“What do you do?”
When people ask me what I do for a living, I still say that I’m a teacher, even though I left the classroom five years ago. It’s a ridiculous, but perhaps endearing quirk of mine.
After teaching 13 and 14 year olds for a good run, I began to teach adults on a daily basis, first in the form of webinars and then mostly in person. And in the last year or two, I taught a wide range of ages and backgrounds—from teens to adults how to relax through breath and movement.
The same thing is true today that was true my last year teaching. We need to set aside moments of pause in this busy life. The world is especially noisy right now. There is extra chaos. More emotional reactions. Fewer conversations had because of fear and anger. We are not just violent to each other, we are violent to ourselves. This has got to stop. It was bad when I was a classroom teacher, but I feel the extra angst and frustration in the air.
One of the hippy dippy things I did in my class was have students self reflect on their lives, visioneering I called it. And I encouraged them to explore their crazy emotions. I even made worksheets. Don’t worry, I still have them with Drake and Rush Lyrics quoted to emphasize points on what life is really all about.
Anyway. We practiced reflecting on our feelings as well as our thoughts.
There was a kid in one of my classes at Payne Jr. High who had a massive emotional reaction when we talked about reading for enjoyment. One of the other students said, “maybe you need to consider why you feel such a strong negative emotion.”
(This was a universal truth that took me at least 29 years to notice: negative emotions are doorways to freedom. And here, a 13 year old was stepping up as resident sage.)
I thought, in this moment, wow. This kid—both kids are going to be so much further along than I was emotionally. You know how many relationships, jobs, poor decisions I have made because Idid’t know how to manage my stress or cope with emotions?
And that’s when I knew that the best way to course correct where we are as a culture is to begin educating ourselves where we are now. It’s a process of unlearning conditioned responses and approaching the self with grace and gentle care.
Imagine how empowered the next generation could be if we taught 5 year olds how to soothe themselves with their breath?
The thought makes me feel such joy.
There is hope. We are turning this around.
After a decade of teaching 8th grade language arts, I entered into the world of corporate training. Currently, in my part time day job, I am a professional development specialist, which is the buttoned-up way of saying that I train teachers.
But that’s not what I really *do*. OH, and also, I am not a top-button kinda gal. I feel more anti-establishment than ever, and my true thoughts are coming to the surface more and more in public situations. As an example, today my colleagues and I were discussing test time being around the corner and my inner-rebel blurted out a diatribe on teacher pay, what true differentiation looks like, and that we need to teach kids to be human beings, not human doings.
Who AM I?
I am a healer.
I am an addict.
I am an alchemist.
I am a public speaker.
I am a yogi who lost her practice and found it again.
I am a professional mistake maker and wrong turner.
I am a trauma survivor.
I am a sharp-tongued, wildly nomadic woman.
I am a student.
I am an energy healer who is now learning I cannot give it all away.
I am a kitchen witch.
I am a techie nerd.
I am a teacher.
I am a non-published sci-fi novelist.
I am an astrologer.
I am a Poetess.
It took me a very long time to claim my power, and I still have work to do. I am ever-evolving.
I have a gift of teaching people how to chill out, manage stress, and make positive changes to their lives through mindfulness and emotional education.