Creativity, Innovation and Change: Spare Diamonds

One of our exercises for week 3 is to think about ways in which we are rich in resources other than the monetary kind.  Although, I am essentially an optimist and see a plethora of abundance around me, for this post, I have decided to focus only on one.

The word diamond brings up many contrasting images in my mind from the famous marketing slogan and OO7 movie “Diamonds are Forever”and Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds are a Girls’ Best Friend”, to the bloody and enslaving diamond trade depicted in the movie Blood Diamond.

Screen shot 2013-09-20 at 12.18.03 PM

In reflecting on this activity, I happened upon this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson which perhaps sums up my greatest spare diamond which is invisible to most and took me a long time to see.

spare diamond

Unlike many people who are short on time, face exhausting 9-5 jobs daily with little time for reflection, I am presently voluntarily unemployed.  I have spent the past two years with ample time for self exploration, trying new things, connecting with others, taking courses and getting in touch with what is important to me.  I have been given the gift of time.  When my life circumstances first bestowed it upon me, I was not so willing a recipient.

However, after a long struggle, I am learning to “guard well my spare moments” and invest them with meaningful play, creativity, volunteerism, learning and meditation. Reading Tim Walker’s blog “Taught by Finland, ” has also encouraged me to embrace being a “human-being” not a “human doing.”

Had I not been given this gift of time, I may never have started taking MOOCs and thinking about alternatives to being a teacher.  A flip side to the global recession and changing economy as well as the heated discussions surrounding education, is that many people (educators and others) have been forced to demonetize (as much as possible) their lives and take the time to reflect on what it is they really want to do/become.

I read somewhere once, that the value of a diamond rests in its ability to be cut.   Much like the cutting of a diamond, what I do with the abundant gift of time that I have been given, rests in how I cut it or shape it into something meaningful.  In addition recently I discovered that diamonds do not come from coal, but “diamonds are still material that has been subjected to great heat, pressure and stress, and has turned into something beautiful.”    So through this sometimes stressful process of shifting my perspective of self and situation, I have discovered a wonderful resource and luxury that many others may indeed covet.  I have an abundance of time!

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3 Responses to Creativity, Innovation and Change: Spare Diamonds

  1. So now we are officially soul sisters…..Relocated to a new place…teachers….and we have both been given the gift of time. There are times that I wonder why we are led on new journeys, to experience new things, and being in Maui really lets you focus on your priorities. As an educator, I have been ravenously devouring MOOCs and wonder whether there is a way to make a living facilitating online Professional Development Opportunities for teachers. The one thing this experience has taught me is that I have been given a gift, and your words here only echo this!

  2. traceewolf says:

    I am also unemployed with the luxurious gift of time. I struggle to not feel guilty about it and to not feel insecure about not doing what ‘everyone else’ is doing. I love reading your blog post because you’re gracefully accepting your gift and I’m inspired to do the same. I’m doing lots of things for myself with my time. At the dinner table, my family gathers and we talk about what we did that day. I’m still finding my way around expressing the creative productivity and rehab I’m doing for myself. It’s both uncomfortable and completely as it should be! It’s a great journey and I’m blessed!

  3. So what happens when we have little time to reflect and explore? How does one balance obligations to others and to one’ self. I find it hard to grab those moments of reflection. I am over committed and allow multiple commitments to distract and eat up what time I have. You post Maureen reminds me I should find those times and make them precious.

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