I enrolled in a Mindful Self-Compassion course at Spirit Rock in West Marin County, as a follow up to the inspiration at the 2015 Inventing Our Future for taking care of self, others and the planet. Each Thursday night, for 8 weeks, I drive out to the Spirit Rock meditation center with my friend, Mary Hurley. There we join with 45 other people in various exercises and meditations that help us to be aware of suffering and self-criticism without judgement. I am learning to be more aware of my experience and to be more accepting of myself. I have found that it opens me up in new ways to a compassionate understanding of others. I had been worried that it would be exhausting to take a class on a weeknight, but instead I am energized. I find that in the fifth week of the course I am benefiting from a calmer and more focused attention to my every-day tasks.
Louise Music is the Executive Director of the Department of Integrated Learning at the Alameda County Office of Education. A visionary leader and bold advocate for equity in education, Music has developed innovative models for supporting professional practice and tapping creative capacities of educators for deepening and continuously improving teaching and learning. As Director for the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership of the Bay Area, Music is charged with implementing its strategic plan: “Mapping the Next 10 Years”. Recent publications include “Arts Learning as Equitable and Meaningful Education,” in Artful Teaching (Teacher’s College Press, June 2010), and the Foreward to the second edition of Studio Thinking2 (Teacher’s College Press, September 2012).