Connecting, Reconnecting, and Disconnecting in 2015

2015 was the year I learned that the path I have taken so far is leading me in a new direction. The fog is still too thick to see where it leads, but I’m directed by the voice I hear beyond it all. I’m working on trusting this voice, and I realize that to trust it, I need to understand its language. It is a language I once knew but set aside to make room for languages that offered safer passages. This voice is my Soul, my Inner Teacher, my True Self.

My desire to follow this path is very strong, and so I’ll use Throwing Back Tokens to light the way. This means I’ll write about topics that may seem unrelated to teaching. But as a wise friend told me recently, everything that is important to a teacher influences her teaching. If something feeds your heart and mind, it feeds what you do.

But before I start moving forward, my first entry of 2016 will be about looking back on the first part of 2015 to see where the path began to veer.

Connecting in the Beginning

The beginning of 2015 was all about connection, reconnection, and disconnection: connection and reconnection with friends and family, and disconnection with the work I had done for the previous 5 years.

After 6 years of being married, and never having had a wedding, Byongchan and I decided it was time to celebrate our connection by taking wedding pictures. It was fun to be glamorous for a day, and to share this joy with Byongchan and our family.

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Another significant moment included reconnecting with Kristina Eisenhower (a.k.a. the fabulous Krisellaneous), which now looking back, was probably when the path started appearing. This is bound to happen when you spend the night dreaming about what lights you up. Kristina is the queen of manifesting such dreams. Have you checked out her Experience Expedition yet? If not, please do.

This was also when I finally met Juan Alberto Lopez Uribe and Buddy the Frog for the first time. Juan’s enthusiasm for teaching from his heart to the heart of his students is contagious. He sparked within me a desire to keep teaching with meaning and love at the forefront.

What I didn’t know then was that the group of teachers Juan and Buddy met would be the last group in our teacher-training program. A few weeks later, during my visit home to Nova Scotia, I found out the Department of Education pulled funding, and that on my return, I’d have to create a new program. But before all this, it was time to play.

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The first stop during my visit back to Nova Scotia for the first in three years involved a Vanity Fair Hollywood cover shoot of the Thériault ladies. Ahh, it felt good to be back to the familiar silliness. We missed my sister, Louisette, but she was off accomplishing the exciting task of becoming a West Jet flight attendant. Go Lou!

IMG_1639I reconnected with dear old friends and and met their new additions (new to me at least). There’s no way I could have prepared for the heart jolt I’d get when their little faces greeted me at the door. Love is a wonderful mystery.

IMG_1790My visit home offered many types of soul food, one being pape’s famous seafood chowder. Yum! What was most fun about this was that pape could enjoy it with us without worrying about an allergic reaction. Lobster for everyone!

IMG_1714The other type of soul food of course was rappie pie. This picture recalls the last one I shared with n’oncle Gilles, my father’s brother. I feel very grateful this was the year I went home as we never could have predicted that a few months later he would pass away.

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And finally a road trip to Florida with my parents marked the end of my visit before my return to a new unknown in Korea. Seeing my parents’ youthful side come out as we danced the night away, traveled to manatee reserves, and relaxed on the beach is a memory I’ll always cherish.

Back to Korea

Once back to Korea, my colleague and I brainstormed ways we could develop a teacher-training program for pre-service teachers at Keimyung. After a few weeks of negotiating with the awesome folks at SIT Graduate Institute and World Learning (thank you Kevin and Lois!), we had the beginnings of what we’d call the KMU-SIT Professional TESOL Certificate.

From March until July, I worked on developing the program. While I learned a lot about what goes into creating such a course, I look back and see this as the time my soul started to speak up. My interests started to shift, or perhaps, amplify. Not being in the classroom during these months, I had the space to explore other avenues that light me up while listening to the podcasts of entrepreneurs I admire, reading the work of inspiring spiritual teachers, as well as engaging in soulful contemplation and creative expression. The series “Teachers Talking About Self-compassion” was born out of this space.

This time was also a sweet opportunity to reconnect with Byongchan and my home life.

So when we ran our the first TESOL certificate course from July to August, I sensed something was different. I wasn’t the same person who had started the creative process back in March.

The course, although small with only 6 participants, was a success. Everyone, trainers (thank you Robb and Jon!) and participants alike, learned a great deal about what it means to teach and learn and grow.  We were all intellectually, experientially, and skillfully stretched that summer.

But then things changed once again.

I’ll end my reflection for now. I’m way over my preferred word limit, and my inner critic is starting to make fun of my self-involvement.

As I write, I also notice many new insights arising. I need a little space to digest it all. I am grateful for this chance to throw back a few tokens once again. I forget how blogging offers refuge.

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20 thoughts on “Connecting, Reconnecting, and Disconnecting in 2015

  1. Josette, I have enjoyed how your soul comes through your heart in your writing. I especially liked how you “rechanneled” the surprise job “thrust” into your inner cushion of talent, exploration and rediscovery! I am grateful that we met up in Korea and had meaningful conversations. May your heart continue to be aligned with your soul!

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    1. Dearest Emma, I am also grateful we met up and that our souls continue to meet up in moments like this. You are one of the lightworkers who have helped me acknowledge this part of me. Your light gives me strength. I am reminded of our soul talks in Costa Rica and that beautiful poem you wrote for me on my last day there. Thank you again and always Emma.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your post and learning what has inspired you in the past year. Very well written. May the coming year bring you even deeper into your Soul space…it takes intention, practice and surrender to listen to one’s Inner Voice, the True Self. May your journey be filled with love and light to guide your way.

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    1. Oh Jessica, I so love that you left a comment here. I was going to finally reply to the email you so kindly sent to me before Christmas to thank you for helping me along the journey that I have started to describe in this post.

      Yesterday I attended my first day of the Healing Alchemy Leadership Course at the Ayurveda Yoga Studio. http://ayurvedayogastudio.blogspot.kr/2015/10/22nd-healing-alchemy-leadership-course.html You are the one who pointed me in the direction of the studio. My Soul was looking for a space like this, but “Josette” didn’t know it yet. As you say, it takes intention, practice, and surrender to listen to one’s Inner Voice. What my Inner Voice also told me that it would take is a supportive community. Although I have many supportive communities, this community gives me the chance to come back to the Beginner’s Mind and rest in receiving…. through practice and intention of course. :)

      It would be so lovely if you could join us. No pressure of course. If you are interested, please let me know. You can join anytime.

      Many blessings to you my dear! Let’s try to catch up very soon!

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  3. Great to touch into your full and rich life, Josette – thanks for the reminder about learning to hear, and trust the voice of my Soul!

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  4. Thank you josette. Wonderful to read this. just waking up and there is a gorgeous sun rise here on the other side of the world.

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    1. Thank you so much for this message Tante Alvina! It meant a lot for me to read it. I wasn’t able to reply well because I was traveling at the time, but it really brought a smile to my face. I love the way nature speaks to your heart and that you share with us all in the creative and open-hearted way that you do. Never stop. :)

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  5. Josette thank you so much for sharing your year from your heart. I love reading your reflections and insights into yourself. You make me think 🤔 wishing you well for your 2016 adventures

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    1. Anne, thank you as always for your kind comments. You make me think as well! Still pondering the question you asked on Twitter: “Is following the leading of your heart not also based on knowledge/experience?”

      First, I love the wording of your question. It helped me frame the concept of experience in a new light. I don’t think I made a direct link between following my heart and the root of experience before. However, as I ponder it, it resonates.

      That being said, I’m curious to know what prompted this question. I assumed it was related to me saying that I may not write about teaching explicitly. Am I right?

      Another way I understood it was that based on my experience and knowledge, it makes sense to follow the rhythm of my own drum (heart) because these are the teachings that experience provides.

      Thanks for helping me tease this out Anne.

      I hope your new year brings you many heartfelt experiences as well my dear!

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      1. I mainly thought about it in connection with the latter statement; Following your heart, your passions, your ideals, what you know is right and good – all come from what you’ve learnt through life and reading. Your drum is what resonates with you – You have to be true to this to be effective and relate to others.

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        1. Thank you for your quick reply to my question Anne. I was travelling for a while and couldn’t get back to you.

          I am very grateful that you wrote back because the clarity of your intention really hit me, especially tis beautiful line: “Your drum is what resonates with you – You have to be true to this to be effective and relate to others.”

          There is great depth to this. I am called to take it on as a blessing along this new journey. Thank you my dear. May you keep on resonating to your drum as well. <3

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