November 6, 2014

What Has Become Clear

In grad school, I had an instructor that would begin class with this question, "What has become clear to you since we last met?" It was a question that Ralph Waldo Emerson would use to prompt conversation when he greeted friends.

When our instructor would make have us answer this, it was a bit frustrating at first, to say the least. I soon began to appreciate the time to share what was going on in my life. Our classes were 6-9pm. Most of us worked full-time jobs and were working on our graduate degrees in our spare time...oh me oh my...

What I now realize is that he was teaching us the importance of reflection. Looking back on what you'd just experienced, sharing about the event as well as what you'd learned.

"What's become clear" isn't a chance to only vent; the nature of the question prompts you to dig deeper. To leave the surface of "something happening to you" and looking more for the why or the take away.

What has become clear to me since we last met? I can't please everyone. No matter how much I plan to support the needs of all the teachers I train and coach, there will be someone or one's that dislike, disrespect or sometimes even dishonor my efforts.

You know what? What's even clearer is that doesn't represent the full group. It's someone's opinion and most of the time, it's the minority. So it shouldn't take up too much space in my brain or my heart.

What's clear is that I'm human and so are others. My job is to show up and do the best I can with what I've got.

Simple as that.

What has become clear to you since we last met?

All photos taken by the lovely and gifted Xanthe Berkeley during our Squam retreat in Providence, RI


  1. wonderful to see you through xanthe's eyes/lens...beautiful!!!

    and a resounding yes to showing up and doing our best with what we've got.
    oh yes.

  2. YES love!!! So good. And wow what a question. I think what's still becoming clear to me, is how to be the best version of myself no matter where I am. I don't have to bury who I am, and I'm still learning the value in that.

    1. Oh, so true Tab...being the true you is the best gift you can give to yourself and others. xxO!!

  3. hi Gerri, I am working my way throught the blog roll on "find your word 2015" your blog feels so fresh and open. very nice. I love the question. I think I will keep it in my back of questions to ask both myself (once a week?) as well as friends and clients! I love it, it is such a positive question, not just the regular "what's new?" thanks for sharing it and your thoughts with us.

    1. Thanks for visiting Janice. :) Yes, I love this question too. I'm glad t hear that it resonates with you...


Express Yourself