I have been working on the completing the Positive Change courtyard at South Eugene High School for over 3 years now. Like the long- awaited ending of most things, the resources of time, money and people have run thin and I, like most everyone else, is ready to move on. Unexpectedly, I have had an offer from a small group of boys who have taken on building furniture for the courtyard as their senior projects. Suddenly, I am in the courtyard again every day and it is the kids who are reminding me how far we have come.
Being around their youthful, summer-is-coming energy and playfulness has lightened the burden of completing the courtyard. This project has taught me over and over again to let go of the heavy lifting and trust the process. I am learning the truth that there is nothing to gain by focusing on the end result, but rather to do what is before us and to be grateful for what is happening in this moment.
So these past weeks through rain and shine, we finally leveled the gravel in the courtyard and the boys primed, painted and put together three picnic tables. We started cutting the tall grass and got the last and final mountain of gravel delivered. So, progress is being made and there is still so much to do.
Also, we found a group of wood workers who are going to volunteer to help us build some benches. So, really, life is good and we have what we need. This is the most positive view of things we can hope for and yet, even after all these years I am still having to lead myself back to this place.
This is the thing about positivity training, you never can fully get it and feel like it is yours. The more you practice it, the more familiar it becomes and the easier the transition back to more productive and ultimately truer thinking. But here I am, over three years of intentional practice, and still often overwhelmed by the weight of my commitments and the erroneous belief that I don’t have enough resources, time, energy and help to realize my vision. Certainly, some days I know I don’t have enough hormones.
Making something happen, inventing things, creating something where there was nothing before is the most challenging and rewarding process we humans get to engage in. I hope the kids will remember that part of it and know that it is within them to keep it up. Even though most everything I do is about this process, I often forget to look back and see how far I have come.
We think we want other people to see us and our accomplishments but really when we just recognize ourselves, our work and our progress, something changes in us. We see ourselves as agents of positive change.