I teach. I have always taught. I really do not remember a time, other than a short while when I was very young that I told everyone I wanted to be a mail delivery person. (Actually I think about that now and smile, since I do deliver messages from the Spirit World)

When I was in Kindergarten I remember I was given the opportunity to hold the abacus and lead fellow students in counting to 100. I was all of 5 years old and remember feeling like I could help anyone learn to count.

When I was in the 7th grade both my science and math teachers encouraged such dreams of becoming a teacher and I wrote my first lesson plan on the importance of following directions in the science classroom. I was allowed to present the lesson plan to my fellow students and receive feedback from my teachers.

I taught middle school students for 10 years; interesting training zone for anyone, to teach middle school. There is a definite learning curve of how to deal with all kinds of personalities and talent sets.  One must learn now only how to present material but also to present in such a way that it is accessible to all in the classroom and give feedback that is constructive, and yet not demeaning.

I was told at one school I worked at that some of the children were intimidated by me. I remember reflecting on that for a very long time, and strove to be more mindful of the sensitivities of the students on an emotional level.  I learned to understand cues from the students on how each on an individual level was interacting with both me and the lessons that were being taught.

I lecture and teach mostly an adult audience now. That in itself has been an interesting process for me. There is rarely the division of age and life experience like there is in teaching children to give a bit of credibility to oneself as a teacher. The credibility is based on integrity, knowledge, experience in the field, and the ability to allow those who are trusting the teacher as ‘students’ to explore to the best of their ability the information that is being practiced and presented.

I have found that as a teacher of adults I do not often receive the feedback on teaching style, technique and such like I did as a classroom teacher. There really isn’t much of a mechanism for that unless those in the class bring up any discrepancies that they have.

I have found that questions and an exploration of personal perspectives very useful, both for me to refine my own presentation and also to inspire me to keep exploring and learning on my own, so that I have more in which to offer when discussions start during a class. This past weekend Bolts of Love sponsored an Awareness weekend in which the presenters/teachers were all of different sensibilities in terms of how their express their own personal awareness of individual relationship to Spirit. Within that weekend it was also possible to listen to experiences and perspectives of the participants, which allowed for so many layers of awesomeness. I learned a lot about how others view and see the world and how they are able to put that into words.

I also learned how words can be misunderstood and misinterpreted and how that can lead to hard feelings.

I learned that while I was teaching several weeks ago something I said was considered harsh and cutting. I have tried to find that moment in my memory, and the exact feelings I had or words that came out of my mouth, and I just cannot. Yet, it was remembered by someone that dealt with hard feelings because of my presentation and reaction to discussion at that time.

I was immediately taken to the time something similar happened in the middle school classroom, and I was told that I intimidated some of the children. I questioned whether it is possible I could do the same thing to adults and peers. It seems the answer is yes.

Even though I do not remember the exchange, I can recognize that it had an effect. I can either take the notion that people can react to me the way they wish and it is all on them, or the notion that I am responsible for people feeling comfortable when they are sitting in class with me.  Or realize that it is somewhere in-between the two extremes.

It is not necessary for us to feel comfortable everywhere. In fact, when faced with circumstances that challenge us, we do have choices. I have often left training and classes scratching my head, trying to wrap my brain around what was taught, and feeling exhilarated. I have left classes feeling like I got cracked upside the head by the instructor as well. I have been in situations where it was very uncomfortable to be in the classroom because it seemed other participants were being picked on and times where I really felt for the teachers, because it seemed as if they were being challenged at every turn. It seems that the more I teach the more participants that sit in front of me will have the opportunity to experience all of the above.

It is how we deal with the adversity in life that is just as important as how we deal with the powerful and uplifting experiences. It is the intention and the level of awareness that drives our actions that is much more important than the perceived outcome. It is important to communicate with each other about what we are aware of and what the intention is if the actions have an effect in our direction. It is also important to discern why the actions affect us. We learn and can self-correct from both communication and self-discernment. Both are well worth the challenge. I appreciate those in my life that allow myself this challenge.

Walk Your Talk and Talk Your Walk
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