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.”

Rest

Rest is essential.

Not the “errand-running, email-checking, revolving-door visits with family and friends” kind of rest.

The real rest is intentionally choosing to be still, to be calm, and to be focused on how that rest impacts your emotional, physical and spiritual body.

Sit with a warm beverage.

Put your phone on silent (or better yet, turn it off).

Enjoy the feeling of nowhere to be, no one to manage and no pressing tasks.

Feel the soles of your feet, move your legs. Notice your body in it’s space.

Shake out your arms.

Roll your shoulders.

Slowly move your neck from side to side.

Relax your jaw, eyes and eyebrows.

Notice the calm presence of breath.

In. Out.

Show yourself some gratitude for taking a few moments to rest.

See how long you can take it.

Then tomorrow, try to double it.

Your body will thank you.

You are not dream-greedy

 

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“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