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Archive for March, 2012

sometimes sunglasses help. but not always. : )

now all we need are matching t-shirts.

Week Thirty: Be the Source of a To-Love List

For this week I designed a pdf for your assignment. The lines turned out a little bit wonky but you get the idea : ) CLick here to download: To Love List

There is a beautiful documentary on Netflix instant queue called Being Elmo about Kevin Clash’s journey developing the famous puppet. Clash explained that every good puppeteer has to decide what each puppet will be about and then use that to guide every decision. Clash explained that he would make Elmo Love, just pure unconditional love. When you think about it, that is exactly why little kids respond the way they do to him. The greatest, and simplest teaching I have ever received is to ‘do everything with love.’ Check out the trailer below. I loved this film and felt all warm and, pardon the inevitable muppet pun, fuzzy  after it was over:

When I am about to begin a task I don’t inherently enjoy, washing the dishes for example, I feel this automatic switch away from this guiding mantra of simply ‘being love’ and a little squiggle of resistance replaces the love. In a yoga class yesterday this solution to the washing dishes dilemma popped into my head and I want to share it with you in hopes that it will also help you translate the mundane in your life.

I call it the “to love list” and it is a revision of the “to do lists” we are all so oft to write on post-its notes and carry in our pockets as we drag ourselves to pick up milk or dry cleaning.  The idea was born out of an earlier translation I made from grading essays to writing love letters. I reframed the one yuck part of my job that I don’t (sorry, guys) love by thinking of my notes to students at the end of essays as little love letters. Grading isn’t a task anymore as much as it is an opportunity for service.

Every task can become a ‘love letter’ to someone and imagining your someone as you perform the act of service might help with the squiggle of resistance. Rather than becoming an obstacle that must be checked off the list, the activity becomes an experience to be enjoyed, to be savored, and to be filled with love.

I will now perform some magical alechemy on my own to-do list to illustrate the translation in action. Cooking dinner is service to the body so that (voila) the body can serve my students. Taking my car to get an oil change is (poof) service to the friends I will be able to visit or my students to whom I drive every morning. Completing homework, my students, is a way for you to (abracadabra) later serve whomever you will when you have a career.  David Blane the whole list (yes, it’s a verb) and the day is infused with such pleasure! The choice is always ours. What power we have!

I imagine a world of people transforming the “to do” list into a “to love list.” The middle column of the list is the recipient of the service. When the activity is completed check it off on the right, but note that you are checking a column labeled “I loved.” That is because the task hasn’t just been completed, it is just that love has been created. That is some kind of magic. This week’s be the source assignment brought to you by Elmo….

And the letter ‘Q’

Would you like a visit?

Next week is our spring break! YAHOO! Be the Source Project will be visiting schools in Wisconsin and Illinois during this week to share the project and inspire students. If you are interested in having a guest speaker please send an email to

Happy sourcing! : )



Week Twenty-Eight Update

Well, words fail me….Jackson, Shelbey, and Jacob created this video in order to spread the word to end the R-word. The entire project was their idea! I love this! I just LOVE it! You should see them work with the students with disabilities in our school…they are so loving. Honestly, these are real friendships that enrich all of their lives.

Way to Be the Source, guys!

Week Twenty-Nine: Be the Source of a YOU ROCK- rock.

Dear students,

In this unseasonably warm and beautiful weather, I was sitting under an oak tree at the top of my street. Next to me, I could see the tiny green shoots jumping out of the earth. Everything I see reminds me of you guys and these tiny little incipient buds are no exception.

I think your dreams, my dear students, are like these tiny little shoots of grass just peeking up in early spring. Really, they are the little buds that leap out of each of our hearts when we have a dream or a wish. But, and here is why I was thinking about you……… I wonder how many of your dreams might be in need of some water and sunlight, and a better gardener than I…..

I have been teaching you English this year, but right now I am working on a curriculum to help students connect with that feeling of OH YES! that we all feel when we are performing an activity that feels connected to our authentic self. It is missing in our public school curriculum but I think the need for it will grow and grow so that eventually it will be woven wonderfully into every day. In the meantime allow this week’s Be the Source Project to give your dreams a little TLC. You see, my students, the coolest thing about a dream is that they aren’t actually for us. If we have a dream written on our heart it is probably because Read more



our local gas station….

I like this. Nice and simple.

Week Twenty-Eight: Be the Source of A Pledge to End the R-Word

Thursday morning I hear an enthusiastic knock on my classroom door….Jackson and Shelby are standing there with beaming smiles….

“We have your Be the Source Project for this week” they announce!

“Awesome!” I respond (secretly, my heart was growing two sizes because this was always my dream for the project- hand it off to the students).

“We want to end the use of the Read more

This Week: Choose Kind Words

Let’s be careful with the names we use when we label each other….two of our seniors- Jackson and Shelby are spearheading this week’s initiative to end the R-word in our school.


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