This is the fifth post in my series on my new long-term goals. Go here to see the first post in the series.
This is the one long-term goal that for the most part remains unchanged from last year. Last year it was share my writings, music, art and message with a wider audience. And this year I shortened it to share my message.
And it remains a large part of my work in the world. So much so, that I had to find a way to balance this goal against the long-term goal of nurturing my life. This was the core of my balance pursuit.
And like the earlier ones, this long-term goal also has three sub-goals – write/publish, teach and connect.
This goal includes writing this blog of course, but also publishing books, podcasts, and other media. Once I discovered that my current book was born out of a practice of writing articles on topics that interested me, I realized how important it is to just write about whatever catches my fancy. Most of those articles have never seen the light of day. They will eventually be repurposed into either a book of essays or expanded into books of their own. At least two have been turned into conference workshops and a third was used in my Descent workshop. I am learning so much about writing as practice, and I oh so look forward to the writing that will be required as part of the program at Assisi.
On average, I plan to teach 5 to 6 one-day classes, 3 sequestered weekends, 5 ritual/classes each year. In previous years, I also taught 3 to 4 six/seven week classes plus one or two conferences, festivals, lectures and sermons scattered throughout the year. I am hoping to add some online/tele-seminar courses plus maybe encourage some invites for a few out of town classes. I also want to debut a new set of what I call Essential classes to replace the Reclaiming courses I no longer teach.
Some, many of my friends and students, would call this overdoing it. But if you ever have taken a class from me, you probably know why I feel such a calling to teach. I just love teaching! I will necessarily hold off on some of my plans because plainly I will need the time since I am now back in school. But … I will have to scratch that teaching itch every so often just to keep the urge under control.
In my mission statement, I explicitly state that I want to be willing to touch and be touched by the journeys of my loved ones. I was trying to capture my need to make room for authentic loving relationships in my life. This is still true for me. The new insight is that this extends not only to my family and friends but also to my students, colleagues and members of my community. My natural introversion and the nature of my illnesses act as barriers to my participation in many community events. It takes a great deal of planning, assistance from others and time afterwards for recovery for me to just show up for most functions.
But what is funny is that if I am teaching at an event, I can usually pull it off. That is why I could attend select Pagan Pride festivals over the years. Each time, I was asked to present a short class on a topic. The other way that works for me is a focused discussion or a class on a topic I have an interest in presented by a teacher I admire.
Several times this past 12 months, I planned to attend an event then had to cancel due to illness or exhaustion. It is frustrating to say the least.
Now that I have a diagnosis, I am hoping to be more available in some respects. But of course, the next obstacle is my calendar of crazy. This fall, I had only two free weekends from September through December. The first free weekend was Labor Day, and right at the moment, I cannot recall when the next one occurs.
With my weekends full, I focus instead on having more time for folks mid week. I try to meet up with friends for dinner, movies and just hanging out during the week. I also am getting better with setting up times to chat over the phone with long distance friends. As I plan for 2010, I will need to keep this goal in mind.