfort,

Inviting me in.

Not escaping,

Circling back renewed,

Wholeness restored.

Community beckoning

Refreshing pause,

Recurring alchemy of both revitaling.


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.

17 responses »

  1. ‘Birds make their nests in circles, for their religion is the same as ours.’ Love this!

  2. Enjoyed Black Elk’s thoughts on Circles in our lives. Many are saying they have no initiative to do anything right now with the quarantine order in place. I think it is a time to get back to doing the things we really love.

    • Bev, I think people are accustomed to being busy. Now, is a great time to step back and look at what living is about. For me, I re-engaged with my writing and trips we have taken over the years. Part of the former is on the blog and also writing for the sake of writing in my life.

  3. Good Morning Ivan,
    Such interesting timing! I am just about to post a personal update about one of the most impactful aspects of my inner journey on my blog — the day I chose to create Balance in my life, for I, too, have been a Human Doing most of my life. I’ll tease your interest to look for my post rather than leave the post in your comment’s section. However, both my husband and I are big “fans’ of Thich Nhat Hanh. One of my favorite current practices is: Breathing in, I feel calm; breathing out I ease everything. Blessings on your day, Alia

    • Alia, over the years I have found what I write is often in sync with what others are writing. In part, there is a like attracts like phenomenon happening. I look forward to the post.

      • Thanks Ivan, I noticed you visited my site yesterday. I thought I would get to the part about the meditation practice I began last year but the first Intention took up the whole post, so you’ll have another chapter to check out in a few days. Very much enjoyed your photos in Nature’s Pallete, Alia

      • Thank you Alia. I will look for the next chapter.

  4. “Lingering in solitude’s support,

    Sheltering in its comfort”

    I never quite thought of solitude this way. But it is, isn’t it? Regenerative. Love this post.


  5. Brilliant 🙂 I really enjoyed this post 🙂


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