Few Degrees to a Rich Life

Most of us are only a few degrees from living a rich life.

I woke up one morning recently to discover I DO lead a rich life and am happy!  The past few weeks and months, small shifts– a matter of degrees– made a huge impact in my awareness of life’s riches and my connection to them.

The shift started last year with lots of visioning and intention setting about a life I wanted to lead, and the protractor of my life moved a few degrees in December when immediate family members supported me with brainstorming session and small commitments of funds to nudge me toward some breathing room.

Then came a transition to self-employment and higher wage contracts, discovering a rewarding program in Ecopsychology I can afford and manage one class at a time, a gift of an entry fee for a women’s choir that allowed me to find my voice for the first time, and ability to pay for daughter’s enrichment activities– and suddenly my life had moved a few degrees toward richness in many realms.

Thanks to a homework project I shared with my daughter based on one of the exercises in Michael Cohen’s book, Reconnecting With Natureher enthusiasm led to me being able to lead these activities in a pilot project with two middle school science classes next week!  It remains to be seen if someone without a teaching degree but simply blind enthusiasm can manage this task.  Stay tuned.

Here is the workshop write-up:

Class Title:  “Naturography – Let Nature Teach”

Introduction:  Come learn about yourself by reconnecting to the natural world using the Natural Systems Thinking Process. See what happens when you learn to think like nature.


Q:  Have you ever had a positive experience in nature?  What did you feel?

Q:  Can anyone think of a way we are connected to nature every moment?

Each student will be handed a journal.  The class will be divided into 4 activity groups and progress through activities #3, #4, #8, and #9 from Reconnecting With Nature (p.28, 33, 74, 88).  Due to possible safety concerns for the “blinded” activity, those who want to defer activity #4 may move to another group, as this activity will only be done with partners who commit to safety.

~ ~ ~

Over the past few weeks:

1) My daughter completed 6 fabulous performances of “The Little Prince” at our wonderful children’s theater:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?eature=player_detailpage&v=Fw_TofBrmDw

She was part of a movement ensemble that created sunsets, windstorms, baobabs, roses– basically a human set.  Having seen the production several times, I can say it was inspiring to see these kids do such a beautiful job!

2) The choir I am part of (Chanteuse) held 2 performances in Oak Harbor and Langley, and I survived wearing nylons and a dress shirt for the first time in 15 years and commuting with a “clown car” of 5 women of a certain age in a Prius.  It was a blast!

3) I accompanied piano for a solo & ensemble workshop for the first time since I was in high school, while my daughter performed 4 pieces on saxophone.  Amazing motivated middle school musicians abound!  Who knew Mozart could be arranged for alto sax?

~ ~ ~

In all this richness, it occurs to me how I have in the past postponed embracing the things I want in life due to waiting for some magical moment when everything would just “fall into place.”  I have been single a long time and finally deeply get this is only one piece of life.  Being one of those rare children of an intact family, I had few models for how to do my own path well.  How many women (and men) hold off living the life they want, waiting for some perfect relationship, some perfect support system?

Well, I am now done with waiting and planning to live the fullest life I can, partnered or not.  In fact, I now am able to see solo time as a blessing that allows one the increasingly rare commodity of time (America’s Real Deficit Crisis) in order to figure out what a person wants in their life and how to go about finding the places where their energies can most benefit the world.

As the Fox told the Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry):  Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.


About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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