BEING WILLING TO LOSE SIGHT OF THE SHORE
“We will never discover new oceans until we are willing to lose sight of the shore.”
My greatest gift was not getting a teaching job out of university. Not getting what I’d planned. Learning to lean into the unknown has brought immeasurable richness to my life.
I had planned on teaching right away, but with no jobs available, I started volunteering as an ESL tutor instead. My willingness to lose sight of the familiar and explore the unknown opened my whole world. As a tutor, I heard stories of countries—of situations—I had never heard of in my entire life, and from the moment that experience began, the course of my life changed. That is when my hunger to learn of other cultures, places, peoples, and languages began. That is when I began to be open to the possibility of living life differently than I had ever imagined.
At 25, I vowed to let go of the familiar and live single well; I traveled to every country and place on my vision board and then some: Russia, Turkey, Ghana, Colorado, Costa Rica, Ireland, Montreal, Italy, Poland, Algonquin Park, France, Scotland. Every dollar I made went to seeing the world. And, truly, travel changed me like nothing else. My appreciation for the simple, for nature. The new, the old, all were piqued and heightened because of my travels near and abroad.
Flash forward 10 years, I met the love of my life. I had made peace with this never happening, but it did, and it was another beautiful unexpected gift. Three years into our marriage after much loss, we were blessed with our greatest gift and teacher: Alexander Diarmuid LeBritton. This wee man has taught me to make even deeper peace with the unknown. And in doing so, my life’s purpose has emerged. Now after years of teaching in every traditional capacity, I know I am to let go of that and explore something new: something that speaks even more to my heart. In the fall of 2012, I left the shores of certainty once again and started a small business teaching mindfulness and global awareness education at Infinite Life Learning. This has all come forward because I was willing to make peace with unexplored territory to let life reveal what, for now, I am meant to do: share the lessons I’ve learned in life and in travel.
Maybe for you, it’s not travel. Maybe it’s a job, a relationship, or an experience. Whatever it is, open your heart to the lessons of the unknown because they are profound. As I continue to navigate new waters, my most fervent wish is that we all lean a little more boldly into uncharted territory or at least be willing for a moment “to lose sight of the shore” (Gide).
Jennifer, passionate about traveling and teaching, is the founder of Infinite Life Learning where she offers amazing classes, camps, and workshops.
Originally Posted on isla Sunday, April 7, 2013
As an officially designated Charter of Compassion Business & supporter of the Global Compassion Movement, Infinite Life Learning was started to bring two of Jennifer Alexander’s deepest loves together: teaching and personal growth. Whether it be her Be The Change classes for children, her camps of the same name or her Mindfulness programs for adults, Jennifer believes the lessons of compassion and the centre’s surrounding nature will help bring people even closer to their best selves bringing the principles of the Golden Rule to life: locally & beyond.
Jennifer is the passionate and zenned out founder, teacher, writer& coach at Infinite Life Learning. She is an Ontario certified teacher, mindfulness & compassion educator with her M.A from the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Windsor With almost 20 years teaching expertise, she received Canada’s highest teaching honour in 2009. She has inspired people worldwide to live mindfully & love themselves more. Her work has been featured on Gail Vaz-Oxlade, in isla Organic and Wild Sister Magazine. Jennifer teaches from the heart & her mindfulness& community service teachings inspire peace, joy, compassion, & self-love.
To register for any of these classes or camps, call Jennifer at 519.564.8645
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