Posted by Lori Nazareno on Monday, 03/24/2014
There’s been a storm brewing inside me, clouds moving around my heart.
Something’s changing that I can’t see.
I’m stuck in what I know is safe but not yet where I’m supposed to be.
I feel the call of something more.
-Karen Drucker, The Call of Something More
Are you feeling restless? Do you have a dream for what your life as a teacher leader could be? Do you have a crazy idea that is just waiting to be brought to reality?
You’re not alone!
Recently, I’ve had many conversations with people who feel like they are being called to do or be something more. They have a sense of restlessness. Something bigger wants to be birthed.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the experience of teachers who want to be more than assembly line workers in the industrial-age education machine we know as school. These teachers are highly intelligent, articulate, well read, accomplished and skilled leaders. While they love teaching, they feel a call to do more: to teach and lead their school, their district, and their profession.
Are you one of those teachers?
Expansion is Inevitable
“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud
was more painful that the risk it took to blossom.”
In nature, when an organism stops growing, it dies. I believe that this is true of the human spirit as well. Our lives are designed so that we are always growing and expanding. And when it is time for us to expand beyond our current condition, we feel a restlessness begin to develop. We start dreaming of possibilities and playing the “What If?” game.
Often times, however, we also begin to squelch those dreams and ideas before they even have a chance to get started. In your head, these thoughts might sound like:
- “Well, THAT will never happen.”
- “Who do you think you are?”
- “You don’t have the ______ for that.”
But the more you push those feelings of growth down, the more “painful” life becomes. At first you might experience fatigue or sadness. Left unattended, you may begin to experience issues that show as dis-ease or symptoms like headaches, back pain, or worse. Continuing to deny your soul and dreams may become so painful that you find that you MUST move forward to survive.
So now you might be asking yourself: where do I begin?
Know What Makes You Come Alive
“Feel yourself being quietly drawn by the deeper pull of what you truly love.”
People often resist moving forward because they believe that they don’t know what the next “thing” will be. This is especially true of the teachers who I described above. Usually they have no interest in becoming a principal—but for far too long, the only way to move “up” in education was to move “out” of the classroom. So teacher leaders often find themselves knowing what they DON’T want, but not what they DO want, because it may not exist.
Like Rumi says in the quotation above, tap into what it is that you love. You already know that thing that gives you energy rather than draining it. It is the thing that you do that makes you lose track of time. It’s the thing you do for so long that, when you look up, hours have passed. It’s the thing that makes you come alive.
When you align yourself with what makes you come alive, the universe rushes in to support you and your abundance. Too often, though, we squelch our dreams, thinking they are silly or that we can’t make money pursuing them. What if that crazy idea is just what the world needs to make a quantum leap forward? And what if your dream is exactly what you came here to do?
Ask yourself: what would I do if I knew I absolutely could not fail? Then begin it!
Our human hearts seem capable of infinite expansion
when we find the work that is ours to do.
And that is a delightful feeling.
-Margaret Wheatley, So Far From Home