If you missed me… thank you!  I have missed you and this space.

Last week I was at an intensive, immersion conference on Choice Theory, Reality Therapy, and Lead Management.  It had been quite awhile since I was in full participant/student mode and most days began and ended with my scalp vibrating like an electric toothbrush. The days were full, the sessions dense with content, the activities stretched me like taffy at the State Fair and the role plays were better than most movies as they portrayed relational dynamics so central to my core.  The nights were full of reading assignments, homework, and frantically trying to catch up and support what was happening at home.  Of course, The Husband travelled the same week, and the coverage of the children and their many events looked like an Amish Quilt… so many hands and favors were stitched together to pull it off.

I am grateful on every level.  Thanksgiving has come early to this weary heart of mine and I sing Hallelujah with a resonate sincerity that I have missed from my voice.  I am grateful for the many relationships in my life and the people who came forward to pitch in and help me attend the conference.  I am grateful to my kids who juggled in a way we rarely ask of them, and managed to keep their cards moving with both parents gone from the routine and home.  I am grateful to have been able to plug into such an oasis of vital content and adaptable strategies that I could put to immediate use to improve my pictures of quality and bring value to others.  I am grateful to be reminded how much I love study… I love everything about it.  I love the reading, I adore taking notes, I delight in sketching and bringing order to the new information as I integrate it into what I already have discovered, I love the discussions, I love the role plays, I love the questions, I love the challenge, I love the ping of epiphany.  The whole process for me is like an ice cream buffet.  Delicious!

I challenged myself to remain in the moment of each study encounter and press it for all the juice it could pour into my thirsty heart. The activity that prompted some push back from me was a sensory one.  I felt some resistance to the process, and hadn’t needed to create from external prompts in years.

We were instructed to pair off and go for a walk outside.  We were instructed to refrain from any speaking and to attend to our sensory perceptions.  We were asked to identify the sights, sounds, smells, textures and even the taste of the experience.

I was a bit rigid at first.  I walked with a soulful guy whose hair is even longer than mine and felt uncertain about the encounter.  However, it was a vibrant autumnal day, and the breeze kissed with just enough chill to keep me alert to possibilities.  Before long, I fingered rocks and twigs like rosary beads, blew dandelion puffs, and smelled vines.

When we got back to the conference room, we were asked to refrain from speaking and to write down our perceptions.  We were asked to title the piece with the central discovery object of our observation.

Here’s my entry:

broken yo-yo

gather gleaner
and beware the jabberwocky
a brisk chill licks
our faces with harvest breeze
leaves float
in fandango whimsy
oranges polka
brown waltz
yellow yammers across
the azure sky like a seductive tango
the plan above paints
its horizontal cloud
as gossamer as a question mark
where are you going to?
musky leaves
hide moist, bitter onions
that bite the air
like the broken, black stones
of four square
reedy weeds leverage cracks
to unpave blacktop
and target greens
huff and puff huff

The exercise continued as we shared our perceptions and discussed how differently as partners we filtered the same walk experiences.

It was fascinating and ever applicable to how differently people in the same house or community can experience the same encounter differently.

The lesson was especially timely for my family.

And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah!