I'm sitting in hopeful internal silence listening to the wind rush through the leaves as students wander through the quad lilting laugher and song mingling. I'm vaguely aware of the warmth of the sun on my face and the vague uneasiness that settles in to my chest and shoulders, growing. I articulate feelings of restlessness and pressure moving internally from the right of my forehead into my eyebrows. I never had noticed it was there before, and suddenly I become aware of the extents of the dull headache has grown to include my right ear canal and cheek bone. It is painful, and I'm fidgiting against longing for my phone, instincts knowing it hasn't been ten minutes.
Each discovery of an urgent thought has me more fidgity. I carefully package each panicked thought in "not now, wait" and place it to the side, returning to my continental headache. Was it always this way? Did I always carry this burden in my mind? Clarity is hard to come by, and my mind becomes a conveyor belt of carefully packaged urgencies, each observed and placed back on the track to nowhere. A student on the quad screams and I'm brought briefly back to the present before tumbling back into solitude.
Why this class? Why creative leadership? Who am I?
In this vulnerable place, I recognize my own failing is my lack of empathy for my own journey. Joy can find me at any point in the journey, but I am my own worst enemy, using my precious resources to chase my own tail. I am unfocused, unhealthy, uninspired, unorganized, and out of touch with myself. My own unhealthy relationship with my internal resources markedly mirror our treatment of our natural resources on the planet. I'm humbled by the lack of respect I give myself - the negative self talk, the weight of responsibilities. The lack of belief that I possess the power to change the world. How can I make manifest the change I wish to see in the world when I burn the only candle I have without care to know where I will get the next one?
One thing is abundantly clear. I am not a limitless resource. I require care, as much as the Earth requires care. As they say in airplane resource pamphlets - adjust your oxygen mask before assisting others.