Teachable moment fatigue

I love being in a classroom of adult learners. I am grateful for the diversity of culture, ethnicity, ability, academic readiness and spend a significant amount of time managing my expectations and looking for opportunities to inspire compassion and connection, knowing that my students are destined to be helpers.

However, this political climate has left many of my students and myself emotionally exhausted, often defensive of our personal leanings, and starved for discourse.

So what do I do when I’m feeling “teachable moment fatigue”?

I stop teaching.

I start listening.

And I take space from the hustle and bustle of the 24 hour news cycle and biased op-Ed pieces and choose to sit in the silence, listen to an audiobook, or crochet until my hands hurt.

Because as Anne Lamott says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

Destination addiction

Summer class discussion topic of the day:

‘Destination addiction’ is the idea that happiness/fulfillment/success is held in some chosen person/place/thing/job that is coming, versus what IS.

Learning how to sit and reflect on your current experiences with gratitude and be present with all that you have is what can reframe your perception that contentment and success is ONLY ahead of you. If you keep those feelings with you, they are always within reach!

It is time to see what is in front of you, express appreciation for it, and hold space for what is coming without obsessing over the outcome.

What’s happening in this moment in your life that is going well??

Sit with it, thank it, and go about your day!

Forgiveness

I teach an Introduction to Group Counseling course, and spent the last in-class day of the semester doing a ” q and a” style class, and it turned into a powerful discussion on the topic of “forgiveness” and the role it plays in therapy.

It is important to note that forgiveness is an emotional change that occurs within the person who has been wronged. This process and the resulting change is an inside job, and does not require the person or persons who harmed you.

What forgiveness is:

-The decision to overcome pain that was inflicted by another person.

-Letting go of anger, resentment, shame, and other emotions associated with an injustice, even though they are reasonable feelings.

-Treating the offender with compassion, even though they are not entitled to it.

What forgiveness isn’t:

-Reconciliation (repairing or returning to a relationship).

-Forgetting the injustice.

-Condoning or excusing the offender’s behavior. Granting legal mercy to the offender.

-“Letting go”, but wishing for revenge.

As the Anne Lamott quote says, ” the beginning of forgiveness is often exhaustion.”

Aren’t you TIRED?

Tired of the pain, the pressure, the space that holds in your head and in your heart?

Do you feel it in the heaviness of your legs, the stiffness in the shoulders?

Do you feel your adrenaline pump or your heart race when you have to share a space with the person who caused you pain or harm?

Any and all of this is taxing and tiring on the physical and emotional body.

It’s incredibly freeing to know that you can forgive a person while in no way believing that their actions were acceptable or justified.

So next time you have the option to rage and sustain a visceral disdain or hatred for the person(s) that caused you harm, remember the option of forgiveness. Because the alternative is to sit and cook in the white hot rage, disconnected from what the pain may be able to teach you.

Forgiveness is not going to be an automatic, after all, judgment and annoyance is our collective human default.

We love it. It’s killing us, but we love it anyways.

But with attention to the event (and how it impacts your ability to function), intention to choose healing over heartache, and to give oneself time feel through the forgiveness process, anyone can use this method to overcome difficult stories, show compassion to people in their past or present, and can also free themselves from the scripts they have written for themselves.

Write your own story. Choose to forgive, and usher in your calmer, reflective and peaceful self.

You got this.

Mallory

Change is possible when the pain, the stakes or the shame is high enough…

Change is hard.

Even when we want the result of the change process. We want “more” for ourselves, for our kids, for our careers… whatever we want is okay to want.

But it’s gonna cost you.

It’s going to cost you people.

It’s going to cost you relationships.

It’s going to cost you friendships.

It’s going to cost you things you think you want at the time.

It’s going to cost you valuable space in your head and your heart.

However, with all that cost, you are changing and adapting into a different being. And all of the wonderful things that have happened to you in your life have occurred because something changed.

Really take a minute to think about this. I’ll wait.

Think of the job you took, the major you chose, the person you said “yes” to when they asked you out. Think about when you chose to say “no” to that toxic person in your life. Think about that last time you made a choice that gave you the “butterflies”.

Those choices change the course of your future, just by selecting where to put the energy.

So if you want positive change, it’s very simple—— start making choices that give you opportunities to grow, feel peace, experience joy, encourage you, empower you, and make you feel good.

Stop choosing situations and interactions that draw you to people who are mean to you, relationships that bring pain and uncertainty, friends that never ask how you are doing, and costly crap (and cheap crap) that you don’t need but feel like you have to have in the moment.

You are worthy of the amazing and wonderful things that are coming your way. Let’s simplify the process by removing all the blocks along the way.

You are not dream-greedy

 

img_0397

“One dream coming true doesn’t mean you have to give up on other dreams.” Anne Lamott states this so beautifully in her book “Small Victories”. Her context here is actually referring to her experiences with online dating, but the theme of this statement applies to every aspect of life that requires goal-setting, grit and perseverance.

I often ask my students and clients how setting goals relates to their “best life”. Most actually avoid this direct question completely, and skip right to the “I’m not asking for much! I just want to be happy (and thin; and rich; and in love; and pain-free; and famous; and the next Powerball winner, etc”).

Well guess what?

All of that stuff requires a dream, and all the dreams require goals, and all of the goals require effort, and all that effort requires you to understand what brings you joy or happiness or satisfaction in the first place.

I love the dreams, I love how people look when they are describing the dreams they have for themselves. That is also the cue that they are ready to work, but are often struggling with the how to make it happen. So that’s where I can help.

My first (and often best) suggestion I give people who have a dream, is to find someone who is living out that dream, and connect with them.

This doesn’t mean stalk the next lotto winner.

What I mean is;

Have a dream to own your own business?

Find someone who owns their own business (both successful and people who have failed—both matter) and connect with them on social media, LinkedIn, go to a Chamber of Commerce mixer, meet and greet those who are doing what you want to do, and ask questions. Heck, after you introduce yourself, speak out your dream to own your own business (this energetically influences the universe to bring you to closer to that reality) and ask them if they would ever be willing to discuss their process with you.

Want to become a high-ranking person within your field?

Find someone who is doing the job you want! Intern, volunteer, follow their journey, ask them questions about how they began their journey, what they wish they knew before, and what it is like to be where they are now. This is important, as dreams and goals change as we age.

Let me let you in on a little secret-

People who have worked toward a dream of their own, 

love telling people about it. 

As many major dream-seekers, key-players in your chosen field and society-influencers will tell you, THERE IS ROOM FOR YOU AND YOUR DREAMS.

You are not dream-greedy.

The magic behind accomplishing one dream, is that it should (hopefully) give you the confidence to try something harder. This is how we learn, grow and shift in to a higher-level thinking and being.

A very important part of realizing a dream, is setting goals that bring you to it. And I suggest that you identify and classify your goals in the following ways:

Is the goal specific?

        Is it positively stated?

Is it simple?

                     Is it important?

Is it realistic?

Once you have a better understanding of this process, you can create a plan of action.

Keep on dreaming!

Mallory