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!

Potential

We are all here trying to figure ourselves out, just trying to patch up the cracks and breaks in our heart and soul, just trying to deal with what feels heaviest within.

Sometimes, we try, and another person does not.

Sometimes, we care more than another cares.

Sometimes, we offer our skills, our knowledge and our lessons to another human being and they cannot absorb all that we are.

If someone you care for does not meet you where you are, you cannot keep asking them to do so. Because, we know that aching for someone to reach their potential before they are ready is a form of self-destruction that only you will carry.

Please stop trying to shrink into what you perceive that someone else needs. Let yourself be authentic, and your people will come. The world needs you at your truest self, versus carbon-copies of our lesser-selves.

Stop pouring your energy into a vessel that cannot contain it. Rather, send it out to the world with the acceptance and excitement of reciprocity.

Send out what is good, and goodness will return to you.

But when someone or something does not see all the light and goodness coming from you, do not force it. They are not ready to accept or see it for what it is. It is not their time.

I am

Positive affirmation work is a delightfully easy way to focus on self-development. I prefer to use several throughout the day, and switch them up as the day unfolds.

I sit with my eyes closed, breathe mindfully and repeat the affirmation in my mind.

Try a few of my favorite, or make up your own.

Here are a few of my favorites (adapted from aimhappy.com)

I am a powerful force for good in the world.

I am on the right path. I am moving in the right direction.

I am worthy of all things wonderful.

I am being guided to what’s best for me and everyone else.

I am willing to see things differently, even if I’m not ready to yet.

I am learning to let go of fear.

I am learning to respect the process when I do not understand it.

I am ready to release the stories in my head and forgive myself for believing everything my inner critic has ever said.

I am grateful for who I am and can be.

I am enough and I have everything I need to get to where I want to be.

I am grateful for every gift that I’ve been given, have now, and have yet to receive.

“I don’t want to be seen as a fraud”

First week of classes in the new semester, and a student shared today that they are worried that they will be seen as a fraud who does not actually HELP.

This fear and anxiety exists within all helpers, regardless of the title or the license to practice. The anxious nature of not knowing what the client might need, or how to approach an issue is common at first.

So this turned into a larger conversation about authenticity, boundaries and reminding the client what they are, and what they are not.

We could all learn from this.

What are your roles?

What your limits?

What does ‘helping’ actually look like to this client?

Some clients may be slow to trust, and may require a lot of effort to engage and build rapport. This is okay.

It is imperative that the person you are helping understands that you are not there to pretend to care about their problems. Their problems are real to both the helper and the person being helped.

But the actual ‘help’ comes from teaching the client how to care for themselves. That is the gift that keeps on giving.