Last year, our surprise guest was my partner-in-crime, Alison Manzer. This year, it’s my friend, Sheila Petruccelli. Sheila and I met at the Taproot five years ago when she first started to incorporate Waldorf-inspired methods into her homeschooling.
I asked Sheila to introduce herself and tell you a little bit about what she’s planning to teach at Taproot this summer.
Jean Miller is one of those rare people who is both a mentor and a friend. I consider myself very lucky to have met her back when I first started my journey with Waldorf. At that time, I was very active in the Waldorf homeschooling community – blogging regularly, going to conferences and workshops, and basically doing everything I could to create an ideal school day for my two boys. A couple years in, I started to have a sneaking suspicion that what we were doing in the schoolroom, at the desks, was not serving me or them in a nurturing and sustainable way. (There might have been some yelling involved.) Flash forward to 2014: I had what I now refer to as my homeschooling breakdown/breakthrough. You can read all the gory details here.
When the dust settled, I realized that my inner work practice had saved me. Not only did it guide me through the transition of homeschooling with Waldorf in a new way, it also led me to seek certification as a Spiritual Director. This has allowed me to companion other people as they explore their own way of approaching inner work or what I like to call spiritual or creative practice.
One of the things I have learned is that no one can tell you exactly how to do any of this. Other people can share with you how they approach their own spiritual practice (and that is part of my workshop at Taproot), but really this is something you need to discover for yourself. I believe this to be sacred work, and I do my best to show up with gentle curiosity, quiet expectation, and a whole lot more questions than answers.
There will be two opportunities on the schedule at Taproot to work with me in a group. During this time, we will create a collage with words and images cut out from magazines that will help us to see what we need from our inner work practice going forward. This process can be insightful for those just beginning a practice and also for those with an established practice that may need expanding or refreshing. There will also be time on the schedule for a few private sessions as well.
Homeschooling can be hard. We are constantly giving, planning, thinking, and doing for our families. I believe that honoring our own inner work practice lets us remember who we are underneath all that we do in a day. It also helps us to remember why we are doing all of it in the first place. It brings us back to center. I hope you will take some time during your stay at Taproot to focus on you for just a bit – whether that’s taking my workshop or just taking a walk in the woods by yourself.
I’ll be guest posting here on Jean’s blog again soon, writing more about inner work, spiritual practice, and how my own journey has evolved over the years. Currently, I am drawn to journaling, dream work, painting and collage to help me get quiet and listen to what my soul is saying. I also read a lot of poetry. You can get a pretty good idea of what all this looks like by visiting my blog, Sure As the World.
I will tell you, though, my spiritual practice looks a lot different now than when I first started. To say it did not have a very promising beginning is an understatement of epic proportions . . . there might have been Monster Truck videos involved in some way . . . true confessions . . . stay tuned.
Check here for details on the next Taproot Teacher Training the first weekend in August.