Welcome to the Métis Women's Circle Blog. Articles are written by members of the Circle and are on a variety of topics. Submissions from our members are welcome. See our Guidelines below for more submission information.


Another Day In Paradise
Linda Cauchy
Métis Women's Circle
April 1, 2021


January 25, 2021 marks the one year anniversary that Covid 19 appeared in Canada. Who could have imagined the time of challenges, fear, and disappointment we would be facing. It is from within this shroud of a pandemic that I acknowledge another day in paradise! Incongruent you may think but essential is what I propose. Each day I will celebrate another day in paradise and I do this by exercising particular habits of mind.

Habits of mind is a collection of 16 thinking tools, strategies, and processes developed by Art Costa and Bena Kallick some 25 years ago(https://habitsofmind.org/sites/default/files/16HOM2.pdf). In my later years of classroom teaching, I guided and encouraged my students to employ habits of mind in their thinking, sensing, learning, and problem solving. I had some personal favourite habits which I use to frame my days in paradise.

To contextualize my current Covid situation, like many others, I am isolated, unable to see my children, grand-children, and other cherished family members and friends. All the gyms are closed as are my favourite haunts. I go out only once per week for groceries and other essential items. Yes, I am connected to people electronically but it just isn't the same as a face to face visit. The situation sounds dismal and I could easily become discouraged but I won't. Here's where the habits of mind come into play.

A favourite habit is, "responding with wonderment and awe- finding the world awesome, mysterious and being intrigued with phenomena and beauty" (Ibid.). Approximately 40 cm of snow fell the other day. The beauty of the forest covered in snow was truly awe inspiring. I took pictures and posted them to my contacts in order that they too may share in this awe. Then came the shovelling. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the task, I saw myself as awesome, being able to move so much snow from my pathways and deck. After the snowfall, all was quiet and muffled. Standing outside, once my ears adjusted to the quiet, the natural sounds emerged. I heard woodpeckers, nuthatches, chickadees and crows going about their business. I wondered how the wood peckers knew where to find the insects in the trees. I wondered why the nuthatches hop head downwards on the trunks of the trees. I wondered how the little chickadees fended off the cold. I didn't find any answers; I simply enjoyed being present in this paradise.

Another habit to explore is, "finding humour- finding the whimsical, incongruous, and unexpected, being able to laugh at oneself" (Ibid.). I love to laugh but at times, during this pandemic, it is difficult to find reasons to laugh. So I deliberately look for humour in my day. I recently subscribed to a Facebook group called the Far Side, featuring Gary Larson's comics. Having been a Larson fan for years I've probably seen and read all of the comics people post to this site but that doesn't keep me from having a good laugh each day. I'll often post a comic to someone I know will enjoy the injection of humour in their day. If you are a cat person, you already know how humourous and unpredictable cat behavior is. In addition to living with my two crazy cats and experiencing their whimsy first hand, I often look for funny cat videos on the internet (who doesn't) in order to lighten the mood. Finding humour is essential in creating a sense of paradise.

A final habit of mind to share with you is, "taking responsible risks- being adventuresome; living on the edge of one's own competence; try new things constantly" (Ibid.). Like many, earlier in the pandemic I was worried about safe food supply and decided to stock up on chickpeas, canned tomatoes, coconut milk and the likes (not toilet paper). I tried cooking up new recipes using unfamiliar ingredients and spices. For the most part, the meals were successful; low risk and quite adventuresome for me. As time has passed we have learned that there is little threat to our food supply in Canada; paradise for sure! I am grateful. The pandemic has also highlighted the luxury of time to try new things. I have mustered up the courage to demo and reconstruct a basement room after flooding, gone snowshoeing on a frozen lake and a snow filled forest, writing for a blog....

As the world progresses through the long phases of this pandemic, we will continue to be challenged and perhaps feel stretched to our limits. All the more reason to create a personal paradise each day by shaping our experiences through habits of mind. I'd rather create another day in paradise than experience the alternative. I hope you can too.

Habits of Mind:
  1. Persisting
  2. Managing impulsivity
  3. Listening with understanding and empathy
  4. Thinking flexibly
  5. Thinking about your thinking
  6. Striving for accuracy
  7. Questioning and problem posing
  8. Applying past knowledge to new situations
  9. Thinking and communicating with clarity and precision
  10. Gather data through all senses
  11. Creating, imagining, and innovating
  12. Responding with wonderment and awe
  13. Taking responsible risks
  14. Finding humour
  15. Thinking interdependently
  16. Remaining open to continuous learning

(Ibid.)

Posted



ARCHIVE

May 12, 2021 The Flower Beadwork People
May 1, 2021 Good Riddance Beyak
April 1, 2021 Another Day in Paradise
March 1, 2021 All My Relations Matter More Now Than Ever
January 21, 2021 "Look Out The Window, Quick"





SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

The purpose of Trade Beads is to inform and inspire our readers within the overall theme of Indigenous experience. Broadly, themes will follow the four seasons, but posts are not limited by these categories. We consider submissions by students, artists and community members at large. TradeBeads is supported by the Métis Women's Circle, whose mission statement is as follows;
We are a circle of Métis women who support, educate and empower our women and their families. We acknowledge the Creator and the wholistic relationship between the earth and the gifts provided to us. Through reciprocity and the healing journey we can help our people reclaim and celebrate our cultures, histories and identities.

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