Friday, February 6, 2009

crisis = danger + opportunity

I love my job. I'm teaching music in Vermont and having a great time. I'm passionate about the subject and the work, and I think that students enjoy my classes...
The economy is in a certain amount of chaos, and I'm a music teacher. Past relevant history (can you believe that i'm quoting Dr Phil?) suggest that all may not be rosy for arts educators.
That's the Danger part, and I do not want to minimize it. M any people are suffering, and it's likely to get worse or a long time before it gets better.
The Opportunity part has me asking myself "what else could I do? about what else could I be passionate?"

One of the great coaching questions I've heard recently is "where, when and how does time disappear for you?"
The answer to that is a big neon arrow to your passions.
I'm dabbling in fiber arts, in food, in writing, thinking about what I might LOVE to try. These are all things that I will do if I continue teaching, but if I need to do something else, there are many other things that fascinate me.
So - where does time disappear for me?
It happened just the other day, when I was looking at a new book about Adirondack rustic style, with many beautiful pictures. I hd the afternoon off, and I just sat there leafing through it. When I looked up, HOURS had passed.
Picture books, especially home style, gardening, travel, big art books, children's picture book make time disappear for me.


When I was at the International Coach Federation's New England division conference last May in Massachusetts, I heard Coachville's Dave Buck speak about the "inspiration-based economy." You can read much more about it on his blog:
The central point is that he believes - as do I - that we are moving from the so-called "information economy" to something very different than we've ever seen, an economy based on people creating work about which they are passionate. It's already happening, quite obviously, in our food supply. The Slow Food organization and hundreds of cooperatives around the nation and the world are literally shifting the way we eat to a more sustainable local food economy.
For me, what I learn from these movements is that we can really achieve sustainable local economies, perhaps not despite the current economic recession, but beacuse of it. The Chinese character for "crisis" includes both danger and opportunity. I think that we are facing a tremendous opportunity to shift our economy to Schumaker's model of "Small is Beautiful."