If you asked me why I haven’t been published yet, I’d have to truthfully answer, lack of discipline. I am so intent on the prospect of it and then I get sidetracked. I have 8 weeks left of summer break and way too many things on my want- to-do list! I’ve been reading Marianne Williamson’s Everyday Grace and trying to be more cognizant of whether or not I’m acting in love and also if I am taking the time to recognize everyday miracles around me. I feel so blessed to have a 2 -1/2 year old granddaughter who provides a myriad of opportunities to slow down, be present, and witness everyday miracles. I witness the joy in her heart and the sweetness of her spirit while sitting with her in a little, blue, plastic pool as she exclaims, “It’s a beautiful summer day Mimi,”. She reminds me to look for the connections and savor each moment, each taste, each sight. In Everyday Grace, Marianne Williamson shares the following quote of Albert Einstein:
“A human being is a part of the whole called the “universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings , as something separate from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of …consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in all its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.”
Reflecting on this, I realized that my granddaughter does exactly that when she inquires about the whereabouts of the sun and the moon when they are absent from the sky. She truly misses them. She wants to provide a home for the lizard so she can feed him and wants to help the love bug find his mate, so he can be happy. As we approached the grocery store, she saw a grizzly biker step off his motorcycle and she said, “Hi, how are you today?” The biker smiled from ear to ear and responded in kind. It was clear she had warmed his heart. Her heart has no protective vest, neither gate nor door to keep others out. She has no regard for prejudices of any kind. She sees no boundaries. She sees herself as a part of the whole. Our children teach us so much.
When searching for a preschool for my daughter 23 years ago, I discovered Montessori education. I went on to become a certified Montessori educator, striving to guide each child in my circle of influence to see their connection to the whole, to our Mother Earth. I sought to help them understand the interdependence of all life, to realize that their job, their spiritual task, was to find their cosmic purpose and leave a positive mark on our planet. Sadly, economics forced me to move out of the private sector and into the realm of public education. I no longer have a Montessori classroom but the Montessori philosophy still lives in my heart and soul. The challenge is to “discipline” myself to live it every day.