A Light Out Dreaming Itself
Out Dream Yourself...
...Pursue Your Passion with Purpose
“When you know your why, your capacity for out dreaming yourself is at an all-time high.”
As we pursue our passion, we will experience stormy and sunny days. How we survive the storm and continue to pursue our passion while remembering why it is worth doing is
what matters most.
DREAM, DREAM, DREAM
Today’s short blog is a reminder to make space to breathe, think, and dream.
It is worth it.
Find a special place to out dream yourself and ask:
What is my passion?
What is my why?
What do I dream about?
Imagine the impossible
and pursue it with passion and purpose.
Share it with someone close to you, this will give them the ability to cheer you on and hold you accountable.
I wish you the best, now go out dream yourself.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis
A Learning Light Knows Less For Sure
This week I had a hard time thinking about what to write about. Thinking about things I know, things I still need to learn, things I understand, and things I need to hear to understand better.
A few ideas were swarming around in my head this week and it came to me on Thursday as I sat at the airport watching people walk by before catching my flight to South Dakota for a conference.
During the week I realized there will always be so much more I need to know and the moment I think I know it all will be when I have given up on my ability to develop the leadership capacity of myself as well as others.
Five to seven seconds transpired as each person passed by me and I found myself creating stories for each person. I questioned what do they know that I don’t know? What could we learn together by actually sitting and listening to one another?
I travel to new places and familiar ones quite frequently. Each time there is something new I learn and something I find out I need to learn more about.
I am thankful for all of the learning moments I have been afforded and the moments to hear from others sharing their life stories as they open up about individual life experiences.
It’s a long journey learning to choose active listening.
From the smallest to the largest of moments.
If it was the man I spoke to working in the airport parking garage to the two women I held the elevator for to the passenger on the opposite isle that informed me of the best roads to take in case the roads were still flooded in South Dakota.
We learn so much in a moment and we can be awaken to what we didn’t know and what we need to know more about.
We must be careful trusting our own knowledge some days and be cautious of moments where we believe we know it all.
What else do I need to learn?
What responsibility do I need to take with my learning?
How can I actively listen to someone I typically wouldn’t listen too?
If...I see more. listen more, learn more.,,
I find I need to know more.
“The more I see, the less I know for sure.”
- John Lennon
Light Managing Emotions
I remember my mom telling me about the first day that she brought me home after giving birth to me in the hospital in 1977. She decided to give me what some call a bird bath and gently wiped me off with a washcloth. Well, I didn’t like it. I began to cry, then I held my breath and passed out. Don’t worry I came to but my mom was upset and didn’t know what to do. She called the doctor and told him what had happened and he responded by saying, “your daughter has quite the temper.”
It didn’t always have to be a negative situation. One time my parents had taken me to get pizza for the first time at a restaurant. I was excited of course so I stood up in my booster seat when the pizza was brought out and I began to clap. With all the excitement I began to fall forward, to catch myself I put my hands in front of me and my hands landed directly in the fresh hot pizza....I screamed, held my breath and passed out.
Until I was about four years old many times when I would get upset, angry or sad I would hold my breath and pass out.
During our life span we learn how to manage our emotions as various life stages bring upon challenges.
In college, students face the daily challenge of managing emotion ms and may respond through fear, anger, happiness or sadness (Chickering, 1969). Throughout life stages how we react to different events evolves over time.
Our hope is that as we get older we become more self-aware and we learn to exhibit self-control in how we choose to respond to certain events.
Even as an adult, there are times I think about how I could have responded to a situation differently. I have also learned more about how to respond to others as they are working through developing their ability to best manage their own emotions. The process isn’t perfect and we may fail at times. However, if we can own our behavior (response), find the right resources for support, and learn from an experience we will become self-aware of our actions and exhibit better self-control.
Since 2001, I have worked in higher education with college students either as a staff or faculty member. The challenges students face are wide range from missing a deadline for an assignment to a break up to being far away from home.
For example, one semester I had a student barge into my office and said that everything going wrong for them was my class. I caught myself feeling my own emotional response with how the student initially treated me (I had to explicitly choose to not get angry and to control my initial thoughts of how I might react). I invited him to come in and have a seat. I simply asked what can I do to help. The student became silent and I could tell he was trying to hold back tears. In the moment I believe he was surprised I did not respond with anger, instead I responded with care. I informed the student that he did not need to divulge all the details about his troubles and asked if he would like to hear about a few campus resources. We worked through that time together. Our faculty/student relationship developed over the years and there was a sense of respect. Later the student reached out and told me he appreciated the support, no one had asked him really how he was doing and he was stuck in a feeling that he was all alone.
We (children, students, faculty, staff, friends, peers, all of us) are all working daily to manage emotions. To feel emotion is important, much of our emotion comes from what we are passionate about. Where we must take responsibility is in the development of self awareness and self control. The idea of managing emotions is not say that feeling isn’t important. It is to say that emotions that create distress may harm ourselves or others around us.
The goal is to evolve from having little self control over disruptive emotions and little self awareness of feelings to move to a flexible state in which reaction is a self-controlled response of emotions (Chickering & Reisser, 1993).
Everyone we interact with is managing emotions.
I think the myth of faculty and staff is that we just teach a class or run a program. Once the class or program is done then we begin prepping for the next class or program. That is simply not the case.
Most days faculty and staff are meeting with students who have fears about how to complete an assignment, who is angry with a roommate, who is happy because they get to go home for the weekend or is sad because they are experiencing the death of a loved one for the first time. The list goes from small to large scale. As faculty and staff we don’t know which ones we will face each day but these emotions will be present on our campuses.
As I thought about that more this week, I began thinking about the health and well-being of individuals working in education environments such as K-12 or university settings. As we are being there for so many students helping them work through managing emotions how are we best supporting the health and well-being of our faculty and staff too.
Here are a few questions for reflection.
I would love to hear any reflections you have and are willing to share, please comment below or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn to take responsibility for emotions, and to manage energies, always working within present resources. - Lillian Russell
Chickering, A. (1969). Education and identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Chickering, A., & Reisser, L. (1993). Education and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Light Developing Competence
“Competence is a three-tined pitchfork. Intellectual competence, physical and manual skills, and interpersonal competence are the tines. But the handle is most important” (Chickering and Reisser, 1993, p. 53). For development to occur, there must be a handle. Sense of competence is attributed to one’s confidence that one can cope with challenges and successfully accomplish tasks (Chickering and Reisser).
On Wednesday of this week in my first-year course themed Difficult Dialogue During Turbulent Times: Leadership, Moral Courage, Critical Hope, I asked the students to anonymously share on sticky note paper what challenges they had during their first week and how had they received support during their first week transition into the university.
Here were a few of the student responses
The manner in which a student develops varies based on the individuality of each student. Students are navigating their transition into the university for the first time. The first six to eight weeks is critical in students beginning their college journey to develop sense of competence as they best transition into the university environment.
Here is an excerpt defining the dimensions of sense of competence from my co-authored manuscript titled, “Development and Validation of the Sense of Competence Scale-Revised”:
The intellectual ability involves confidence in mastering academic material, gaining intellectual capacity and building critical thinking skills. Most importantly, intellectual skills comprise the ability to reason, solve problems and participate in active learning opportunities (Chickering and Reisser, 1993). Chickering and Reisser urge faculty members and college administrators not to strictly define intellectual competence as “skills at passing tests or mastery of some ‘essential’ knowledge,” (p. 63) but also as the ability to listen, question, reflect, and communicate. In addition, students should be an active participant in searching for knowledge rather than using a more passive approach.
Physical and Manual
Physical and manual abilities contribute to a student’s sense of competence. These skills come from a variety of activities being either athletic or artistic in nature. These skills are derived from participation in athletics and recreational sports, attention to wellness, and involvement in per-forming arts, tangible creations, and hands-on learning (Evans, et al., 1998, Chickering and Reisser, 1993). For a few students, participation in such activities become a vocation while for others the skills become an avocation. Vocation is defined as a career pursuit or routine, while avocational activities are described as hobbies or leisure pursuits. Physical skill development seems obvious when one learns to kick a soccer ball, take photographs, dance or sculpt. However, little research exists illustrating the development of these skills while in college (Chickering and Reisser, 1993).
Along with physical ability as a component of developing competence comes the facility to interact with others. A student’s interaction with others contributes to their level of interpersonal competence. Interpersonal skills include things like listening, self-disclosing, and participating in dialogue that brings insight and satisfaction (Chickering and Reisser, 1993). These skill sets assist students in building thriving friendships and relationships as well as prepare the student for being an active citizen (Chickering and Re-isser, 1993). Intellectual, physical and manual, and interpersonal abilities are all components of developing competence. However, it is important to point out that a student’s overall sense of competence is subjective; sense of competence stems from how an individual student feels about their achievements and can trust their own abilities. Some students may take their level of competence for granted by having strong interpersonal skills, while other students may think no matter what they achieve it is never enough leaving them unsure of their abilities (Chickering and Reisser, 1993). University administrators who strive to provide opportunities for students such as electives and extracurricular activities will create a foundation for students to build upon during their time in college. Through these opportunities students are challenged, they begin to grow and build confidence which leads to the development of competence. University administrators are faced with the task of identifying methods for measuring sense of competence to discern a student’s development and self-confidence in their abilities.
Administrator’s can use data from the research to modify their institution’s academic and social environment to enhance the development of students’ intellectual, physical and manual, and interpersonal skills. The use of the SCS-R offers a method for assessing college students’ competence and provides reliable measures and valid estimates of a student’s personal assessment of their sense of competence. This framework offers higher education administrators a psychometrically sound instrument for measuring student academic success and persistence while allowing for practical application to change the university environment.
In addition, it is important to point out that sense of competence may vary based on the complexity of students’ identities during the time of transition into the university. With the disparity of research conducted on under-represented groups and the increase of older adults returning to education more research is needed to better understand these multi-faceted subpopulations. My hope is for future research to dedicate time to refining the SCS-R through the use of larger cross-validation samples in which respondents represent diverse target populations for a range of student populations independent of dominant culture representation.
INTEREST IN USING THE SURVEY FOR ASSESSMENT OR RESEARCH PURPOSES
I license the SCS-R for assessment and research at no cost. For the use of the SCS-R instrument I ask that a formal request be emailed to me directly (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive approval for any upcoming assessment project or research study.
I am happy to answer any questions regarding survey, I would love to hear from you if you need more information.
Chickering, A. (1969). Education and identity. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Chickering, A., and Reisser, L. (1993). Educa-tion and identity (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
McFadden, C., Skaggs, G., & Janosik, S. (2013). Development and validation of the Sense of Competence Scale-Revised. Journal of Applied Measurement, 14(3), 318-331.
Light Sharing Truth
ITo actually speak up about what is real and true can be challenging. Telling your truth places you on a pedestal of vulnerability. Fearing to speak up is the bolt you used to lock away your voice that needs to be heard.
Perhaps if you share your truth it can be used as medicine needed for all in the exact moment you find yourself in.
In some moments you are lost because you choose to listen to someone who tells a story on behalf of another person through judgement and perception.
How many moments have you spent your time listening to the story someone is telling about someone else?
Who is the person you need to hear it from?
What are they not saying that you need to hear?
I recently read this excerpt by Suzy Kassem, author of Rise up and Salute the Sun that reads:
“Never judge someone's character based on the words of another. Instead, study the motives behind the words of the person casting the bad judgment. An honest woman can sell tangerines all day and remain a good person until she dies, but there will always be naysayers who will try to convince you otherwise. Perhaps this woman did not give them something for free, or at a discount. Perhaps too, that she refused to stand with them when they were wrong — or just stood up for something she felt was right. And also, it could be that some bitter women are envious of her, or that she rejected the advances of some very proud men. Always trust your heart. If the Creator stood before a million men with the light of a million lamps, only a few would truly see him because truth is already alive in their hearts. Truth can only be seen by those with truth in them. He who does not have Truth in his heart, will always be blind to her.”
Call in the woman who is judged, speak your truth to her and listen to her speak her truth to you.
Cautiousness is to be considered.
When we speak the truth of someone else with our own voice and share it with others or we tell someone else’s story we must check our motive for being the voice of someone else. We must remember to pay attention to what we hear from someone else about someone’s story and consider their motive.
To be the best light sharing truth we choose to be
Developers of Rapport
Cultivators of Harmony
Advocates for Justice
Dear light speak your truth, be heard.
“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.” - William Faulkner
Light Willing To Begin
If you think about it we all have a little beginner in us.
At the beginning we ask ourselves many questions...
Where do I begin?
Why am I here?
How do I start?
Who will I meet?
What will I learn?
The idea of being a beginner has surrounded me all week, starting with my attendance at my son’s sixth grade orientation to prepping my first year foundations course that I’m teaching this semester.
Beginning something new can be exciting and frightening. We experience many beginnings throughout all stages of life.We may be frightened at first to begin something new. Because taking the first step seems like a huge obstacle.
Sometimes we are the newcomer or we are simply learning the fundamentals in a new role. It can seem overwhelming until we have time to reflect. We need to give ourselves permission to get excited about how far we’ve come and see a past beginning as an exciting blessing. No matter if it happened 30 seconds ago, 30 minutes ago, 30 days ago, 30 weeks ago or 30 months ago.
We must be willing to be a beginner every day. We must say, I’m a light willing to begin.
I will begin.
I will be present.
I will start.
I will meet new people.
I will learn.
I wish for each of us another beginning, embrace the day as a light willing to begin.
“May the sun bring you new energy by day, may the moon softly restore you by night, may the rain wash away your worries, may the breeze blow new strength into your being, may you walk gently through the world and know it's beauty all the days of your life.”
A Light Not Shaken
Have you ever had a time where you were just so shaken up?
Something unpleasant simply shocked or upset you.
Each one of us wants to love and be loved.
Last Sunday my son and I attended the Interfaith Vigil against Racist Violence a call by Alamance County faith leaders to speak and act out against racist violence and white supremacy.
As we entered, we received a handout that read, “As leaders of diverse faith traditions, we stand together on the common ground of shared humanity. Our varied faith traditions each teach us to be humble servants for humanity and instruct all of us to cooperate in doing good and rejecting bad, evil, and hate in every form.
With this firm belief, we stand tall together to affirm to ourselves, our neighbors, and the wider community these shared beliefs. We invite everyone regardless of color, race, ethnicity or religion, to join us in rejecting the culture of hate and violence. We reject and condemn all forms of white supremacy and the harmful ideology of white nationalism, together with all forms of racism, xenophobia, and prejudice. We invite our neighbors and friends, our leaders, our faith communities, and all people of good will to join us in doing the same.
While we are unique and may not agree on everything with everyone, we share this core of common values which bring us together. Let us all respond to the hateful killings that are happening here in the United States of America and around the world by coming together and joining our hands and voices to do more positive things together. Let us work to empower our communities to be stronger and our youth to be spearheading a path of togetherness for the future founded on compassion, fairness, love of neighbor, service and respect for human dignity. Let us not give into rising tides of evil around us, nor simply be ones who curse the evil, but stand together as candles who by our actions shed that light which can extinguish the evils of hatred, indifference, oppression, and violence we see around us.” - Author Unknown
During the two-hour interfaith vigil against racist violence, we heard from various faith leaders and leaders in our county. A time dedicated to prayer and steps of action.
Our faith not shaken.
We don’t always have the ability to choose what we go through but our faith gives us the ability to do what we are called to do.
We can’t always control a situation and perhaps the exact experience that feels like a disappointment or a road block is exactly what is supposed to happen so that we can actually meet up with our purpose and join hands with others to collaborate on issues that are important to all of us such as social justice.
Our ability to engage in interfaith dialogue gives us the strength to be a bridge of collaboration and strength, to be a light not shaken, and to be a champion for one humanity.
How will we choose to work our own sphere of influence?
How will we choose to act in our communities?
How will we choose to lead out of love?
How will we choose to open our hearts and mind without creating a culture of us versus them?
How will we choose to break bread with those who are different?
When our love is strong our light’s faith is not shaken, we can come together to build a bridge of unity.
True interfaith dialogue can lead to effective collaboration with the moral issues facing our world today.
Our light will not shake if we choose to:
“Whenever I groan within myself and think how hard it is to keep writing about love in these times of tension and strife which may, at any moment, become for us all a time of terror, I think to myself: What else is the world interested in? What else do we all want, each one of us, except to love and be loved, in our families, in our work, in all our relationships?” --Dorothy Day
Light Navigating the Labyrinth
With complicated passages comes much responsibility. How do we create opportunities for women to be challenged to grow while also supporting them as they navigate the labyrinth.
Our (Lucia & Padgett) research hopes to contribute. Here’s a sneak peak.
My colleague Mila Padgett and I met for the first time almost twenty years ago but did not have an opportunity to work together and really get to know each other until 2011 when we began our journey as faculty for a professional development school for NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. We became automatic roommates (no choice in the selection, haha – Mila you are stuck with me), little did I know at the time how much her friendship, mentorship and sponsorship would mean to me.
When this post goes live, I will be in a conference room with Mila in downtown Aiken, South Carolina drinking coffee and diving into discussion about the women we interviewed for our research study titled, “Passage Through the Leadership Labyrinth: Women’s Journey in the Collegiate Recreation Profession.”
Mila and I have had the opportunity to interview 37 women over the last year and a half.
I believe the universe brought Mila and I together, we connected right away. We shared a passion for the development of women in the field of campus recreation and this passion has bled into other areas of our lives where we find ourselves mentoring women. Over the past eight years, we have presented at the state, regional and national level discussing topics such as charting professional pathways, superwoman syndrome, imperfection, and the leadership labyrinth.
All of this presenting got us thinking and one day we came across the “labyrinth” metaphor. We began brainstorming a professional development workshop (with women representing various identities) that we lead for 3 years. We began to see the need for our current research study.
We were first fascinated when we read that the idea of the “glass ceiling” was not a suitable metaphor to explain a women’s experience for obtaining success.
Hmmmm, we wanted to know more.
Reading Eagly and Carli’s (2007) book titled, “Through the Labyrinth: The Truth about How Women Become Leaders” a few years ago, Mila and I decided we wanted to better understand the professional trajectory of women in our industry of campus recreation.
We had come across a new way of thinking about how women navigate their personal and professional lives. Typically the “glass ceiling” metaphor is used to describe a barrier women cannot see until it is right in front of them (and typically later in their career – for example, a job that is unattainable at the top) making the “labyrinth” a more suitable metaphor to explain the complexities women face throughout their entire career as entry-level, mid-level and executive-level professionals.
In a book review, Morgan (2008) commends Eagly and Carli for the replacement of the discouraging “glass ceiling” metaphor with the hopeful “labyrinth” metaphor to suggest there is a path to success. The labyrinth implies that there are walls all around and that the journey women face is complex by identifying various obstructions.
Women find themselves making or declining professional decisions based on the influence of their human capital, self-efficacy, stereotypes and prejudices, and gender differences. Here is a quick link to a Harvard Business Review Article titled, “Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership” to give you a quick snap shot.
The reviewer goes on to state that Eagly and Carli could have stressed the importance of “having someone go before you with a ‘string’ to guide you through the labyrinth” (p.315). Stating that current women leaders have a responsibility to serve as mentors and guides for peers and the younger generation. (This inclination came from– in Greek mythology, Ariadne gave a thread to her lover so that he could find his way out of the labyrinth after he had slain the monster, Minotaur. Morgan, 2008, p. 325).
Our hope is that our work will benefit professionals by highlighting characteristics of various experiences had by women in the field to positively impact future experience and outcomes for women. It is vital to understand the complexities to better serve, develop and mentor women in our personal and professional lives.
Mila and I are excited because we will be sharing the preliminary results at the Athletic Business Show in Orlando, Florida in November. With hopes to submit our manuscript early spring. We can’t wait to share more with you soon!
Our 3rd year with the Women Leading Women Preconference Workshop with amazing friends, colleagues, mentors and sponsors.
LIGHT LIVING LIFE IN THE FRONT VIEW
Why look in the rearview mirror to see what’s behind you when you can look straight ahead?
Look up, look out, look around...simply look out front.
Back in 2013, I wrote a poem titled, “Living Life in the Rearview,” as I wrote I reflected on the past and tried my hardest to focus on the present day and look towards the future. Some days I was spending too much time thinking about the past with all the should haves, could haves, and would haves.
LIVING LIFE IN THE REARVIEW
Drifting through the day squinting to see ahead
The view is blurry, I can't see, I try
Slowly I turn around to look behind me and focus on where I have tread
Living life in the rearview, why?
Days continue to pass and weeks drift by
Sitting by myself, longing to be a part of something
Outsiders see me not knowing my heart and passions
Living life in the rearview, why?
Questioning if I should open the doors to new
On one side, I feel sorrow and on the other side, I yearn to know about tomorrow
A quick look back one more time at yesterday
No longer living life in the rearview…making the decision today to live life in the front.
How do we embrace the past, stay engaged in the present and look forward to tomorrow?
How do we use lessons learned to make better decisions, build strong communities, and create a vision for tomorrow?
There will be times when leaders find themselves wondering about their purpose. True leaders learn from their past and set their eyes on the future.
When we take lessons from the past, we are able to gain insight about the future while we learn more about who we are becoming. We are able to be a light that sharpens our purpose. We then have the capacity to pursue our purpose passionately to positively contribute in our families, friend groups, organizations and world.
There is always time that is meant to be, we embrace the past and spend time today being responsible for tomorrow. If we respond appropriately to the seasons of our life, we will receive enjoyment by living out our purpose.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” “You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” “the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own. - Simon Sinek (Author of Leaders Eat Last)
This quote really resonated with me this week. We are unable to accomplish goals and purpose without the help of others.
I have learned so much this week from people in my personal and professional life. From working with colleagues to review risk management plans for a campus recreation facility; to sharing the important work we do to create healthy communities; to connecting with church family to help with an upcoming community wide event in our city; to meeting with a group of higher education professionals to develop a workshop to enhance unity within a division; to meeting with the son of a colleague and friend about pursuing a doctoral degree.
Pulling together and inspiring each other should be our goal.
Yes, this is idealistic, However, what would the world look like if we had more people igniting someone’s light versus dimming it. Perhaps the solution is pulling people up, pulling people in, and pulling people together no matter your position or their position to make change happen. We can have our own personal agenda but imagine if we collectively came together to shine even brighter to make the world we live in a better place.
To do this we have to take a leap of faith and be vulnerable believing we can trust those around us. What responsibilities do each of us have at the table to accomplish the goal at hand. People want to be trusted, they want responsibility and to simply be valued.
Simon Sinek’s book titled Leaders Eat Last dives into this romanticized idea being of vulnerable and trusting. Here is a quick video of him breaking this down.
When we inspire others by empowering and trusting we have the capacity to do so much more than our own agenda. With this in mind, I thank all those who I have had the opportunity to shine light alongside of. And to say thank you for shining your light with me on the days that my light is dim.
The ability to share our light with others gives us power beyond measure to pull together to shine light together.