Positioned in the present, here is a brief public, personal and professional review and forecast. The past, at least up to 2010, was reviewed summarily in the little book, “Seven Decades: A Learning Memoir” (River House Press, 2013). There was much left out, details and stories that didn’t seem to fit into the scheme of impactful learning experiences that shaped and changed me over that span of time. My intention in the near future is to tell a few more stories in some depth and detail that have either been stored or that have emerged with recent discoveries.
One of my continuing and most enjoyable activities is ongoing learning. I continue to discover new resources and have conversations with interesting, engaging people around a variety of topics. These touch on philosophy and culture, education and the environment, leadership and transitions, spirituality and ultimately the quality of our lives in how we invest ourselves in what we care about most.
We are concluding a week’s visit with one of our sons and his wife, a scientist/teacher/Buddhist priest and a clinical social worker respectively. They enjoy visiting New Mexico, hiking at high altitude, looking for specimen plants and people and we have relished our time together around shared meals and conversations in some depth. Time with family members is always special and it’s up to us and them to make the most of it.
As an educator/consultant my role has been and continues to be helping people and organizations learn, grow and change themselves. The goal is to come closer to their idealized visions and versions of who they are and what they want most to be about. That takes time, effort, energy, resources and collaboration. It’s a process that unfolds step by step following a fluid design over a finite period of time, assessing progress while in motion and not merely at the end.
I continue to work part-time in the consulting role while using other time to pursue personal interests in writing, reading, traveling, and evolving in my own sphere of mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual activities. I take a rather holistic approach as well as maintaining an important connection to the natural world as ways of nurturing my growth and stability. In a world of increasing tensions and divisiveness, I believe it’s important that each of us do what we can to help alleviate those negative aspects of our culture and work together to build communities of resistance and renewal.
My conclusion for now is that we would do well to invest ourselves fully in the present in order to prepare for the future. It’s the only moment we know that we have for sure and then it’s gone. So, we look, listen, learn, share with others, then we look, listen and learn some more. Some of us make notes and write things down to work out our ideas and thoughts and express ourselves, sometimes clearly and sometimes not so much. Like all the other stuff, it’s a process.
Today I read and resonated with these words: “In the life that is left me, I am right now at my youngest. In an hour I will be an hour older. Tomorrow my body and mind will be a day older.” Shindo Aoyama
So, it’s important to me to do my very best right now in whatever I am doing and to do so with a high level of awareness and sensitivity for myself and those around me.