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In this edition of my Master’s of Arts Degree in teaching, I share my week 1 journal assignment for my ED603 class: Qualitative Methods in Action Research. Join me as I recap my learning from this week’s reading, and share my thoughts from my reflection.

Question #1: What is the difference between self-understanding and self-love?

To me, self-awareness is identifying qualities about one’s self. Self-love means taking one more step and saying that we appreciate, respect, and love the qualities that we observe. In Brene Brown’s example, she notes that she has challenges in her life and career, and gives the example of operating on little sleep, or procrastinating. The self-love difference is that she takes these elements of her personality and nature into account and loves what she does for a career. Clearly, given the success as an author and speaker, she has managed to embrace all aspects of her nature and progress forward with self-respect and self-love.

Personally, I think this is an essential step in feeling satisfied in life. That doesn’t mean being content to the point of sitting stationary, for me it is trying to understand how to harness the skills I have and propel myself forward. I love myself. I love my imperfections. I make fun of mistakes I make in speaking, writing, or teaching, in front of my students. That becomes a source of humor, appreciation, and enjoyment, that we can all share. I believe this embrace of flaw also makes it ok for students to be who they are, and feel comfortable in their own imperfections as well. I enjoyed the preface, and the honesty and personal nature of the preface. It affected me enough to go to Brene Brown’s website (book available on Amazon) and request an interview with the author, to be a possible source for my research, or for my San Diego Christian College Vlog about my experiences in the program.

Question 2: How do you traditionally DIG DEEP?

Can you think of a time in your life when you used a Wholehearted approach to DIG DEEP? (p.4) Traditionally, I dig deep by digging in right away. Then I dig until there is no chance the hole I dug will fill-in anytime soon, and I start the next dig. This enables me to complete lots of projects simultaneous. When I dig in advance, there is always time to maintain, modify, renew, and then find the next dig site. By staying ahead, I can accomplish many things in many areas. I can manage the reading, responses, and writings of this course, while I plan two videos per week, record them, and produce them, to show others how I can manage all of the world. This enables a “live” look into my world, from the outside, and I hope, might inspire more people to try and dig deep also. This workload and heart work (as Brene Brown describes it) enables me to manage the tasks in my life with the joys and opportunities. I am able to work on original music as a hobby, contribute positive comments to other teachers in our program, and around the world, and plan out the route I want to take to achieve the accomplishments I would like to reach.

I believe I am using a wholehearted approach in the last 6 months to manage many challenges, and face new adventures. I moved to teaching high school out of the comforts of middle school, and left behind a warm, affluent community, to teach in a very different environment. I have had to start fresh, think on my feet, and adjust on the fly. I also have been growing as a new parent, and as an adult as well. The variety of people have shifted and swirled that are regular entrants into my life. Through these new environments I am trying to say “yes” more, encourage myself to dig deeper, and become a more thoughtful and knowledgeable teacher, and person. 

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