It's still summer here in the Midwest, with plenty of sunshine and some humidity. I hope you've been able to enjoy any good weather that's come your way.
In some stores I've already seen Back-to-School displays. Some people think it is way too early. Some people really love fall and the sense of purpose and clean slates born of 18 years of the back-to-school cycle of childhood.
If you are one of those people who love to learn and who want something to look forward to at summer's end, consider enrolling in my One Year Novice Program. Applications are being accepted for the group that begins September 1, 2016. My first group is wrapping up and I am really looking forward to their final projects. Part of the goal of this course is that each student comes away with a creative project (I'm assuming it will take some sort of book form but based on the creativity and brilliance of my students, I'm prepared for anything!) that gathers and synthesizes everything they've learned over the past year.
The program isn't easy and is not for everyone. But you can read about it HERE and decide for yourself. Hurray, though, as I only take on 12 students per group.
In other news:
It's been a working summer for me, at least so far. I'm finishing up a lot of paid work, which has been really gratifying. I listed all the things that needed doing this summer on a white board and promised myself that as soon as I finished them all, I can take the rest of the summer off. That isn't as luxurious as it sounds, because I still have regular obligations to Llewellyn, my students, and clients. But it does mean that I have no other projects going, leaving a few hours a day to follow my curiosity, like Alice chasing the White Rabbit. I'm excited to see where it leads!
In case you are not on my email list, here is an article I wrote recently about curiosity:
Passion vs Curiosity
Recently, Elizabeth Gilbert was interviewed by Krista Tippett on her podcast, On Being. Gilbert spoke about our fascination with following our passion. She wonders if it hasn't hurt more people than it has helped. Most of us don't even know what our passion is and that alone has made many people feel like failures. And if we do find this thing we call passion, we discover that maintaining passion for an extended period of time is really hard and exhausting. She suggests that curiosity might be a better Pied Piper to follow. Curiosity, she says is a kinder, gentler, more accessible friend than passion. It is easier to live with than a constant state of passion.
In addition, passion implies a focused direction whereas curiosity encourages and supports the idea of the journey--a concept we tarot people hold dear. Passion is still an essential part of the human experience, it's just not where I want to live all the time.
Having chased the elusive "passion" for most of my life and found it unsustainable and inconsistant, I'm enjoying my love affair with curiosity. Oddly enough, even though that frenetic quality that passion brings is missing, it still feels like I'm actually making more progress (whatever that means). It's an appropriate feeling for summer, I suppose. A kind of "sitting by the dock of the bay" experience, only it doesn't feel like, as the song says, wasting time. My mind is calmer and my soul is fat and happy.
You can listen to the full podcast HERE.
And finally: An Unexpected Gift
Since April, I've been helping take care of my brand new nephew one day a week. He was 5 months old when I started and will about 10 months when I'm done.
Little did I know when I agree to help my sister and her husband that I would be the one who probably got the larger benefit. Being with this little guy, watching him discover himself and the world around him, has changed my heart in more ways than I can say.
Here's a selfie of me and my sweet boy. Yeah, he looks at me like that a lot. As if to say, "Um, Auntie, I'm pretty sure you don't know what you are doing!"