how I learned to travel south in my teaching

At that time, I lived by the phrase –

bombing a village or

shouting at someone in anger


are two variations of the same act.


It is the act of looking at a person

as being separate from myself,

instead of

being connected to and part of me.



I placed a paper on my desk that said one lesson, one purpose.

One Lesson, One Purpose

And in my heart that one lesson and purpose was peace and connection with my students

If I taught a lesson, but it was done in anger, frustration, or any other negative emotion,

I knew I had demonstrated more to the students than the material I taught

And it was not a lesson I wanted to demonstrate to them

The peace and connection in myself and in the classroom

was more important to me than what I taught,

because I knew that learning takes place from the heart up

If the heart is at peace, the mind can learn


So my job was to ensure that I was at peace in my heart, so my students would be too

This became very powerful over the years.I learned to look into the eyes of my students

and see the huge and magnificent soul that they were

I learned to look into the hearts of my students

and feel the pain and difficulty of their lives

And always my purpose was to create a safe place for them to be and to learn in

Whenever I felt anger or frustration rise up in me,

I immediately defaulted back to that paper on my desk

One Lesson, One Purpose

Eventually, that default became automatic

and I quit experiencing negative emotion in the classroom


That sounds like an extreme statement

and it is an extreme statement

but it is a true statement

It took about a year and a half of this practice

before I reached this level of complete calm and peace


Of course, what I should have expected but didn’t

was that I never experienced a negative emotion with people outside the classroom either

I had found a process that enabled me to live

in a non-reactive place of peace with all people

This does not mean that I held in all my negative emotions

I practiced communication skills

that enabled me to see and understand the person I was with first

before I needed them to understand me

From that place, honest, kind, and effective communication always seemed to unfold

This doesn’t mean that I didn’t have difficulties, trials, and pain in my life

But it did mean that in my relationships,

there ensued a calm and peace with no conflict

Walking this path of life together

is so much easier than walking it separately and in conflict

Mindful is the operative word here for your experiments. Mindful – your mind is full of being aware of what you are feeling and thinking.

When you feel anger – just be aware that you are feeling anger. And when you are feeling connected and a sense of peace with a person, be aware of that too.

You have to become aware of what you’re feeling in the moment, before you can begin to change the way you’re feeling. That’s the experiment for today. Be mindful of how you’re feeling.



Create your own path