Blessed greetings! Ba wo ni? (How are things?) I pray, as always, that you are well and bright as you read this. I’m just about settled into my new digs and I was blessed to celebrate my birthday with good friends at the beautiful New England Aquarium and Boston Harbor (pictured above) earlier this month. 

I have hit the ground running with my PhD work! It is truly exhilarating to be around so many bright, interesting and diverse people – part of why I love being with all of you here at Ase Ire *smile* One of the things about moving into higher levels of learning – whether moving from elementary school to middle school, high school to college or undergrad to grad – is that you are often challenged to step outside of your comfort zone, to think about things in a way you have never thought about them before and, of course, to take in a whole lot of information you never knew before. It seems like the amount of information grows exponentially the higher we move which is exciting but can be daunting all at the same time.

During my training with Creating a Culture of Peace , I was reminded that it’s alright to be a little uncomfortable. In fact, it’s good to be a little uneasy when we are taking in new information because that’s where the most learning and growth takes place. If we are too comfortable, there’s no challenge and we continue to see things exactly as we did, which means we really didn’t learn anything. On the other hand, if there is too much discomfort, we have a tendency to put up our defenses and shut down in which case, we also don’t gain from the experience.

The key to learning and growing, then, is to be comfortably uncomfortable. To feel challenged, but not attacked. To learn new things, but not at such a blinding pace that we are unable to absorb them. To be able to amend erroneous ways of thinking without changing the core of who we are. I've definitely been "in the zone" and have already learned so much in one short month. What a blessing!
My prayer today is that we will regularly find ourselves in state of comfortable discomfort and that we will each learn and grow immensely while we are there. May we each blossom beautifully! Ase!