Renewal and Reflection

In every team and department at Northwest Vista College, there are always great stories to tell that show faculty and staff going above and beyond.

While it’s hard to capture every story, we hope to periodically share in this space some of the major accomplishments or projects that are taking place. Members of the executive team will write about important topics that they feel NVC employees should be made aware of.

Let us know about the positive things your area is doing to help students or improve processes by contacting myself or NVC Public Relations.

– Dr. Ric Baser, NVC President


Debi Gaitan
Vice President of Student Success

As we enter into the season of thanksgiving I would like to take a moment to thank those that have led and participated in NVC’s Renewal and Reflection program, in particular Julie Moore-Felux. Our Renewal and Reflection program is based on a contemplative practice called, formation, which the Center for Courage and Renewal describes as a practice, “distinguished by principles and practices intended to create a process of shared exploration—in retreats, programs, and other settings—where people can find safe space to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it”.

Julie sends a weekly email, The Mobius Strip, that invites faculty and staff who have participated in our retreats to take a moment for reflection and attend to their own ‘inner teacher”. With Julie’s support, I would like to share her most recent Mobius Strip:

In Autumn, nature reminds us that things cannot stay the same. The light changes, the trees let go of their foliage, and the transition toward winter begins.  Every year we witness this breath of a new season, and we accept the shift that comes with it. If only it was as easy to accept change in our own lives with as much grace.

The fact is, we are living in times where things are changing rapidly, and often the direction seems uncertain, even dangerous. Just yesterday our country completed another political shift, which left many on both sides of the spectrum feeling a bit anxious about the future. Even here, on our own campus, we are struggling with changes as new initiatives and structures emerge. Change can be frightening and overwhelming, so it’s no wonder we feel resistant to it.

On the other hand, sometimes we know change is desperately needed, and it is difficult to find the determination, or sometimes the patience, needed to be an effective change maker.

I have been attending to my own reactions to, and desire for change lately, and I encountered the passage below, written by the poet Clarissa Pinkola Estes, which reminds me to face change with courage and compassion.

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people…

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do….

                                                                                                                                                                        — Clarissa Pinkola Este

If you would like to read the entire passage, click here.

Invitation for Reflection: How do you “stand up and show your soul” in a stormy world? When have you caught light from others and how did that steady you?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *