Becoming (Enter) Conversation 2

Welcome to our second conversation, “Becoming (Enter)” that occurred on August 30, 2020.  The flow of our first,  “Becoming (Joy)” on August 9th found us entering into the themes of mystery, gentleness, challenge, presence, healing and story.

This conversation was recorded on Sunday, August 30, 2020. We discuss our different interpretations of “Enter” and the ways that we approach entering into the unknown, entering into intentional space together, and entering as a mindful teaching practice. This is the beginning conversation where Pat speaks explicitly about a piece of art that captures the essence of “entering” into the unknown and feeling inside as if beckoned to take that first step.

Becoming (Enter) Part 1

In the second part of “Becoming (Enter),” Pat, Lynn, and Cristina discuss what it means to take the step or leap into the unknown as we move forward into uncertain times. Lynn brings in images and her own poetry to depict the experience of ‘being’ in conversation and unity with all those participating in this platform. Cristina discusses the importance of setting the tone for how we enter into spaces such as classrooms. She discusses leaving unnecessary emotional “baggage” at the door to be fully present with others when we choose to enter specific spaces.

As we continue our journey together we featured Pat’s “Enter” art card and another of Pat’s art pieces with her words: “We are beckoned to step into the unknown of our own becoming. The portal and threshold await us.” Let’s see where our next conversation takes us! Next conversation: September 20, 2020 – Theme: Becoming (Explore).

This is the Patanjali card that Lynn picked for the group during our conversation on “Enter.”
Lynn’s poem inspired by the last conversation on “Enter.”

If you are interested in finding out more about this group, please contact Pat, Lynn, or Cristina at: joybecoming@gmail.com

Becoming (Joy) Conversation 1

Pat Berberich’s artistic interpretation of “Become”

Welcome to the first Conversation where Pat Berberich, Lynn Santamaría and Cristina Santamaría Graff discuss what it means to be “Becoming” as we talk about our life purpose as well as the way in which we attempt to align mind, body, and spirit. The PowerPoint provides a layout of our conversation as well as the structure of the discussion. The videos capture our introduction to Becoming (Joy), our group name (and YouTube Channel), and our beginning conversation about what it means to “Become” who we are. Not recorded is the follow-up conversation where we invite individuals to participate in deeper discussion about specific topics.

For those interested in learning more about this group, please contact us at: joybecoming@gmail.com

Also, please check out our Becoming (Joy) YouTube Channel!

PowerPoint – An Introduction to Becoming (Joy)

Becoming (Joy) – Introductory Video

Becoming Joy – Introductory Video

Becoming (Joy) – Conversation 1

Conversation 1

In her discussion, Lynn speaks about the power of words and reads an excerpt from Toni Morrison. Here we pay homage to these words.

Toni Morrison, Author

ANNOUNCEMENTS: WE WILL BE HAVING 2 DISCUSSIONS PER MONTH. THE NEXT DISCUSSION IS BEING RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 30, at 10:00am PST and 1pm EST.

The theme for our next session is: Becoming (Enter).

Pat Berberich’s artistic interpretation of “Enter.”
Artwork by Pat Berberich, Poem by Lynn Santamaría

vBLOG 7_LESSON PLAN “FIRE”: HOME-TEACHING IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

Fire Card

LESSON PLAN 2

We decided to begin the pre-lesson with a FIRE Ceremony for the purpose of bringing healing to our Earth and all her inhabitants during this time. This is a very intimate snapshot of how we, as a family, gather together in sacred, intentional ceremony. We ask that you enter this space with respect, an open mind and heart, and with healing intention. Thank you.

PLEASE ALLOW VIDEO TO UPLOAD… IT MAY TAKE A COUPLE OF MINUTES. It’s an embedded video, so if you are accessing it from your phone, make sure you wait a minute or two. It should come up after a couple of tries.

Family Fire Ceremony

Here, as a family, we engage in a fire ceremony that we share with all of you so that you can see how elegantly and beautifully simple it can be. Healing occurs with intention. When there is a gathering of individuals intent upon the healing of the Earth and its people, a powerful synergy occurs. I intentionally only name Fire as the element of warmth, comfort and healing as a way to create an openness for all to witness and to feel invited. This is a sacred space that we share with you for the purpose of assisting you during these times. By actively engaging in the practice of healing, we are, in essence, doing something. Many times, it is by action that we feel we are contributing to the overall good. This is something we (you) can do. It is purposeful action with the goal of bringing healing to ourselves and to every human being who is in need of warmth, comfort and healing. We hope this brings you a sense of connectedness and purpose.

RESOURCES FOR LESSON 2

DOWNLOADABLE PDF OF LESSON 2 WITH HYPERLINKS

Please remember to cite the lesson plan if you use it for a more public venue by attributing the material to: Cristina Santamaría Graff, eduspirit.org. Thanks!

LINKS USED WITHIN THE LESSON PLAN

BE INTENTIONAL – RESOURCES

Jimmy Santiago Baca’s Poem: “I am offering this poem”

PDF version of POEM – Downloadable

Information about FIRE – its properties and fun facts.

BE CRITICALLY/CONSTRUCTIVELY COMPASSIONATE

Indigenous Fire Practices – news story

Indigenous Fire Practices – video

Excerpt from Indigenous Fire Stewardship by Frank K. Lake and Amy Cardinal Christianson (2019):

“Indigenous peoples believe they have a responsibility passed down from their Creator to be stewards of the land. In relation to wildland fire – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health are tied to the health of the Earth. Many Indigenous cultures cannot be resilient without a healthy landscape to exercise cultural fire-related practices on” (p. 3).

In the video below, we are implementing a lesson to learn about indigenous fire practices. This lesson can be found in the section called, “Be Critically/Constructively Compassionate” of Lesson Plan 2, “FIRE” (above). Here we document how we implemented the lesson on indigenous fire practices and land stewardship. Discussions center on a youtube video about cultural burning in Australia. The differences between cultural burning and hazard reduction are explained. What does it mean to be a caregiver, nurturer and steward of the land?

Cristina and the girls sitting talking about indigenous fire practices.

TAKE ACTION

Fire Safety Plan – template for home floor plan drawing

Kids creating a diorama – one example

We are in Week 3 of having to stay at home. The girls wanted to “do” something so we looked at the section of the lesson plan that focuses on TAKING ACTION. Paloma wanted to create the fire safety plan using the template provided above. The girls created a map of the home by drawing floor plans of the house. Then, they found all the smoke alarms and discussed an escape plan in the event there was a fire. The girls had a lot of fun doing this. I’d recommend it for kinesthetic learners who like to move and explore. Please watch video below on “Take Action.”

Candles Burning

Other Videos Associated with Lesson 2

Cristina sitting in front of her table with the FIRE card beside her.

OTHER VIDEOS ARE FORTHCOMING… PLEASE CHECK IN HERE AT THIS PAGE or, if you prefer videos only, go to my YouTube Channel: Edu Spirit

Román and I were “interviewed” by HOPE at HOME – Dr. Joy K. Howard and Travis Howard, Educators, about home-teaching.

We continued the conversation in Part II. Here we discuss children’s emotions during this time of COVID-19.

Week 3 of Home-teaching: We found out today that all schools in our state are closing for the rest of the year. We also found out today that Ellis Marsalis Jr. passed away yesterday. So many transitions and changes… In this video, we show our girls’ initial responses.

vBlog 4_Home-teaching in the Time of Corona: Day 4

Cristina sitting/smiling next to her meditation table.

For those interested in the Family as Faculty Facebook Page to which I refer in this video, please go to: facebook.com/FamilyasFaculty/

There is a saying – “un dicho” – in Spanish which is “hecha polvo.” Translated directly, “made of powder.” It’s meaning: “exhausted.”

It’s how I’m feeling tonight.

How about all of you?

You doing okay?

Hope so.

I do.

Because…

It’s important that…

We learn to lean in….

Seeing, one another… maybe for the first time.

BUENAS NOCHES Y ABRAZOS,

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ENJOYED THE RACHEL NAOMI REMEN EXCERPT:

Wisdom Requires us to be more fully and simply alive

than we have been taught to be.

It may require us to suffer.

But ultimately we will be more than we were when we began.

There is a seed of a greater wholeness in everyone.

My Grandfather’s Blessings: Stories of Strength, Refuge, and Belonging

vBlog 3_Home-Teaching in the Time of Corona

Cristina is sitting in front of her meditation table.

Welcome to Day 3.

For some reason it feels like Day 33. The day is now winding down. Here in Indiana it was a rainy day, too chilly to venture outdoors. We stayed inside and worked together and alone on different projects. The girls completed their e-Learning by lunchtime and then were able to work with my husband on finishing up the birdhouses. I’m actually amazed at how well they turned out.

Further, during this time of being completely sequestered in our homes has made me realize how creative we can be when we don’t have the same pressures as before. For example, my husband can build birdhouses right now. He is in-between teaching classes so, in the meantime, he is enjoying hours of doing things he’s been wanting to do like baking cookies, making corn tortillas on the placa from scratch, and, of course, building birdhouses.

And, in my case, I have had more time to learn about filming, editing, and putting material up on social media. I didn’t realize how incredible intense this process of rendering material online could be, especially since I’ve created self-imposed deadlines (e.g., 1 video per day documenting this time of home-teaching and Corona-imposed, social isolation). However, instead of feeling somewhat irresponsible about diving into something I’ve always wanted to do (e.g., learning how to edit digital material) because I “know I should be doing work-related stuff,” I actually feel sort of liberated. I feel like I have time … it’s not an either/or (either editing or working) but rather an and/and (I can both do what I am excited to do AND do work). This said, it’s not that I do not enjoy my “work,” but rather, I am free to “do work” on my own time and on my own terms – to a greater degree, at least.

In this video, I discuss what my family and I did on Day 3. I also talk about creating a work space that is relatively easy to set up.

For those of you who enjoyed the Caroline Myss quotation:

Managing the power of choice,

with all its creative and spiritual implications,

is the essence of human experience.

All spiritual teachings are directed toward inspiring us

to recognize that the power to make choices

is the dynamic that converts our spirits into matter.

our words into flesh.

Choice is the process of creation itself.

Each choice is a creative act of spiritual power

for which we are held responsible.

Thank you for being a part of this journey with me. We are all in this together.

Abrazos,

vBlog 2_Home-Teaching in the Time of Corona: Day 2

Thank you, everyone, for checking in on Day 2.

Today my family and I had a bit more down time. There were e-Learning structured activities in the early morning, but by late morning we were talking a nice (needed) walk in nature. My husband and the girls also had a great time together (in the sun!) constructing bird houses. I mean…THAT never would have happened during this time of year before-Corona. Unprecedented.

We are finding our stride…our rhythm together.

That said, I am realizing that, though I am feeling centered in some ways, I am also having a difficult time focusing on my work. I am going to need to find my equilibrium to harmonize all that which is important to me during these times. I am getting ready to have dinner and to spend the evening watching Toy Story 4 with my family.

For those of you who enjoyed the quotation today:

“The entire Universe is condensed in the body,

and the entire body in the Heart.

Thus the Heart is the nucleus of the whole Universe.

Transforming yourself is a means

of giving light to the whole world.”

-Ramana Maharshi

Much love to you all. I send my support and solidarity,

Arms

By Cristina Santamaría Graff

Dedicated to those whose lives were taken in a moment of anguish, confusion, and rage at Parkland High School on February 14, 2018.

In honor of surviving students who have armed themselves with fierce love to speak out against gun legislation that has set the stage for immense violence against humanity.

With love,

signature-use

Arms

My arms,

outstretched,

she runs into my embrace.

Trembling, her fists pound my back,

more like raindrops than hail, they are

expressions rather than deliverers of pain.

 

My arms,

They bring comfort to her unsettled heart,

POUND, Pound, pound…

“Shhhhhhh, quiet now. The gunfire is over.”

Her arms,

they shield her face,

hands cover her ears.

“I can hear the screaming,” she mouths.

 

My arms,

they carry notebooks and pens,

extra paper for José, a calculator for Bella.

Dry erase marker etchings line my forearms and fingertips,

once again forgetting to cap the tops.

 

My arms,

They dole out high-fives,

handshakes at the classroom door, Kleenex, wipes, stickers, fist bumps, and hugs.

My arms,

always moving,

to show, to demonstrate, to examine, to analyze, to assess, to teach.

 

Your arms,

full of fire and misplaced rage.

You project your despair on the innocent,

You know no other way.

Your arms aim and shoot,

the more the better – this is your plan.

 

Their arms,

in the air, on the floor, under the desks,

begging, pleading.

They are just arms, another target to shoot at.

 

Your arms,

AR-15s – powerful, mighty, righteous.

They become God.

You are the messenger, the deliverer of pain.

 

Your arms,

now hang nonchalantly at your side.

They buy you a drink at Subway.

 

Our arms.

Our truth.

What arms do we bear?

What arms us?

What do we choose to be armed with?

Are we bearers of fear?

Do we arm ourselves with love?

Can we bear our own truths, our own fears?

Can we bear the reality we are creating?

 

Our arms,

our minds, our hearts, our consciousness.

We have the right to bear TRUTH,

to confront the lies,

to stand up for each other,

to live and choose LOVE.

 

Our arms,

They can write new beginnings.

 

River

Lately, I have been very involved with my academic writing and it has been challenging for me to sit down and write for EduSpirit because, to be frank, my left-brain is pretty tapped. Writing poetry, however, is a completely different process. It is organic and free-flowing. It elicits the voice of my heart through images and scenes evoked through contemplation and reflection.

Tonight I wanted to capture the paradox of a river – stillness and movement occurring simultaneously. I was inspired by Steven D. Farmer’s “Earth Magic” cards which, I believe, were created to tap into our visceral, primal responses that reside within our right-brain.

As I have demonstrated through video blogs I have posted, I use cards to balance my left and right brain hemispheres. In my academic career I am engaged so heavily in analytical thinking that I sometimes feel that my creativity begins to atrophy. I need to find a way to bring my “selves” into harmonious balance and one way to accomplish this is by drawing, painting, and writing poetry.

I am at a point of my journey in which I fully realize and appreciate Maslow’s conceptualization of human self-actualization and the way in which we need to integrate and embrace mind, body, and spirit to live authentically and to be in greater harmony with our essence.

With much love as we enter into December,

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River

 

Your voice,

the force of a river – collides.

The speed, your movement  – you knocked the wind,

air leaves my body.

 

Your voice,

pierces thick fog.

I wince at the realization –

Have I been asleep this long?

 

Your voice,

makes my blood run fast,

like the Mississippi Delta – every capillary fills,

swollen and untamed.

Lungs expand,

BREATHE, Breathe, breathe.

I can’t catch my breath.

 

“I am here,” you say.

Eyes, ears, fingers … they search for you.

but the fog is heavy, the light dim.

Sleep threatens as night approaches,

Will I lose you again?

Fear engulfs me.

 

My love?

Are you still here?

 

I am alone.

Moonlight reflects in the flowing river.

It is as still as glass.

 

Then,

ripples lapping against the embankment,

the symphony of crickets behind the trees,

the smell of the earth supporting my body,

the flash of shooting stars,

the taste of sweet grass,

you speak to me.

My senses receive your stories.

 

I pass over into dreams,

the Earth, a sturdy cradle – rocking,  nudging.

She whispers, “Look.”

There you are.

A force of illuminated brilliance, meandering toward me.

 

You are the river,

free and unfettered.

I cannot contain you –

this thought – so frightening before,

now fills me with joy.

I take you in –

all of me, ALIVE.

 

You are the river.

The voice of my heart.

11:11

11-11

By: Cristina Santamaría Graff

 

I measure this moment by breath and blood,

the pause between inhale and exhale

the diastolic heartbeat.

 

My vitals pulse, squeeze, relax.

A guard dog, senses acute

my hacking up.

 

A door opens,

consciousness pricking,

momentum guides me through.

 

Who are you?

What are you?

Why are you?

 

Beings of light,

colors of the spectrum –

a new identification.

 

Energy is the language,

Love the vibration,

Empathy the understanding.

 

No more guessing.

I carry a thousand stars on my back,

their histories, my library.

 

I am the dream.

No more illusions,

I leave the door open.

 

If it were the falling leaves alone

If it were the falling leaves alone

By: Cristina Santamaría Graff

October 21, 2017

 

If it were the falling leaves alone

I would surrender to the Earth’s changing hues and landscape,

happily.

I would indulge completely.

Heaps of oranges, yellows, and reds,

a shuffleboard of color underneath my girls’ curious feet –

swish, swish, whoosh!

I would delight in their laughter,

bellies, arms, and legs spreading and closing like crabs

scurrying along the shoreline.

 

But Fall is melancholia,

personified in brilliance and demise.

 

It is the opening of a door,

like the sun’s evening rays spilling in between tree branches,

joyful and full of promise:

Upside down at four at Nibley park,

swinging.

The evening sun tickling my closed eyes with a prickling yellow glow.

The colors under my eyelids, dancing.

The pungent grass and oak cross-pollinating the air.

Mom is smiling, hugging her sweater, cheeks pink against the sun.

Her eyes bright.

 

Fall is this.

But more. 

 

The permanent closing sign of a beloved café,

where you met your lover in secret and scratched your initials surreptitiously

on the far, back table.

Your Grandfather calling you, “Peanut,” and handing you buttered toast as the

October light filled the breakfast room.

The heartbreak of a child realizing

a happy moment of life

has just passed,

never to repeat itself again.

 

I embrace Fall like the prodigal son,

the return, each year,

both painful and hopeful.

Never knowing, always guessing

what’s around the corner.