Posted by: rdkpickle | 07.31.2014

we all crave the real stuff

I’m gonna let a couple of other people say the things I’ve been thinking about.

“Learning how to be present with the big, scary openness of not-knowing is no small thing. That is why we zone out, check our phones a hundred times an hour, play video games, watch TV, assault-eat, numb out, zone out, distract ourselves. We all crave the real stuff, but connecting with it feels like sticking a butter knife into the electrical socket.” – Elizabeth Statmore (@cheesemonkeysf) – “The Organism Moves Towards Health”

“It’s so much better to enjoy where you are than worry about where you’re not. Wonders are everywhere, so if you don’t see this one, today, you’ll see another. Promise.” – Pam Mandel, via Chris Guillebeau – “A Free-Range Life: On the Road with Pam Mendel”

The best parts of #tmc14, for me, were the quiet moments – powerful connections made through meaningful conversation. I focused on slowing down and listening, truly and intentionally. I tried to practice asking better questions. I watched people I admire like a scientist, jotting down mental field notes on the strange and spectacular specimens. It was pretty great. Some of those up-until-4-am chats won’t be forgotten by me, not for a long time. That was the real stuff.

Post-tmc, my mind is on the upcoming school year. I’m thinking about culture building and status and the 150+ teenagers that will walk through my door in just about a week, nervously beginning their high school experience. It’s a pretty big responsibility to steward these young minds, but lately instead of seeming overwhelming it feels like the only possible thing that makes sense for me to be doing with my time.

[This is as close to a recap as I can muster.]



  1. Just read this quote on Pinterest: “Authenticity is magnetic.”

    Can we schedule a 4 am chat for next year? 🙂

    • i love it. yes! and i’m so glad i got to connect with you this year, even though it was so brief. you’re one of those people i’m watching and learning from – keep being that positive fearless force! 🙂

  2. Absolutely beautiful post, Rachel. Presence is a difficult thing to cultivate and it’s admirable how gracefully you’re pushing yourself to experience it. This will change how I go about my day.

    • Thanks so much, Ratna. I know you have spent a lot of time intentionally cultivating habits that allow you to be more “present.” I’d be interested to learn from you sometime. Hope you’re well!

  3. I love this post, Rachel. I’d really like to dialogue with you further on the idea of school culture because it is a big topic stewing around in my mind these days.

  4. Rachel, best wishes for a year filled with the “real stuff!”

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