September 3, 2019
“I step into the day. I step into my life. I step into the mystery. Aho!” I learned this Ojibwe saying at a meditation class. We said it as we stepped ‘off the cushion’. I love it. Stepping into the mystery is becoming my ‘thing.’ And that ‘Aho!’ at the end is such an affirmation. A claiming of the moment in such a powerful way. Kinda awesome.
This past month my ‘life of mystery’ took me to Brazil and Canada, to Reno and Minneapolis and a few other spots too like going to the Queen with Adam Lambert concert with my nephews in Minneapolis.
The start of the school year offers us an opportunity to step into the mystery and to do it with strength. It reminds us that one doesn’t need to get out of town to step into the mystery of life or to feel the Aho! of the moment. Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Ventures in Ann Arbor and author of Joy, Inc.: How We Built a Workplace People Love and Chief Joy Officer: How Great Leaders Elevate Human Energy and Eliminate Fear decided he wanted to experience joy at work. His “Aho!” He runs a software development company that is ‘all in’ on joy. The place is full of smiles. It’s got a good vibe. Yes, they are busy and have deadlines and things don’t go as planned, but all is well. Me want some of that in my life. Aho!
The beginning of the school year, and for some of us the Jewish New Year (L’Shana Tova!), are a time to start anew. To step into the mystery and claim our ‘Aho!’
Yeah, yeah, you say. Step into the mystery. Aho! Right. This way of walking in the world is not an easy feat for so many of us. Dominant culture, the news, social media, etc. all can push and pull us back into places of anxiety and sadness. I personally become a ‘Debbie Downer’ at times when I look on Twitter or Facebook, feeling envious of others and leave feeling inadequate. Screw that. (Did I just write that out loud? Yup.) I am going into this new year claiming delight with my life and my work and wish the same for you. Aho!
If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to email me at Jennifer@jenniferabrams.com. I look forward to hearing from you!
The Weekly Contrarian blog by Ozan Varol. Fun tidbits and things that make you go “Hmmm.”
The Overstory by Richard Powers. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Remarkable. That’s all I have to say.
Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. Was given this book by a colleague. It was a perfect gift for me. Check it out.
About Jennifer Abrams
Jennifer Abrams considers herself a "voice coach," helping others learn how to best use their voices – be it collaborating on a team, presenting in front of an audience, coaching a colleague and supervising an employee. Jennifer holds a Master's degree in Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor's degree in English from Tufts University. She lives in Palo Alto, California. Jennifer's latest book is Swimming in the Deep End: Four Foundational Skills for Leading Successful School Initiatives. Her previous publications include Having Hard Conversations, The Multigenerational Workplace: Communicating, Collaborating & Creating Community and Hard Conversations Unpacked – the Whos, the Whens and the What Ifs. She has also created a Corwin Press e-course by the same name.
Work with Jennifer
Praise for Jennifer
“Jennifer has so squarely hit the mark with our teacher-leaders that she is one of the few presenters that they are always requesting when professional development is the question. Here at the University of Chicago, this acclaim and recognition does not come easily! Jennifer has a way of presenting information that gets quickly to the heart of the matter. Her ability to read the true needs of the group, regardless of the original focus, has made her a favorite among the faculty here at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools.”