Report date
May 2023
Learning Log

The Bush Fellowship is a gift of a lifetime. It is a gift that I didn’t know I needed, a gift that began even back in the application process, 7+ months before the “news”, a gift that has kept on giving in often unexpected yet transformative ways. I didn’t really get how big a deal it is until I became one. It has given me a level of confidence and voice about who I am and who I can be - playing BIG becomes a possibility. I am seeing and feeling everything with more heightened awareness. I am giving myself permission to pay attention to healing, self-care and connections with a sense of urgency I have never experienced previously. As I explain to so many friends and colleagues about the fellowship, as much as it is about the vision I have for the teaching profession, the fellowship is an investment in ME so that I could realize the promise of that vision in a sustainable manner that keeps me whole and healthy.

Well, this is where I also often feel like I am a BAD and ineffective Bush Fellow. The elaborate learning plans I had and all the ways I was going to slow down to pay attention to healing, self-care and connections have not quite worked out the way I had imagined. Life happens! Thank goodness for the optional virtual monthly check-ins. The times I was able to join had been exactly what I needed: to connect with other fellows, to reflect collectively, to share our painpoints and struggles, and most of all, to encourage and support each other. I am comforted by not being alone in my guilt and anxiety of being a BAD fellow!!!

I am incredibly grateful and beginning to fully embrace the flexibility of the fellowship so I could be responsive to when “life happens” and when opportunities emerge along my learning journey that supports my path to wholeness through healing, self-care and connections/re-connections. The structure of the quarterly reflection has been so helpful to tamper my sense of guilt and anxiety about not doing enough as a fellow. It provides the space for me to take stock of what has happened, big and small. And undoubtedly, I am amazed at the discoveries, insights and growth I have made on this journey. Mind you, sometimes the discoveries and insights have been painful; such as being acutely aware of stubborn and old habits, or needing to reframe some realities in my life, or accepting my deep connections with chosen families but not my brothers. Yet I know with absolute clarity, this is all part of the gift of this fellowship journey, this transformative investment in myself to even “go there”, to face up to old wounds, to work through (instead of working around) hurt and trauma towards wholeness in service of unimaginable possibilities for myself, for the community and for the world. Stay tuned!

I read this long time ago and I am reading it again…

Autobiography In Five Short Chapters – Portia Nelson
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.