Taking in and giving back: A question on initiatives
There are so many initiatives launching in the country today. This is great news, of course, as so much work really needs to be done. Having mentors, trainers and teachers coming to us means we don’t have to go very far or spend too much to learn. But with so many courses and possibilities also come questions of focus and decision: Am I going to be a farmer, eurythmist, or speech therapist? Will I be an art therapist or an early childhood teacher? A lower or upper school teacher? Why not a Christian Community priest?
In the last few weeks, my health seems to have plummeted and my digestion is going through a turbulent time. I’ve also been attending so many courses–from the introductory eurythmy course to the introductory transformative speech course, a bit of teacher training, a Philippine history and geography course, an intense visioning workshop–all this plus the day-to-day, week-to-week events we sail or stumble through.
I have had a persistent dull headache and other symptoms that have caused me considerable discomfort. I’ve taken too much in without finding the right balance of breathing everything out constructively. What are we doing with all this knowledge? We can’t be studying, studying, studying anything and everything, without committing to really doing something about it full sail. Anything undigested rots and festers; anything unused also dies.
We cannot and perhaps should not even attempt to do it all, without a view of where we might be able to take all that we have learned. I think there is a time in one’s biography when we are naturally sampling everything, perhaps as we make sense of who we are and how we would like to engage in the world, and then we reach an endpoint where we know that the time of trying is over and the time, not just of deciding, but of DOING has come. I have ended my workshop year with the transformative speech workshop and have decided that I’m done. Next year I know I will restrain myself from dipping here and there and focus, instead, on the one thing that truly resonated with me this year and then keep at it. I must continue with much more will on the work I’ve already started and just deepen it, perhaps even make it new and relevant.
I’ve come to believe that the worldwide economic crisis is a profound reminder of the need to focus. Where do we really want to make the most difference? Where would our talents and resources do their best work for the greater whole? The time for economy is upon us and we have to make sure that we are not stretched too thinly trying to learn everything without applying everything in the practical world.
Now that there are so many possibilities opening up to us in the realm of Steiner’s initiatives, we might ask ourselves more serious questions about where we intend to use the learning. It is not just a matter of preserving our strength as mothers, teachers and individuals, but also of buckling down to work at last.