identity & integrity

“…you don’t have to choose between the sacred, magical world of the child and the world of the modern adult. You can live in both worlds, for they are one.”  P. 1, in Letters to Vanessa, by Jeremy W. Hayward. Boston: Shambala. (1997).

A Parker Palmer inspired exercise for grad school:

My identity is constituted of lost and found bits and thoughts of form and space. Some of the most important elements of my identity are indeed student and teacher. As a student in a contemplative education program, and working as a teacher of conscious embodiment, I imagine the identity and integrity happening here as a human-shaped Mobius strip. My shape and movement both are ripe with mistakes and stresses of my own design.

The crucial aspects of my integrity revolve around the “subjects” that have been chosen: living, learning, breathing, and moving. Literally, the only way I experience any integrity is by keeping these subjects in the foreground of my attentional patterns. I indeed choose these aspects of integrity after I’ve lost heart, and gotten up from the latest fall. 

The paradox of near twenty years of teaching both early childhood ages and adults has not been lost on me. It is my ‘job’ to help the young ones discern and sort and name and “thingify” reality and the self. And it is my ‘job’ to help adults un-concretize reality as well as themselves!


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