Over the last ten years, my teaching has been supported by the steps I've taken to develop a known quality and connection with myself; this has become my foundation. This connection has and continues to be developed through self-care, letting myself be aware, expressing, confirming and honouring what feels true. Today I live my inner beauty on the outside, in the world, in everyday. Living from here, as best I can with no perfection, has allowed me to feel some pretty amazing understandings about life.
I have come to have a strong knowing that . . . the way we are with ourselves, is the quality we share with others - that everything we do, meaning the quality we do it in, has an affect on everything and it all matters. Absolutely everything matters.
In life and at work, for me it’s about people, genuine interactions and the quality I am and with others. With this, I have found that the inner beauty and grandness with in us all is confirmed.
I have come to love my profession of teaching more and more, because of the simple choice of loving and supporting myself more and more. With me loving me, I can feel my deliciousness and the quality I bring, hence, I then love everything I do.
It makes complete sense that if we care for ourselves, we then bring a caring body to work. Just as if we take a given up, exhausted, depleted, not nurtured body to work, then that is what we will feel at work. We might even try to fill this 'unease feeling' with being identified by our achievements, qualifications and what ‘we intellectually know’ at work. However, what type of quality will our work hold when it is solely done from the mind and not with the whole of us, including our cared for body?
The 'how' we are in life has a massive effect. We can either choose to live each moment in a way that confirms us or in a way that does not. Should everything in life not be completely confirming of who we truly are?
Taking great care and having fun with, how we get ready, what we eat, how we walk, how we communicate and express, how we let ourselves be aware, how we observe and respond in life supports us to share Our All in and with life. For me it has let me feel an openness and a wanting to share my joy.
Everyday, working as a teacher - I am confirmed in this quality, from how others are with and towards me, including the amazing and beautiful gestures and words children express. The gloriousness that comes out of their mouths at times is pure gold, and at times, not so. But I can always feel that the quality I live with allows love to be held as the base and this supports any situation, pleasant or unpleasant to be worked though.
Looking after ourselves supports our bodies to remain clear, to express from our fullness and allows the grandness we are from to come through. This can be felt in more ways than our minds can actually fathom.
Every true imprint, for example, is an imprint that lets another feel a true way of being together, one of deep respect, which innately resonates within each of us. Our world does not foster true decency and respect as a foundation between people currently. However, when it is there it's deeply felt and cannot be denied. Some may embrace it because it is naturally within us and some may dismiss it as it can be hard to face and feel a respect and love that one has not been living with themselves. Either way, it’s a confirmation that it has been clocked.
I see that one of two energies at play in this world – the one that supports us to be in surrender and in our greatness and the other which works quite hard to deny, suppress, contract the greatness of the light that lives within. So how important is it for us to understand the responsibility we all carry in everything we are part of?
Even with this understanding, I recently experienced something that further allowed me to tangibly feel this truth, and the actual responsibility I hold for every movement, very deeply in my body - way more than before. An experience that has supported me to feel the greater purpose we all have to take the responsibility for absolutely every aspect of how we are.
I worked in one class with one teacher for a few days in a school that was by no means ‘an easy gig’. In this time I got to observe and feel quite a lot. She held the kids in a space that allowed them to ‘just be’ yet she kept them on task, she had space and time to listen to them, she did not allow any poor behaviours to be part of the room, she spoke with care at all times never raising her voice, she had a clarity in the way she delivered instructions and expectations and she let the kids feel there were respectful boundaries. One of the most lovely aspects about this one teacher was the way she always spoke to the children, never at them, and this made the class as a whole feel like they were one unit. Everyone moved on together at a pace that suited them, yet somehow allowed for more space to be there while everything got completed without any drive, rush or tension. Really her quality was amazing- I wanted to be her student.
During this time I also got to spend some time in another room where the tone was polar opposite. Much observation took place here again for me without judgement, reaction or sympathy (feeling I had to make it all better - big appreciation for me). I saw and felt that the way the children were instructed to was in a ‘speaking at’ them way. I saw that they were getting pushed through their activities at a pace that was too fast, not natural or in sync with their rhythm, even though this teachers criteria was ticking all the educational boxes. I felt the unease in the room but most of all I saw and felt this in their 6-year-old bodies and eyes. The children in this class felt very much in survivor mode. They were just getting done what they needed to get done in order, to not get singled out, or in trouble. Their bodies looked like they were tense and being bombarded energetically. There was very little connection coming from the teacher so no part of the children felt engaged or even like they were wanting to win approval. It would not have been a pleasant experience to be in this class for a whole year listening to constant ‘loud and at you’ speaking with no regard for what you truly needed as a young developing person.
Sharing these two experiences are not being shared to judge at all but to present the effects one person can actually have. In a classroom setting this is easy to see when we read how the teacher (who is one person) is and what effect this has on the 30 or so bodies in that room. This experience, as you can probably understand, is one where I got to tangibly see and feel how our quality and behaviours impact on and affect others from ‘how’ we are.
Taking this further . . . the students in both of these classes will think and feel about school differently, they may sleep differently, relate differently, what they take home from their day will be different, what they feel about teachers and even adults or women will be different, how they express in life will be different and dare I go as far to say, how they turn out as adults will be different.
We as humans, generally do not let ourselves consciously take our actions, tones, behaviours into account on this level, but we very much need to. Everything has an effect and adds to the basket of how we see and feel ourselves to be and how we become to be in the world with others.
We can either affirm, honour and support others to be in their fullness or we can be part of creating insecurities, hurts, doubts, lack of confidence, for them.
I can see and feel how the connection, the quality of the connections and interactions in the classroom can either support children to be in their greatness and work in a space that feels natural and rhythmical or it can crush a child’s light by putting them in a ‘push or drive’ to work towards outcomes at the expense of their being.
All the temporal knowledge in the world doesn’t really matter if we do not know how to be ourselves, share our beauty or be with others in a caring, decent and respectful way.
Honouring the person and the essence first by letting children feel that they are simply amazing before they even pick up a pen. For, if they have this understanding then when they do go to pick up that pen or have a conversation with another that it will come with their grandness.
Every teacher has the responsibility of allowing others to be who they truly are, and supporting them in that - firstly by supporting themselves to be with their own grand and true connection.
By Johanna Smith, Bachelor of Education (Major Special Needs, Minor Psychology), Graduate Certificate of Early Childhood, Studying Diploma of Counseling, Esoteric Complementary Health Practitioner, Woman, Teacher, Mother, Wife and Friend