In the previous post – Pure Spaces – I shared the values Pure Spaces Education is grounded in.
In this post I want to delve a little deeper in how these values came to be.
About 7 years ago I came across a book that was to change my life. After reading it I was finally able to understand myself, how I learn best, the circumstances that bring out my creativity as well as when I am at my most productive and efficient. I was also able to explain why intense social gatherings or even group work at school would exhaust and deplete me. I am an introvert.
Most people I work with don’t believe that I am introverted at first, particularly given that most of my career has been about teaching and often presenting in front of large groups of people. I think school taught me that successful people were outspoken, confident and sometimes assertive. I would have to adapt to compete.
Instinctively I knew I would need to overcome my more reserved side, so I joined both the debate and the public speaking teams. I even competed in spoken word poetry at eisteddfods. My parents were not pushy so I can only assume I volunteered for all this putting myself “out there”. What I do remember clearly is being absolute paralysed with fear every time I had to get on stage or speak in front of an audience. I faked my way through it all and even got quite good at it. When it came time to teach, presenting and speaking publicly came quite easily. Today I rarely get nervous in front of a crowd, as long as I am prepared.
The book I referred to earlier is Quiet by Susan Cain. Her TED talk – The Power of Introverts – is also worth a watch.
Susan started what she called The Quiet Revolution and it was founded on these core values:
- Be kind
- Be excellent
- Be soulful
- Be quirky
- Be honest
- Be aligned with your values
- Be balanced
- Be a revolutionary
Seeing this for the first time I was struck by the idea that introverts can be revolutionary too. That there is a place for quiet activism.
So when it came time to develop Pure Spaces Education it seemed fitting that its values be inspired by Susan Cain’s Quiet Revolution as much as I have been personally.
And the wonderful Brené Brown in her book Braving the Wilderness helped me to define my Wild Heart. She says…
“The mark of a wild heart is living out the paradox of love in our lives. It’s the ability to be tough and tender, excited and scared, brave and afraid — all in the same moment. It’s showing up in our vulnerability and our courage, being both fierce and kind.”
I encourage you to stay curious and open to finding your identity, feeling a sense of true belonging and living a life aligned with your values.