Making a Change in your Life and Overcoming Inertia

by Dionne Schetzel on May 20, 2011

Schetzel Dionne picture

Dionne Schetzel, guest blogger

Learning any new skill or ability is difficult.  Inertia is such a strong force to overcome.  As Isaac Newton explains in Principia Mathematica: “The innate force of matter is a power of resisting by which every body endeavors to preserve its present state.”  Making changes in our lives requires a stronger power of love, friendship, and truth to overcome our body and mind’s efforts to maintain the status quo.  Since first encountering Thomas Jefferson Education several years ago, I have been making changes in myself and in our home environment.  But I still didn’t feel that I understood how to “Inspire not Require.”  After all, I wasn’t educated in an inspiring way.  I was only familiar with the conveyor belt methods.  Working through the Spark Station Mastery Course is a way for me to learn to inspire my children.  But having a great desire to change and owning the course were not enough to undo my years of ingrained habit.  I needed to invite others to support me (and I them) on this journey.

Making plans and creating new systems for doing things is one of my favorite pastimes, so designing a Spark Station Mastery circle of support was right up my alley.  My first step was to invite about 15 friends who had already expressed to me dissatisfaction with their homeschool or who had core and love of learning phase children (Spark Station Phases), and who might have time and desire to add this to their lives.  Even though I wanted to jump right into the course, from past experience I learned to take a slower approach.  They had time to commit to it, buy the course and have it arrive in their inboxes.  I took time to plan out our schedule and visualize how the group would work.  I challenged them to commit up front to working through the course no matter how long it took and to commit to doing the writing as it would have the greatest impact on their results.  From the original 15 who were invited, a group of seven mothers joined who were excited and committed to doing the course with me.

The circle of support I set up is on the formal side.  This is just my way of applying a principle: Get support when making a change and learning new skills.  Your support group can look like a park day where mothers share their successes or it could look like a one-on-one phone call with a friend, or it could look like an email to an already established support group, like the Spark Station Mastery Yahoo group.  No matter what the application looks like, the principle behind it is powerful.

Our 14-week schedule varies slightly from Mary Ann’s.  I adapted it to fit in some things I felt were important (like personality types) and to give more time to some of the topics (like weekly planning).  Every week, I send out an assignment which usually includes reading, listening and writing, just as in Mary Ann’s Workbook.  Members of the group then post their writing to the group blog during the week.  Sometimes I challenge them to dig deeper and ask them hard questions about how their schedule is going or how busy they are or how they prioritize their schedule. The final, but probably most powerful, component of our group is a weekly conference call on Saturday mornings.  We discuss the week’s topic and the roadblocks we are facing with that principle.

Creating this group has been a tremendous help to me personally and to those in the group.  During one of our conference calls, a friend and I took a close look at what was keeping her from being consistent with her structured family learning time.  Through what she shared, I saw a pattern in their routine: Family learning time was at the mercy of the urgent, and so, wasn’t consistently happening.  I suggested she follow Mary Ann’s sage advice and consider family learning time as sacred.  Her emailed response to me later that week made me smile: “Last Saturday, I finished the call feeling so excited and inspired.”

One of the most important things I have learned came from a seemingly unrelated comment from one of my friends.  She was talking about a time her husband was awaiting surgery.  He was anxious and upset about the coming pain from the surgery.  But when the time came for the surgery, the actual pain was nonexistent!  His fear of the pain was so much worse than the pain itself.  For me, this was a huge epiphany and helped me work through a tough situation in my own life.

Change can be very difficult, even painful at times but there is power in joining our efforts together as we seek to change ourselves.  Leo Tolstoy said, “Everyone thinks about changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”  Working through the Spark Station Mastery Course with a circle of support can provide you with the power to overcome inertia.  What could be more inspiring than to know you are changing yourself?

Dionne Schetzel is the mother of two boys, 14 and 11, and a girl, 8.  Even though she has been homeschooling for 8 years, she feels like she is finally learning how to homeschool by implementing TJ Ed principles.  She is the founder of Shining Light Commonwealth, a scholar phase, once weekly school in the Salt Lake Valley.  She loves to spend her time studying classics, writing, and watching and scoring baseball games.



Possibly Related Posts:

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: