We all have our own collection of stories. The how did I get to where I am stories and the where am I heading stories. Stories are precious; they are also powerful in shaping our beliefs. Beliefs play a large role in who we are, our beautiful unique selves. We need to be mindful of the power of story and take care in how we create and use our stories.
I have always had a passion for helping others and for learning. Today, I am incredibly grateful that in my work I get to help others learn as well as continue to grow as a learner myself. As part of my story, I enjoyed school, university, and my job. I began to recognize that a lot of what I did was to meet the expectations of others, to make other people happy. I started to depend on the approval of others and it was shaping my self-worth and self-confidence. Before I could recognize this I had developed fear based-anxiety. I was so fearful of judgment and failing in the eyes of others that it was affecting my everyday life. Yes, I know what it feels like, on a daily basis, to have your heart racing, arms tingling, body vibrating, skin hot but cold and clammy to the touch, mind racing, weak in the legs, stomach hurting among other sensations. I was held captive in my own body without control of the sensations I was feeling. I felt betrayed by my body. I began to dread and fell into a pattern of anxiety. This is when I dove into learning about anxiety and the strategies and treatments for managing it. Today, I have a deep understanding of anxiety. I have an incredible toolbox of strategies and have access to many resources. Together my children and I practice these strategies every day and live a life more in harmony with our anxieties and our feelings. When I work with students and create learning opportunities I draw on all of my experiences. I feel I have a well rounded, multifaceted teaching approach. This allows me to be effective in helping the students I work with to see the possibilities within themselves. I believe learning is an inside job; that we must do it for ourselves and the enjoyment that it gives us. We need to trust in ourselves and our own abilities; this is what builds healthy self-confidence and fuels our goals in life.
I close this small window into a part of my journey with the reminder that we have to be careful with our stories- that they do not become limiting but rather freeing. Freeing in that it helps us to grow and see life as a series of opportunities and possibilities to become confident, positive, kind and compassionate beings.
~Knowing that you are a kind-hearted person who is doing their best in this world is a tremendous step towards being at peace with yourself. ~
Thank you for reading.
The path to developing loving-kindness and compassion is to be patient with the fact that you are human and you make these mistakes. That is more important than getting it right. - Pema