Sunday, 26 January 2014


A couple of months ago I went to a Lilac inspiration meeting.
That was an experience in itself. Part of it is too private to share it here, and deeply intertwined with TTTH, but the big part was doing my first Bellydance public performance.

I was using my phone for the music and it didn't occur to me to ask anyone to take pictures, so I don't have any memento of the occasion. I redid my improvisation on Comptine d'une autre été and a new one on a string version of Sweet Dreams by a great German band called Eklipse.

It felt awesome to dance in front of other lilacs. Years ago I remember reading on a bellydance blog that to be a good dancer and a good teacher you have to have performance experience. I never really dismissed it, but I only actually understood the importance of it when I did my first performance. Those five minutes made me realise more things about me as a dancer than all the training sessions I've done in six years.

Funnily enough, it looks like my natural style as a dancer seems to be extremely serene and relaxed. Who knew?

Anyhoo, during the inspiration the HQ lilac chief told an experience related to the actual proof campaign. She said that when November came she didn't think she had had a lot of victories, so she decided to sit down, look back into her diary and write down anything she could consider a victory. She had a list of something like 35 victories.

I felt inspired and decided to go back home and immediately write down my list.

This is a selection of my victories, enjoy!

Victories since November 2012:
  1. I learnt to cycle
  2. I had my Buddhist half term
  3. I led my Barcelona school trip and it was SICK!
  4. I contributed to planning the first YW chapter meeting in ages.
  5. I passed the Study Exams, Grade 1.
  6. I created a workout routine and stuck to it for several months (still kinda sticking to it).
  7. I had my first trip to Botton Village
  8. I supported my first YW to receive Gohonzon
  9. I went to a Steven Wilson concert.
  10. I had a mock Ofsted observation and got Outstanding.
  11. I went to the first Florence course.
  12. I had an awesome crazy day in Liverpool with Janic.
  13. I had an interview in another school for Head of Languages. Job obtained and refused.
  14. Several YW coming to chant with me on a weekly basis
  15. Stefania, one of my PGCE coursemates, received Gohonzon and I lilaced at her Gohonzon receiving!
  16. I became vice Team Leader of my Dedicated Lilac team.
  17. I supported many fantastic activities as Lilac chief, which gave me incredible life training opportunities and the chance to support some wonderful Young Women. The most memorable are the Marronier course (a European Chef division course), the last Open Day of 2013 and the 2013 Study exams.
  18. I shot my Bellydance video with the help of a wonderful fellow Dedicated Lilac.
  19. I started having counselling and learning more about ASD.
  20. I had a pretty interesting meeting with one of the assistant headteachers in my school. An important step in my decision to stop being dependent on other people's approval of me.
  21. I went to my school's trip to the Lake District and did Gyll Scrambling!
  22. TTTH. It is a victory, because I won over the toughest bout of negativity ever.
  23. And then I had the Summer of Awesome
  24. And the Birthday of Awesome
  25. France adventure (and this is the naughtiest thing that made the public list :P)
  26. Also, I found a Bellydance teacher and am happily going to regular classes.
  27. I went to Nantes again.
  28. And Bordeaux
  29. I danced at Lilac inspiration day.
  30. A former YW of my district sent me the most wonderful email about receiving Gohonzon. Just what I needed to hear.
  31. Annie’s message. (you know which one)
  32. I supported my school's Winter’s tale production.
  33. I interviewed for 2 i/c of my department and got second place and excellent feedback.
  34. Both my last year's PGCE students found jobs.
  35. My current PGCE students and their opinion of me.
  36. The way one of my tutees said "Thank you for everything, Miss." after a particularly difficult afternoon. It's one of those things that a teacher can never forget.
  37. I also had an Assistant Head of Year interview. Again I didn't get the job but the feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and it made me realise that the Pastoral route is the one I really want to pursue.
  38. I got some of the loveliest "keep forever" cards from my students this Christmas.
  39. I had a chance to do the leaving speech for the most wonderful colleague in the world when she had to retire ahead of schedule.
  40. Third trip to Botton and realising that it felt like going back home.
  41. I got 10,000 pageviews! (over 12,000 now, actually :)) 
  42. My school, after two years of incredibly hard work, finally had Ofsted and we got Good!
And that is a censored list!
This, my friends, is a really useful exercise. So often all we think about is the bad stuff, when we need to pan for gold, always pan for gold!

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