Do you ever take a moment to look back on your life and reflect on the people, the events, and the moments that define where you're at today? That happened at an event the other evening.
Do you ever take a moment to look back on your life?
The event was a teachers' conference for women in leadership. My main reason for attending was to hear the keynote speaker. Her name is Dr. Florence Glanfield and she is a citizen of the Métis Nation of Alberta. She is Vice-Provost (Indigenous Programming and Research) and a Professor of Mathematics Education. She was the professor for my final class in my master's program in education back in 2016. She facilitated a summer session called the Gandhian Principles of Peace put on by the University of Alberta.
My main reason was to hear Dr. Florence Glanfield speak
During our classes, she shared principles of teaching from her culture. This was a time of learning for me as I had never participated in Indigenous teaching before. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the importance of waiting in silence for us to process her questions. I also enjoyed the times when we would participate in a sharing circle as she passed around a stone that held stories for her. Only the person holding the stone was to speak. It was freeing to hold that stone and be able to choose if you wanted to share with the group. No judgement. I was so happy to let her know when I saw her the other evening, how much I enjoyed incorporating a sharing circle with my Grade 5 students. She was touched to see that her words had an impact on me and my students.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning from her Métis teaching.
I truly believe that my time with her prepared me to be more open and accepting of the dialectical behavior therapy teachings that I learned two years later when I was first introduced to DBT. I'm not sure I would have been as accepting of concepts like no judgment, everyone is doing the best they can, everyone has their own truth regarding perceptions, mindfulness, and so many more.
My time with her prepared me to be more open and accepting.
During Dr. Glanfield's presentation, she shared a picture of a quilt that her great-grandmother had created back in the early 1900s. Currently, it is in the Royal Alberta Museum. Each silk square is from a package of tobacco. Her great-grandmother collected these squares, as did many other women of the time. She sewed each square painstakingly into this beautiful quilt.
As I looked at the quilt, I was reminded of each person in my life who has painstakingly been stitched into my journey and how each one has been placed at a specific time, at a specific place, and for a specific purpose. Dr. Glanfield was one of those people and I was thrilled to be able to share that with her.
The quilt reminded me of each person in my life who has been stitched into my life story.
Kelly with Dr. Glanfield
I loved hearing her presentation for women in leadership and it reminded me once again of the powerful women in our lives who continue to lead and inspire and encourage the rest of us to be strong and courageous and leaders in our own right.
Powerful women in our lives who lead and inspire and encourage us to be strong and courageous and leaders
As I continue my journey of sharing DBT-informed skills through SILA Skills I am thankful for the foundation that she and others laid for me. I hope this inspires you to reflect on those who have led you by example and who continue to speak to your heart and teach you to be your best self.
Maybe I can be part of your journey.
I would love that. 💟