Chatter To Quiet Down

“Listening to your heart, finding out who you are, is not simple. It takes time for the chatter to quiet down. In the silence of “not doing” we begin to know what we feel. If we listen and hear what is being offered, then anything in life can be our guide. Listen.” ~ Anonymous

Reflection: Building Toward Being A Skeptic

As the title suggests, I am reflecting upon this past semester and reviewing my notes to see what I can interpret out of my notes to put into my essay. One part of time into this semester, Bill took the class to a presentation called, “Skeptical Religion: What it Means and Why it Matters” by J.L. Schellenberg from Mount Saint Vincent University. From this deep philosophical conversation he said that humans are immature and limited which causes me to really magnify humans in general. As evolution is in occurrence today, nothing will ever be mature or have a limit.

In this class, we discussed heavily upon the book “Authoring Your Life” and I noticed that every time a reader reads a book there is never maturity or limits. As the mind is a beautiful working machine, there really is no control over what ideas can be cultivated within one classroom setting or with one conversation with another person. So this concept struck me by being similar to Magolda’s idea about partnership allowing the individuals in a relationship to be discouraging to “simplistic solutions.” We as humans have to be complex about decisions and although, we will always be “immature,” we can still gain knowledge without limits. And if we are fortunate, we will have immature and limitless partners along our side.

As in the Skeptical presentation, he highly encourages that humans are immature and that we as humans need to continue to be thinkers and he stated, “seeking is finding.” Just the idea that humans are limited because the limited time we have on Earth can only be explored, we as humans cannot explore anything beyond our age or the age before us. To seek is to find, and I feel that Magolda is striking this conversation about partnership that individuals have to seek this internal voice that is described to be founded by connecting with others. 

The power of conversation can be supported by any scholar that conversation brings this connectivity that allows for humans to be more immature about life and to also have no limits in conversation. 

“Partnerships: How to Provide Good Company For Others’ Journeys Toward Self-Authorship”

Magolda refers often to the metaphoric symbol of a bike being the vehicle for traveling or navigating through life’s challenges and in this particular chapter Magolda suggests that partners should be riding the backseat and should be the support while the leader navigates.She also states that individuals before they reach self-authorship they have actually a “fragile internal voice.” She explains that this “fragile internal voice” turns into being “strong enough to hold its own against external pressure.”

In a sense, I do agree with Magolda about the partners being supportive but I even more enjoy her idea that in order to be a successful partner you have to challenge as well as support this person through life. Without these two components of being a partner, the person wanting to reach self-authorship cannot be in full control. In addition, Magolda brings up the idea that partners also can support their friends, parents, peer, etc. by helping them to learn “to control their reaction to reality.” Magolda sums up, “Thus, being good company means gradually shifting from forms of support designed to build confidence to forms of support designed to encourage integration.”

Magolda outlines fundamentals

Partners supported participants in developing self-authorship by:

  • Respecting their thoughts and feelings, thus affirming the value of their voices
  • Helping them view their experiences as opportunities for learning and growth, and
  • Collaborating with them to analyze their own problems, engaging in mutual learning with them.

Good partners also challenged participants to develop self-authorship by:

  • Drawing participants’ attention to the complexity of their work and life decisions, and discouraging simplistic solutions,
  • Encouraging participants to develop their personal authority by listening to their own voices in determining how to live their lives, and
  • Encouraging participants to share authority and expertise, and work interdependently with others to solve mutual problems. ” (pp. 251).

From this type of guide, I see that the impact of partnerships can help individuals be “self-authored” and can be helped in a way where the pressure is not so heavy but just the ability to be on the backseat. Now to me that sounds like it can be hard job but with these questions I am beginning to see that a partner’s influence to an individual’s decisions without the individual knowing what is going on. The individual sees this partnership as a “partnership” without actually understanding the partner’s significance to trying to prepare to be good company for him/her. Confusing at first to understand but partners actually have to prepare to be good partners which is interesting because Magolda introduced this idea that in a relationship both partners have to be prepared to be good company in order for the partnership to be life-changing.

“Mark’s Story-Developing A Spiritual Philosophy of Life”

Personally, I liked Mark’s Story so far out of all the stories because of his philosophical outlooks on life. Throughout his story, I took many on the quotes he stated in his interviews because each had a rhetoric approach to this meanings. Particularly, looking at his personal connections with his wife and two children, I really enjoyed reading about his transitions from being a work partner, a husband, and father. I main thing that interested me in his stories was how he stated on pp. 81:

I really had to expand beyond the intellect when I got more into the real world. Intellect is no longer my god; I used to think I could solve anything by thinking. I don’t know if it defrauded me or not, but it didn’t lead to an understanding of who I really am. I decided to study more deeply emotions and spirituality. Have to go beyond intellect to understand those things, have to turn the intellect off.

From this quote, I gain that Mark is a thinker and he “yearns” for this intellect without emotion which to me is impossible. To have to ability to turn off your thoughts seems impossible because how can you reach true “intellect” without your thoughts. I also admire that Mark is understanding his own intellect with his emotions because some would like to gain intellect by thinking more logical than emotional. Mark definitely is becoming a new person the more he thinks with both intellect and emotion.

One great quote that struck me about all partnerships all of the character’s experienced was his statement on pp. 91, “…Part of getting through that kind of thing is endurance, trust, kind of faith, not only some faith in higher powers or spiritual matters, but faith that things do resolve for the better…If you persevere, the problems and issues to resolve themselves…It’s faith, its trust, it’s love that kind of gets you through some of these things.

In this case, Mark and his wife Michelle both respect the religion of Catholicism and see a higher spiritual being higher. So with this quote, Mark to me, really respects his partnerships with his wife and his personal God. But then again, he says that God will not be there to get everything right for you but that it is your decision to what path you choose that God lays out for you. Also Mark underlines the concept that it’s a half-to-half relationship with God and his wife and his children by understanding that if each persevere through the hardships together with the acts of faith, trust, and love you can get through just about anything in life.

Secondly, Mark states an astounding quote about his spirituality in relation to his partnership with his wife on pp. 94-95, “…There’s something that’s not necessarily tied to religion or spirituality, just a faith that life works out. Good things happen. A trust and faith in yourself that you’ll be able to surmount certain obstacles. A trust and faith in your spouse that she’ll be able to and that you as a couple in a marriage can through certain things. So, some of the faith is more supernatural, others decidedly natural in every way and earthbound in every way.”

I like how Mark uses the word “Supernatural” because it entitles that faith and trust in something untouchable is possible and there can be happiness when you as a person put some of your faith and trust that it will work out. Magolda further goes on explaining that Mark is “developing new facets of himself” (pg. 95).  From this, I can make the connection I have with yesterday’s blog about how people can create new people within one person. Magola highlights that Mark is learning about his spiritual intellect which is considered a new facet of himself. I find this extraordinary. This intellect Mark is yearning for each day has grown to be a huge percentage of his internal foundation and the person he can only hope his children will learn. 

“Lydia’s Story-External Chaos; Internal Stability” Personal Connections

Lydia’s Story definitely had to have the most familial obstacles compared to the other stories and her main personal connections were with her husband, children, and her parents. Looking more in-depth about her personal connection with her husband Magola states, “She was in tune with her spouse because of their complete trust in each other” (pg. 178). This aspect of “trust” I saw was mentioned very much in the text-based upon relationships. I do like the way Lydia explains her perspective about her relationship with her husband and she reflects about how the military made them stronger, “All we knew were each other, and it really takes you to a next level…you have to have complete faith and trust in that person because that’s all you have” (pg. 177). I take interest in this personal connection because it’s an emotional connection that readers can connect to on any level. Personally, I could understand that Lydia is has this foundational partnership with her husband that was the core of building her internal voice. Without her ultimate faith and trust in her husband she probably would not be the same person.

In class, we talked about death and how that can affect relationships with others that are closely related to that person. In the example Bill used was three people in a relationship and one dies. He explains that there is not only one death but three deaths because when that one person passes the other people in relationship can never be the person they were when the one who passed was around them. This is such a fascinating idea to me and it stressed how important personal connections are. Now, I was thinking that when you have such a strong irreplaceable relationship to someone you are a different person. Lydia in this case, is a stronger person with her husband with her. Although one death my bring more deaths because the personal connections is no longer there…but being alive can be just as exhilarating because more people are created within one person.


“Sandra’s Story-Living Her Faith” Personal Connections

Compared to the other stories, Sandra had to be the most interesting personal connection because her partnership happened to be with God. On page 156, Magolda states, “…she was able to begin to trust her internal voice about how to frame her identity and her relationships. She was able to reframe her relationship with God from asking for an answer to walking together in harmony. Self-authoring her life enabled her to bring her voice to her relationship with God.” 

From this quote I gather that is particular personal connection wasn’t with an actual person but with a higher untouchable being. As a Catholic, she was very persistent about trying to connect with Him on a level that will allow her to overcome her mental challenges as well as finding a suitable profession she would enjoy. Throughout her story, she was constantly told that she was not allowing God to steer the direction of her life and that could be the reason she was not gaining any positive encounters with her professional outlets. Although, as the years passed, she was able to find an enlightening profession as a librarian that she felt she could fill the role as a Catholic and allowed her a peaceful state of mind.

Magola, I believe summarizes Sandra’s realization quite marvelously because she states on page 158-159, “These signals led her to believe that she should trust her own voice. She was able to discern the lesson she had been pursuing for so long with God: Doing what was right for her life was God’s will for her.” I do believe that Sandra’s personal connection with God is very fascinating because from her upbringing as such a religious person she worked all her life to continue to improve this relationship that is never solid but continued to mold this meaningful relationship with an untouchable being. God. God was the personal connection Sandra wanted to improve as well as build.

Creating New Connections Meaning Reading More Than Twice In Different Places

One quote from class that I really admired was when Bill stated, “read at different times of the day, read at different places, after different events, being aware of what I eat when I read as well as what I drink, and it all changes who you are when you read it…You know yourself well and put yourself in different places..Use a different Pen.” This quote, I believe has helped me to understand these character’s lives. After 40 years, their reflections are more than an enduring research but a way to see a life different as well as create a personal connection to others. If one of Magolda’s purpose is to how people create everlasting personal  connections with others I do suppose that by reading after hardships or rewarding events will change your perspective as to how you comprehend the information she is writing about.

Personally, I see that there is process to understanding this book. The process goes as follows: Actuality…Thoughts in the Moment/Actions…Reflection…Judgments About Magolda/Others/Readers. This is the process in which a reader can read one chapter about another’s life and how to relatively compare the reader’s life with what is happening to the character. With this process, I am able to argue as well as make scholar judgments about Magola’s assessment of the character’s motives.

Bill also addressed the question “What do you have to let go in order to understand the stories?” Judgments. Past experiences. Notions. Stereotypes. Bias. So MANY can be listed as to what actions can be assessed in this question although which is most likely to be possible is to read the stories and assessments as casual as possible. I test this theory of not visualizing this book as a scholarly text assigned in class but rather as a book that will allow me to actually find this “internal voice.” Magolda tells the reader that this is the best moment in your life that will occur if I pay close attention to these stories.

On another cross-lined thought, Magolda reminds me of my “Feminism and World Religions” class when we discussed about Siddhartha and Buddhism. Siddhartha’s main goal in life was to attain Nirvana as well as Enlightenment although the only way he could reach it is by understanding himself the most. To be selfish in this philosophy and context, is wanted and is encouraged. This notion to me can be related to how Magolda can provide readers with a stronger belief they have an internal voice and can activate by reading this stories.

The personal connections made by the reader to the characters and Magolda are greatly important to reaching Enlightenment or in other words “Internal Voice.” Am I not right as to Magolda constantly referring to “Internal Voice” to Buddism’s “Enlightenment?” From this discussion I do see that finding personal connections in different forms in life is an essential to actually living as well as reading this book to its fullest potential.

New Findings and Reflective Thoughts

After reading the Foreword of Magolda’s Authoring Your Life I learned more about this text and about the context. In addition to Comp class on Tuesday, I have thought a great deal about my research project and what I am wanting to focus upon. First off, definitely “partnerships” is where I am heading. In her Foreword, she states, “We are learning that the way life used to work–or the way we thought it should–doesn’t work any longer” (pg. xv). Further on she explains how humans and society are  being “recomposed” from the ages 18-32. I thought this quote was very interesting and I consider it true.

I look at my life today and see that I continue to “recompose” my thoughts and perspectives. I could add that coming from a small town and my own personal family I realize that the way I was raised is not how other colleagues my age were raised and although I want to believe that the way I was raised is how everyone else was raised, it is not. This little example illustrates that society and humans are changing everyday and this re-composition Magolda writes about is true. The path to finding the “internal voice” is changing everyday because society is changing.

This idea struck me as I was reading and I just felt like thinking out loud with my blog. I hope to continue to critically read Magolda’s text and pick out certain sentences that I agree with and disagree with. Ultimately, to unravel a great amount of evidence for partnerships.

Browsing Idea #2

After much consideration and looking more into Margola’s “Authoring Your Life” as well as her interview on the radio show Bill posted. One particular saying popped out to me the most. It was her statement that of partnership being a huge factor of her interviewees beginning to actually “author their own lives.” This idea of partnership I noticed is a great theme in all the stories of the book and it gave me a research proposal of understanding why the people in the stories became more “in control” when they met their spouse or became involved in other deep relationships with friends. For this research topic I would definitely use stories from the book itself but find other research projects of how important partnerships are to humans. Why is this partnership so powerful to the people in this particular book and if Margola wanted to hint that without partnership you will not be able to lead your own path? I might be touching base on a good topic but on the other hand I might be going off on a tangent. Any suggestions would help a lot.

Browsing New Ideas

Based upon the book “Authoring Your Life” I have had many ideas floating in my head about what particular topics I want to address and further expand. My first idea would be the impact of the pictures provided before the chapter is introduced and how this makes the author more credible. My second idea would address why the author is choose the certain individuals she did. I would like to take these two topics into a new direction maybe with them combined but I need more time to create a topic that is different and interesting.