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Gettin’ My Mojo Back

I looked at this poem a month ago and decided not to post it. As I listened to music today, a song came on called Getting My Mojo Back and felt it was time to post it.

I wrote this during a retreat on Bainsbridge Island based on the work of Parker Palmer. It was at a time I was wrestling with staying in teaching due to the politics. I felt I was not giving it my all and lacked confidence in my teaching.

During the retreat, I reflected and had candid conversations with others and concluded it was time to control what I could control. Interestingly, it was in the conversations with others that I had to choose to be all in really came to the forefront. I went back to my classroom, spent another 5 years teaching, and giving it my all.

I think, when we lose confidence, we do not realize it. It sneaks up on us, rather than being a cataclysmic shift. Recovering confidence is similar. It is done in small steps and realizing we are not alone in the moment.

I had to realize anger was born out of fear and loss. Once I acknowledged this, I was at ease with letting go and moving forward.

It just happens–

Letting go;

Speaking without anger–

Embracing one’s sadness;

For what is lost.

Staring into an abyss–

Sitting with unformed questions;

Terrifying darkness–

Sensing incompleteness,

Feeling uncertainty.

Taking stock–

Looking inwards;

Accepting extended hands–

Discarding baggage

Moving towards a place of light.

Mojo gaining momentum–

Emerging at its pace;

Creating healing space–

Living one’s own truth;

Living in each moment’s question.

I attended a John Lee Hooker concert in 1972 or 1973. I grew up listening to jazz, gospel, folk, and blues with traditional country, early rock and roll. I took it for granted that I attended a John Lee concert until an American, who shared a love for the blues, told me he never did. African-American performers toured in Canada on a regular basis at a time they did not have that same ease of movement in their own country.

When I used Langston Hughes’ poetry in my teaching, I remembered he wrote from a different understanding of what America was. This was an outgrowth of an awareness of my privilege as a white Canadian male.

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.

9 responses »

  1. A truly inspired post. John Lee Hooker’s music reaches into the places I need to see. Your poetry is full of process, so rich and nurturing for me to read. “Sitting with unformed questions” has always been a challenge for me, and a worthy one. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Thank you Ka Malana. I made an intentional shift from static verbs to gerunds, which suggest we are always in the process of becoming. This was greatly informed by the reading and writing I did for my dissertation.

      Reply
  2. Thanks for your words about losing your mojo and how it gradually sneaks away.

    It can take some serious whacks up the side of your head by friends or your own self abuse against the wall before you see what is right in front of you.

    What has been lost. What has replaced. Where are you now and what blessings are there.

    This time is going to be marked as a time of self evaluation and change. It has been rejuvenating in some ways. But it is now time to grow out of it.

    Reply
    • You are welcome David and thank you. I agree. We often go through life without listening to those closest to us and to our self. As a natural introvert, this time has been good for me, opening up reflective space and time.

      Reply
  3. I’ve lost my mojo and all I can do is keep making steps to getting it back. Wonderful and timely post. Sad to think those performers weren’t able to be seen and celebrated by more people in their own country – but glad they found people who could appreciate them greatly.

    Reply

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