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,
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
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