I recently attended the Southeastern Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI). Here is a summary of the insights I gained during this week-long conference:
Open up to new experiences. By stepping away from my usual routines, I was able to try things and expand my boundaries. Some things were successful: I discovered I really like funky nail polish. Some things were not so successful: I found I get dizzy doing prone yoga.
Really listen. There are messages around us all the time. I received many positive messages, not only from the ministers, but also the fellow participants, my students, and the children.
Be yourself. By letting down my guard I was able to connect with people in a way I normally don’t.
Be aware of safety. Normally a negative message, it can go the other way: some places are still (relatively) safe. I learned that I can let loose of my daughter in a safe environment.
Balance is not obtained by stopping procrastination. A course I had really looked forward to, on balancing life, was actually about getting things moving. While I was disappointed, I still learned some valuable tips for getting to the roots of procrastination.
It’s not my job to get people past their perfectionism. I had a great group of students, and 10/11 really were able to make it work. The 11th was self-judging to the point that she felt she couldn’t complete the course. The sad part is that she was not the student who struggled the most in the class.
We all have something to teach, and it might not be what we think. I was signed up to teach a craft class; I also ended up helping someone in a difficult situation.
We all have something to learn. Within the first few minutes of my first classes, I thought I wouldn’t get anything out of them. However, I learned a lot in both. The one class I thought I would love turned out to have a different subject than I had expected from the writeup. Expectations can be misleading.
Electronic devices will go dead when least expected. Cell phones, PDAs, you name it. Always have a backup plan.
Sometimes, yarn tangles. Literally and metaphorically. Life doesn’t always run according to plan.
Photo by churl