August is a season for those of us in education to begin again.
It represents a new year, with new students, new projects, new colleagues. It is often a month of preparation, hope, anticipation and perhaps a little anxiety at the unknowns.
For many of our recent graduates, this is a season of new beginnings as well. New cities, new jobs, new communities.
As you find yourself beginning something new, or beginning the same work again, or even just beginning a new week, may the words of this poem/prayer echo in your heart.
May your new work [insert whatever is new for you] excite your heart,
Kindle in your mind creativity
To journey beyond the old limits
Of all that has become wearisome.
May this work challenge you toward
New frontiers that will emerge
As you begin to approach them,
Calling forth from you the full force
And depth of your undiscovered gifts.
May the work fit the rhythms of your soul,
Enabling you to draw from the invisible
New ideas and a vision that will inspire.
Remember to be kind
To those who work for you,
Endeavor to remain aware
Of the quiet world
That lives behind each face.
Be fair in your expectations,
Compassionate in your criticism.
May you have the grace of encouragement
To awaken the gift in the other’s heart,
Building in them the confidence
To follow the call of the gift.
May you come to know that work
Which emerges from the mind of love
Will have beauty and form.
May this new work be worthy
Of the energy of your heart
And the light of your thought.
May your work assume
A proper space in your life;
Instead of owning or using you,
May it challenge and refine you,
Bringing you every day further
Into the wonder of your heart.
~ John O’Donohue
What does it look like for you to notice the good around you as you begin this new week?