Optimism, New Ideas, and Changes
back to school

By Alyson Showell LaPorta

Hi everyone! It’s hard to believe that we’re almost to the end of August. Summer has flown by, hasn’t it? As the new school year approaches, I find myself reflecting on how much has changed since this time last year. At Inner Strength, we’re (virtually) planning our fall programs, working with high schools to organize schedules and deepen the support for students, and our instructors are honing their online teaching skills for the virtual classroom. This is a great time of year. While many are enjoying the long days of summer, Inner Strength is filled with activity and optimism, new ideas and enthusiasm to be with the students again.

We are also living through some momentous changes.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs by the great soul singer Sam Cooke, where he sings, “It’s been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come!” I don’t know how many of us could have predicted a worldwide pandemic, but certainly the inequality based on race has needed to change for a long time. We are seeing a new recognition of that in our schools–among students, faculty, parents, administration. This will certainly be new ground this fall.

There’s definitely great possibility, but with change can come fear and discomfort.  Here’s the beautiful thing, though: we don’t have to let these emotions rule us. We can use our mindfulness practices to make space for our experiences, for our thoughts, and for the light that will illuminate our way forward. How great is that?  Just remember to breathe, put one foot in front of the other, and take one step at a time.

I wish you and your loved ones good health and ease. I hope you can use your contemplative tools to stay focused on the bigger picture and the positive. We all inspire each other!

Since we are still in the midst of the spreadable virus, let me share my latest favorite resources with you. Did you know that you can generate your own infographic to spice up your favorite hand-washing station! This site will create the poster, with lyrics of your choice (and you don’t even need to remember the lyrics, it’ll find them for you!) It’s free, try it out here! Here’s another one: make your new essential clothing item a fashion statement. Make your mask fit you, make it fabulous.

Finally, remember love knows no boundaries. Show you care by keeping your friends and relatives safe by staying 6 feet apart.

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