To My Readers

Dear Readers,

You have probably noticed my silence over the last two months or so. Precisely, for the last 11 weeks. These have been really hard weeks for me. I lost a very dear person. A person I grew up with, a person who taught me a great deal about this life, whom I called daily or almost daily no matter how far from home I traveled. Someone I miss dearly. My Grandmother. RIP…

Immediately after that my Dad had to undergo a heart surgery, followed by another one within four weeks’ time. He is now back home, feeling considerably better.

I am sharing this with you because I need to. I am just not able to continue writing about the professional development and trainer reflections unless I process this part of my life, and what it taught me. Or changed in me. Or is the perceived change already a part of our learning?..

I think (I hope!) I became more attentive and caring to the people around me, my family and friends. I wonder if they noticed any changes. I started to consciously work on mindfulness practices (wanted to write ‘skills’), and the 6 weeks on the course called ‘Mindfulness for Well-Being and Peak Performance’ (with FutureLearn) brought some peace of mind to me.

The key learning for me was understanding that our curiosity to various aspects of life can be cultivated and developed into ‘deliberate attitude’. Also, that acceptance (of anything life offers), non-attachment (to opinions and ideas) and presence of mind form a ‘magic recipe’ for leading a more engaging (engaged!) life. Moment by moment. One at a time…

Inspired by the course, I took part in a running race in my native city in Ukraine. (Yes, I know, might sound strange to find any connection). Even though the race result was really far from winning (in fact, I was way closer to the end of the rating chart), even though it was just 7 kilometers, I felt much better on many levels. Alive. Alert. Happy?

And professionally? I wrote a post for iTDI Reflective Practice as a Way of Life (and felt endlessly grateful to the Editor helping me to make the meaning of my sentences more clear to the readers, at the time when neither L1 not L2 writing I produced could be comprehensible…)

This summer is quiet: I am not on a training course (which feels unusual). I am in my home city for the time being (another unusual thing about this time of the year). At the same time, things are progressing well: working on a couple of curriculum development projects internationally, started a couple of local projects on my own – so hope to share some ideas here in the near future. I remember about the promise to write more about the TESOL Convention 2016 I attended in April — and am still intended to so in the future. Those reflections will be more distant, but relevant, personal and meaningful to me. Hopefully, still interesting to read for you.

I am feeling grateful, actually: for the family and friends around me, for the work I am able to do, for the professional connections I am re-discovering and for the pleasure of writing these words in this space.

Thank you for reading (almost typed ‘listening’). I hope that things are going well in your parts of the world, in your families. I am wishing us all strength, courage and wisdom!

Warmly,

Zhenya

About Zhenya

teacher educator, evidence-based instruction trainer, PD Coach https://wednesdayseminars.wordpress.com/
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10 Responses to To My Readers

  1. Hana Tichá says:

    Hi Zhenya,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your loss, but it seems things are slowly settling down in your life. I’d like you to know that I’ve been flirting with mindfulness for some time too … I wonder why I chose this particular verb :-). Anyway, I’ve been re-reading stuff by Jon Kabat-Zinn, Eckhart Tolle, and others, and I started studying (again) A Course in Miracles – an absolutely miraculous book. These texts can be truly healing and they all point to one thing – mindful living. This, to me, equals happy living, which can be achieved regardless of any misfortune or loss. So I imagine you chose the best ‘medicine’ you could. Good luck and thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zhenya says:

      Thank you for the words and the books. Definitely in my #mustread list now – and great that the authors also share ideas in presentations/lectures, etc. The practice part is the hard(er) part for me (but then the same can be applied to any skill we are learning) Thank you for reading Hana!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marc says:

    Zhenya, I’m so sorry for your loss. I only hope that you and your family are able to support one another at this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Peter Pun says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Sorry to hear about your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tala Haidar says:

    Loss of close and dear ones is a life-changing turning point, Zhenya! I know how it feels and how it makes you reset your priorities… I’m so sorry for your loss, dear, but always remember, the fire that doesn’t burn you makes you stronger…God bless your dad and other family members…We survive for other people we love and those who love us and need us in their lives…You’ve got what it takes…Best of luck, dear!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. HL says:

    Zhenya, I’m so sorry to hear about your difficult times.
    Thanks for sharing and reminding us all that there’s a whole lot of life going on behind any ELT blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sandy Millin says:

    Sorry to hear about what’s been happening, but thank you for writing these words:
    “I am feeling grateful, actually: for the family and friends around me, for the work I am able to do, for the professional connections I am re-discovering and for the pleasure of writing these words in this space.”
    As Helen says, there’s a lot of life behind a blog, and it’s important to acknowledge that. It sounds like you’re having a very different summer to usual, but it will benefit you in different ways.
    Good luck with the next steps!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. gemmalunn says:

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I’m glad to read you are finding a way through and thanks for sharing. Wishing you the best and a lovely summer.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sahar Khater says:

    Please accept my deepest condolences for the loss of your grandma. May you and your family find peace and comfort in this difficult time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. careymicaela says:

    Dear Zhenya,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a loved one is difficult but it sounds like you’re on the path to healing.

    I practice mindfulness as well although it hasn’t been at the forefront of my mind in a while. Your words:
    ‘The key learning for me was understanding that our curiosity to various aspects of life can be cultivated and developed into ‘deliberate attitude’. Also, that acceptance (of anything life offers), non-attachment (to opinions and ideas) and presence of mind form a ‘magic recipe’ for leading a more engaging (engaged!) life. Moment by moment. One at a time…’

    were like a breath of fresh air to me. They remind me just how helpful mindfulness is and that I really do need to devote a bit more time and effort to my practice. Thank you.

    Sending you all the positive energy I can muster. Take care. Micaela

    Liked by 1 person

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