Our Commonplace Book

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I look into your curious eyes

After you ask where each scar came from.

And wish I could tell you.

But I can’t.

Not yet.

 

Don’t be like me, I say.

Follow your own path.

Don’t use my map as yours because you will end up in the wrong place.

Use your own creativity to blaze your own trail.

I will not prepare the path for you

But will do my best to prepare you for the path.

 

This “Danual” can be used with your compass

As you head out into the world.

It will be a working document that you can come back to

Filled with stories, experiences, and observations.

We will add to it as our journey continues

Something you can flip through

When those potholes are in front of you.

Some obstacles I can recognize and give you insight into but

Your journey and final destination will ultimately be up to you.

 

I first heard about the Commonplace Book from one of my favorite authors, Ryan Holiday (author of Ego is the Enemy, The Obstacle is the Way, and the Daily Stoic to name a few, all are fantastic).  He has a very specific system he uses to collect information for his writing, his work, or for inspiration.  In this article, Ryan describes the Commonplace book as “a central resource or depository for ideas, quotes, anecdotes, observations and information you come across during your life and didactic pursuits.”  He goes on to describe leaders from different eras who kept one and how to specifically create one.  The thought has always been in the back of my head. The journey to get where I am now at has been filled with bumps, bruises, and plenty of what Coach George Raveling refers to as “potholes.”  I want these lessons learned to be passed on in some way. The stories of battles with anxiety, learning to impulse control and reel my emotions in, and those darn little black submarines need to be shared. Books, tools, resources and visuals that help bring me back to center and give me the best chance to flourish. I thought I could put a Commonplace Book together in two medium forms: one physical that I will share with our kids, and one here on www.couragetoconnectcle.org.  Our son titled our physical one a “Dan-y-ule” (his phonetic spelling of Danual…playing off the words Dan Manual, creative, I thought)…with a subheading of a “for hard working dads.”  It will be a place to share and build a two-way relationship with our kids. To instill the expectation that none of us are perfect. We all make mistakes and need to learn from them. The goal is to be in the arena.

 

If I can help one person on their path, whether they are my own children, a student in my classroom, you or your own kids, it will all be worth it.  I hope to use this medium to connect with people and initiate conversations about wellbeing, neurodiversity and learning.

I hope you enjoy the stories and stay in touch! If you keep a Commonplace Book of your own, we would love for you to share it!

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Each week we will share books, resources, stories, and ideas that we think will be beneficial to you and your kids (at home or in the classroom).  Our focus will be on wellbeing and potential but we will continue to explore neurodiversity and sensory processing.  

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