I have a few thoughts. A few things that have been brewing in the back of my mind. And I finally know how I feel about them. So now it’s time to get them out.
My husband likes to tease me that I’m an “extremest”. When I do something, I do it with my all. When I’m involved in something, it’s the only thing I want to do. I will complete other tasks and uphold all my responsibilities, but I there is always one thing that is taking all of my thoughts.
I work in the public school system. Separation of church and state. I worked at one high school for three years, and everyone was “praise Jesus!” in the middle of staff meetings and “I’ll pray for you” to students. They stomped all over separation with big old Bible thumping boots. So I wore my pentacles. And I shared my beliefs with students and staff who asked. And I made a lot of colleagues feel very uncomfortable. And I was never more in-tune with the Elements because I was living them every day. Then my program was relocated to a high school where religion may be discussed amongst students, but not staff. The only mention of “god” is in the pledge of allegiance. It is frowned upon for staff members to wear religious jewelry or clothing. Teachers and staff are state employees, this school takes separation very seriously.
At first, I loved it. But I quickly realized I was compartmentalizing myself (something which I’m not very good at). I slowly became all secular and no spirit. At work, at home, in the woods (my haven)…I couldn’t connect because I wasn’t living day to day, breath to breath.
Making myself take time every morning, afternoon, and evening has helped. I ground myself every morning. I ask each of the elements to be with me through my day. As I walk around campus, I stop by a tree and feel Earth. Stand under the sun or rain and feel Fire or Water. Take a deep breath outside and feel Air. That has also helped. But in the go-go-go pace of modern day American public schools, there is little time for character growth and personal development for students. It seems there’s no time for teachers either.
But I have made time. And I will continue to make time. Make my balancing act work.
…which has just gotten even worse with the start of grad school yesterday. Work, school, family, spiritual practices, friends…maybe I should chat up Durga, with a hand for each balancing plate