Self-Reflection: Face Yourself

Do it! As soon as you can.

Here’s the rundown. When we are working on our passions and life legacy, it’s hard to see through our own eyes the areas we really need to work on. It’s easy to see the successes. It’s easy to report our wins and ignore the losses.

The shortcomings and challenges we face hit our blind sides or they blur out around our peripheral vision. It’s hard to face the mountain we have to climb. It’s difficult to face up to the reality of a huge portion of ourself, the failures. Many times, we don’t see what’s happening and it continues to happen because of unconscious ignorance.

The cure to unconscious ignorance? Mindful observation, self-reflection, documentation. I’ve been working as a part time educator and a part time gardener. I reflect everyday on what’s going well and what needs work in the garden. As a teacher, it’s difficult to see myself, what I’m saying and doing in the classroom. I get feedback from other teachers, but it’s difficult to get the reality of what’s going on. To change the paradigm of ignorance, my co-worker and I are going to video our lessons, reflect on what we’re doing well, and find potential solutions to our shortcomings, continually challenging us to become better educators.

It won’t be easy at first, it’ll most likely be humiliating, but that’s what makes it fun. In time, we’ll make great strides through many laughable moments and failures, warriors in the field of education and cultivating yourself.

The Power of Mulch on Heavy Clay and the Human Soul

Every soil can benefit from the use of mulch or an organic covering on top of them.
When I first arrived at East Fort Worth Montessori Academy, the alley to the chicken coop is sandwiched between the building and the sloping hillside that feeds the alley with a downpour of water. The soil in the alley has cracks and quickly absorbs and holds water, a good indication of a good heavy clay soil.

The first rain showed the signs of a good mucky clay.

To alleviate the issue, we decided to obtain some free mulch and spread it over the soil. A good three inches will do the trick. The transformation after is unbelievable. A place that was once a trap to walk through can become functional once again.


In the years of using mulch, the pattern emerges that the soil that feeds us needs more organic matter and love. It’s truly a universal solution to build soil and ourselves. Reflecting on the theme of this blog, to cultivate ourselves we must take care of the elements that nurture and feed our body and soul, the soil and all the life within it. The result is a mirror image of ourselves in nature. The soil is now ready for cultivation and growth.