Teaching (substitute your own profession here) is hard enough but then we add to the equation teaching while human and oh lord is it ever hard. You are just sitting there helping a student or preparing a lesson (add in your own professional tasks) and then wham this mind of ours goes nuts. 'Your doing this all wrong it’ the mind screams. ‘Look at everything your missing’ it protests. Take a minute to think of a scenario in your life where you encounter this sabotaging voice. What’s it saying?
This happens to me all the time. Regardless of the hat I’m wearing; teacher, counselor, mother it seems that it is so easy to slip into that place where the internalized voice is much more of a harsh critic than a supportive friend. When I can acknowledge this and offer support to myself I’m suddenly much more able to offer support to others. This months blog is about that process.
For all of us at Creative Life the work we do is more than just the actionable goals, like in the classroom getting the students to passing there final exams! However it is often these tangible goals that tend to unleash the stress that is our best teacher. I really believe this is the real work and when those who seek to bring about justice in the world value the importance of this/their inner work we will see exponential change in the outer work.
So how does one go about doing this…
Turbulence teaches grounding.
The edge teaches breath.
Falling teachers rising.
Breaking teaches building.
Pain teaches healing.
Resentment teaches boundaries.
Failing teaches rebirth.
Harmony continuously seeks itself.
Remember, it is simply a circle continuing on and you are supported.
Acknowledge, whatever the conflict is, acknowledge it! Reach across the table and hold it’s hand. Earlier this month on a particularly drained afternoon I looked across the classroom to my co-teacher and acknowledged what we were both feeling. We smiled, things felt lighter as we were supported by mutual validation. Imagine if I didn’t, what if we stayed alone bogged down, what negativity is ready to spring forward.
Trust the process. Have faith, keep breathing. So, you have acknowledged being angry, tired, depressed, scared, frustrated from here the mind’s tendency is to run into value judgment infused with blame. Good or Bad. Take a moment, 3 slow breaths. Pet a furry friend if one is handy. When helping little’s to learn to read or do long division or to finding the factors of 133 you see very quickly what happens when someone doesn't trust the process. When they don’t trust what they already know how to do suddenly the words are swimming and the numbers are flipping and the voice in the head is screaming you can’t do this give up. This. is. when. we. do. our. best. work! If you are a caregiver this is when you become that internalized voice that will absolutely be carried like healing balm into future stresses. And if you as a caregiver (of others and of yourself ) have not had this done for you then you must cultivate it. There is not one skill more important to grow for your work or you life than an internal benevolent compassionate voice.
As you cultivate gentle internalized kindness you might ask what is really gong on here ... for me in all my work it feels like there is slot at stake ….for me it’s often fear. What is it for you?
Find the antidote, this might be the hardest task and I wish I could give you a list of antidotes like medicine. Frustration take this.
Head screaming at you today take this. But i won’t because I believe finding the antidote is a personal and a life journey. I do recommend some companionship on the journey, we all can use a wise old woman to lead us through the forest. Engaging in this journey you will find your own personal medicine bag and this becomes your gift to the world.