At dinner last night I had a conversation about gentle pushes, the kind of positive pushes we get from friends and family. I know there are some individuals who don’t always need a push, people who trend towards movement, growth, and refinement. In most instances though, many of us sometimes need a push. Sometimes we don’t always see the kernel of hope that others see in us. I have always tried to surround myself with people who make me a better person. I want gentle pushes. I want people to point out the areas in my life that could use cultivation. I enjoy the process of change, the various iterations of Jill that come through gentle pushes from my friends and family. It’s incredibly exciting to see this process from afar, when I look back at the versions of myself over the years and take notice of the constants. Not everyone pays attention to their individual journey with shaping and reshaping themselves over the years. It’s easy to get caught up the day to day demands of life and not notice the small refinements in our lives that make us who we are today.
I think about this a lot when it comes to my practice as an educator. I am constantly taking note of how far I have come and how little I knew when I started out. Thanks to many gentle pushes I am the educator I am today.
I read this quote today. It reminded me of the word I have chosen as a mantra for the year, “cultivate.” I am thinking I may get some Play-Doh for my desk to remind me that every move and choice I make is another step in the process of shaping and reshaping.