Life in the Messy Middle: My personal life while developing Be Brilliant U
This past year of birthing Be Brilliant U was full of in depth research and a very deep writing process. I found myself, for the first time, putting into words what it is that I do, who it is that I am and how I best serve Unique Learners.
Several times a week I would get up at 2 or 3am to research, write and review my files and notes from years of working with my private clients. In order for Be Brilliant U to have a more intentional and purposeful impact, it was necessary for me to take my experiences from the last 15 years and begin to put them into a form that could be shared on a larger scale.
I have also worked in service at my son’s school as the Parent Association President, as well as sitting on the School Board of Trustees — both of which provided a unique opportunity to observe and contribute to empowering the community that supports learning and education.
I even moved twice during the year (still hard to believe): The first time because, as a family, we were committed to simplifying our lives and a more mindful way of living. The second time because after months of managing health issues with all the family members, we learned that the home we moved into had toxic mold!
These unpredictable life experiences reminded me of the coaching I do with my families about learning to live with and manage life in the messy middle — even when working to launch a new business. Creating Be Brilliant U kept me grounded through it all because I was able to focus on the good we were working to create in the world.
And, this turned out to be a growth and transition year for my son, Jake, who is also a Unique Learner. As he moves through a more traditional school grade structure, he finds it challenging to find his place, confidence and full self-expression. Between schoolwork and homework, he began to feel like he didn’t have enough time and energy for the extracurricular activities that rounded out his day as a kid. In my family, this is what we refer to as kid-self-care. Instead, at the end of the school day, he only wanted to engage in passive activities like watching TV to relax.
I don’t think this pattern began this year but I believe that the demands of school get more intense in higher grades and fifth grade is a year, in my experience working with young people, when they really begin to struggle both academically and sometimes emotionally. My son’s anxiety about school and kids making comparisons has had him not feeling good about himself.
The fact that he needs time to process information compounded these feelings. Jake is a good student and also a more creative thinker who at times feels anxious when he believes he should respond quickly because that is not his best learning mode. We live in an area where the culture for being a good student means coming up with the answer fast and finishing first and, because of how Jake processes information and his unique learning style, he can end up feeling pressured.
Jake is also navigating lots of different kinds of social experiences, “comparisonitis” being a big one, where the conversation always seems to gravitate toward who is bigger, faster, stronger. With Jake needing extra processing time, these situations can be especially challenging for him. At one point, I did an exercise with him about his school stress (I will share specifics at another time so that you can try it), and he reported that most days he feels stressed for 50-60% of the day and stressed 95% of the day on Mondays. That’s a lot for a young kid to hold and I know he’s not alone. He is just one of my daily reminders about why this work is so important and so needed in the world right now.
Add to this all the day to day life chores and activities and you’ve got the makings of the typical, beautiful and meaningful conditions it takes to create a purpose-filled movement from the ground up atorvastatin calcium 40 mg. I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I hope you join us.