Altared Perceptions: March 2013- “Inquiry”

Published March 24, 2013 by Susan Woodward

Yes, I know… I missed February’s decor.   With my involvement in the Aerial Arts 12 Week Challenge, it was tough to move on Sundays for a while, let alone leave the house to get to church.  Sorry!  I did do my Soul Matters work on the theme of “Devotion,” so I did not entirely miss out on the month.  Now that my body is beginning to adjust and even feel more energized, I have returned!  I will even be returning to our Thursday evening Creative Team Soul Matters group!  Yay!

March 2013

As I look at the decor for the theme of “Inquiry,” I like the use of the various windows.  Notice that all the window panes are different as some have two, others have four, six, eight, or even twelve.  Also, I have to ask myself, “Hmmm…even though there are clouds in the paintings that indicate that one is most likely on the inside looking out, maybe some of that cloudiness is me looking from the outside at the fogginess/cloudiness/greyness within.”  An interesting point to ponder.

Let me start with looking outward with inquiry.  UUs do this like it was their job… always inquiring.  It’s one of the things I love about being a Unitarian Universalist!  For the month of March, I have begun to inquire about new ways to be more devoted to honoring myself (tying in to the theme of “Devotion” from February).   This month I have begun to learn more about healthier eating habits more in-depth than in the beginning of the 12 Week Challenge.  By making my body more healthy, that will give me more energy and confidence to do more in this world!  After a depression-filled hiatus for more than six-months, it feels good to actually FEEL GOOD!  I am devoted to caring for me so that this “me” can become part of the living community.   This month, I began inquiring about juicing and better eating habits overall, as well as  exercise habits once the Challenge is over.  So that is me looking outward at this point.

But today, Revs. Kaaren and Scott got me looking inward with Robert Bly’s “The Long Bag We Drag Behind Us” (click bag to read the story) and  “What gets under your skin?”   And there are the clouds…ugh.

bag  I really did not wish to inquire about what’s hiding in my mile-long black bag behind me.  I prefer to look OUT the window, not IN!  That’s a heck of a lot easier…There really are too many things that I really don’t want to look at and would rather just sever the ties and leave it somewhere.

However, what really go to me was Scott’s question of “What gets under your skin?” followed with a resounding, “GREAT!!”  He asked us:

“Does that person’s laziness get under your skin?  Great!”

“Do pushy people get under your skin?  Great!”

And I added a few of my own in my head:

“Do education reformers get under your skin?  Great!!”

“Do apathetic students who don’t seem to care about failing get under your skin??  Great!”

I had a few more in that thread as he continued, and it left me feeling…well…yucky.  And uncomfortable.

So what’s under my skin and in that bag that I don’t want to look at?  What is it about education reform that makes my skin crawl?  Why do I allow student choices to affect how I think about myself as a teacher?  What kinds of insecurities lurk inside that might be best dragged out into the light?

Inquiring minds want to know.

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