Today’s stop on the blog tour is at Runde’s Room. Jen Runde is the awesome educator who wrote The Potato Chip Champ Reader’s Guide. It is jam packed with lessons from reading, writing and math to social studies, character activities and songs to sing! And guess what? It’s FREE!!!

My thoughts on Grace…

My One Little Word this year is Grace. Grace has ten different explanations under the definition online. Here are the two that really speak to me: 1. Grace is a disposition to be generous or helpful; goodwill. 2. Grace is a favor rendered by one who need not do so.

In the face of some difficult situations this last week with work, I was able to put my one little word to work. I found myself being vulnerable. Really thinking and feeling my feelings before reacting. It was a great week of learning for me. Here is just one of my experiences…

I teach two classes at the gym on Saturday mornings, cycle and core. As I was cleaning up and getting ready to leave, I noticed that the instructor hadn’t shown up for the next class, yoga. There were close to fifty people waiting on their mats and no instructor. I looked for the phone list to call her and see what was going on and I couldn’t find it. I started to panic. I ran downstairs and found a manager to talk to. We called my boss who was at a training and didn’t have his phone with him. You know how when you are in an intense situation and nothing seems to be working out? That’s how I felt. Like a bad dream. Here were my choices: teach the class or tell them there was no instructor. I told the manager my fears, I hadn’t taught yoga in about five years. Yes, I take it weekly but that’s very different than teaching it. With his encouragement, I decided to teach the class. The alternative would have left almost fifty people disappointed and discouraged about the integrity of my team.

It was out of my comfort zone. I was opening myself up to being vulnerable, to the possibilty of failing. I am a prepared individual and this was sooooooo out of my character. I don’t like failure and avoid it at all costs. I found a yoga cd in someone’s file and taught the class. The class seemed to drag on. It was so hard for me. It wasn’t the greatest yoga class. I was able to get them into a few good flows, deep stretches. But still, it is not something I prepared for. Near the end when I was getting everyone into their relaxation pose, my favorite part of class, I wanted to jump up and down and shout “I did it!” I could have walked away and pretended I didn’t notice there was not an instructor. I could have lied and said I had a doctor’s appointment. But I chose to handle it with Grace. (note: it was an oversight as to why no one was there to teach and that RARELY happens!)

“Even if letting ourselves be seen and opening ourselves up to judgment or disappointment feels terrifying, the alternatives are worse: Choosing to feel nothing — numbing. Choosing to perfect, perform, and please our way out of vulnerability.” Brene Brown

This morning I woke up, grabbed my phone and headed out the door to teach a class. As I looked down at my phone I noticed I had a new message on Facebook. It was from my coach in a Leadership Course I had taken back in 2009. We are friends on facebook so we are able to see what each other is up to (via news feeds!) His words came at the perfect time. It made me think about how awesome it is for someone to acknowledge someone else—you never know what they are dealing with or going through and you just never know how MUCH it will mean to them. I did not mention this yoga experience on facebook or my other work struggles.

Here’s what he said: It is not often in my lifetime where I have been allowed to witness someone who showed up, made a choice, completed on their word, created a partnership with their mate, committed to making a difference in the World and been unstoppable on that commitment. I acknowledge your contribution and appreciate your commitment. You are a Leader Creating Leaders.

This is what I ask of you, my readers. Send a text, an email, a letter, make a phone call, or whatever means of communication you choose. Reach out to someone today, just because. You never know what they are dealing with. You might just make a difference!