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Turbulent Calmness

On June 29, I posted a similar poem and theme. I am not sure what led me to post two that shared the same title. It is likely, early in the school year, it feels chaotic. Early in a school year, there are moments of repreive in this feeling and, as the year gains momentum, they become more common. As one co-participant in my dissertation put it: “I learn to stand in the middle of the storm.”

The other inflluence was I took several courses in my PhD about leading in complex and chaotic times. Servant-leadership, mindful leadership, and transformational leadership are forms of leadership particularly effective in times. We focus on questions about what needs to be changed, how do we engage each person in change, and how does each person become a leader in their own right? These forms share common features: grounded in the present, ethically guided, there is foresight without being set in certainty, etc. Mixed in this was courses on the Tao of Leadership, Systems Leadership, Leadership and Justice, Dialogic Leadership, etc. When I re-entered the classroom each September, what I learned in my PhD founds its way in with me. How could I better serve each student? How could we transform and share our experiences into something nourishing each other’s lives? How could I make a difference for each student? How could they grow and become better leaders than me?

I took the pictures at Lundreck Falls as a reminder of how quickly nature can bring a sense of calm back even in the midst of what is initially chaotic. Within a short distance from the falls, the water pools and calms, at least on the surface. What goes on underneath the surface can remain chaotic and complex much like life, needing non-judgemental, humility, foresight, patience, and wisdom to navigate the unforseeable and unpredictable.

 

Needless to say, I wrote a poem about the challenges of remaining calm in the midst of the storm sometimes raging around me.

Growing awareness–

Standing still,

Humbling one’s self,

To gain foresight–

Insight;

Emerging clarity,

Wisdom.

Entering life’s stream–

Even calm waters,

Hiding shoals, rocks, currents,

In turbulence–

Dropping labels,

Ceasing unwarranted judgment,

Falling awake.

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.

11 responses »

  1. Thank you I found that beautiful and refreshing.

    Smile It is a great day

    *ROY FANTHOME*

    On Thu, Jul 9, 2020 at 6:27 AM Teacher as Transformer wrote:

    > ivonprefontaine posted: “On June 29, I posted a similar poem and theme. I > am not sure what led me to post two that shared the same title. It is > likely, early in the school year, it feels chaotic. Early in a school year, > there are moments of repreive in this feeling and, as the ye” >

    Reply
  2. Thanks for that beautiful waterfall picture to demonstrate the presence of calm after the storm. We need to keep that in our mind during these turbulent times.

    Reply
    • Somewhere in my picture archives I have pictures of a twin falls in Quebec. They drop a significant distance and are within a 1000 metres of the St. Lawrence. Within 50-100 metres of the base of the falls, fly fishermen cast, standing in the pool. Nature is amazing and full of lessons.

      Reply
  3. Beautiful photo and inspiring message, thank you 🙏🏻

    Reply
  4. Hello Ivan,
    Thanks for taking all those classes on how to remain calm within the turbulence. I imagine all those points of learning are coming in very handy now in Life’s Classroom. It may get more turbulent before things calm down. Thank you for the reminder about “learning to stand in the middle of the storm.” That is the wisdom that will carry us through these times. Blessings, Alia

    Reply
    • Thank you Alia.

      They do. When we enter something new e.g. a new year, a new job, a new relationships, etc., there is a always a feeling of things being a little off kilter. Understanding the roots of it helps a lot.

      Reply
  5. Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:
    AND IN THIS WE PARTAKE!

    Reply

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