In this episode, Amy Edelstein talks about the need of our times for greater courage, centeredness and connection to presence, or being. This episode and its guided meditation will start the new year off on a positive and directed note.Support the show
Happy New Year: Establishing Presence, Courage, & Centeredness
Hello, welcome to this edition of The Conscious Classroom podcast. Happy new year, happy 2022. It's the start of the new year and a good time to reflect, to contemplate, to set direction to ground and deeper roots and to really assess. Evaluate what's most important for this year? Moving forward, even though oftentimes it feels like we're completely buffeted by the world around us, that we don't have the wherewithal to control our destinies in the way we'd want.
We do have the capacity to set our own core. To choose the values that we're going to focus on to establish ourselves in the deeper parts of our being. And that will make all the difference as we are navigating a very challenging world navigating times where there's a lot of illness where there's fear around.
Whether it's economic challenge, where there's a sense of division and harshness in the culture around us. So this is the perfect time to really establish ourselves in our own center. When we educate, we're always educating through who we are, how we live our lives. As much as what we do in the classroom and the students absorb all the different dimensions of ourselves in different ways.
And when we have that sense of profound goodness, that the world fundamentally is a good thing, that human beings are fundamentally good. That we don't wish the world to be rid of all homeless sapiens and go back to the time of the dinosaurs. I know we don't really think that way, but sometimes we feel that way in our attitudes, towards the people around us.
It's not the human nature is fundamentally bad, but there is a profound lack of wisdom and insight and groundedness in. It's what we want to commit to is we want to commit to our own increasing understanding insight, perspective, context, kindness towards ourselves and others. So that that's the energy and attitude that we bring into the world.
There are three things I want to talk about in our podcast today. I want to speak a little bit about presence and what it is. I want to speak a little bit about what the great educator Parker Palmer called the courage to teach. And I want to speak a little bit more about committing to our, to grounding in our own sense.
So to begin with, let's do a short guided meditation.
Of course, if you're driving please keep your attention on the road. But if you're in a place where you can release yourself from the clutches of distractions around you, from your phone, from your email. From the news,
look around the room and notice which color or shape or object or direction of the room feels most welcoming. Rest your attention there, or rest your attention. Uh, on the stillness within with your eyes closed,
Allow yourself to sit back into yourself
like a deep dive in a still lake break, the surface of your thoughts and just go straight down. To this stillness,
when you dive in the pool, it doesn't really take any time to break the surface in this short mindfulness exercise. Let yourself dive straight down. Since we don't have much time, it's a quick tip into the debt.
Feel into the experience of stillness. It almost has a sound we're in an energetic, imprint, or vibration.
It almost has a temperature. Like when we're in water, that's the same temperature as our bodies. We almost don't feel it. And yet we know we're being hit.
Allow all the static, the discursive thought, the stray activity in the nervous system to dissipate in that field of presence in that sea of consciousness,
give yourself a few more moments. Allowing the stray activity
to be resolved to even out. And as you do allow yourself to experience the presence, the sense of consciousness. Awareness, support and love
as you bring your attention back to the activity in the room around.
Allow yourself to stay in touch with that resonance. And as we continue to speak about presence, courage, and centerdness keep that experiential recognized. Of what we just happed into that maybe doesn't have a name, but what you know is there,
thank you. That was really pleasant and important. So what is presence and what does it mean to. Presence something using it as a verb. When we feel present, we feel like we're aware we're not distracted. We have a sense of immediacy. And when we tap into that quality of presence, We tap into that experience of being fully awake and aware
with immediacy. And we have that sense that there's a knowingness, which is more like a question mark. And when we can feel that we feel open, we feel. Expectant without grasping, we feel open to what might arise, what insights about our students might come our way, what might be the perfect response to behavioral issue that we'll get everything on track without causing too many ripples.
We might find that solution. To stack of things to do. Presence has a sense of being with, with an open question without already knowing, without straining to discover without leaning forward, without pushing ourselves to become presences that quality. Of love of togetherness, of wholeness, of nothing missing and nothing lacking.
When we are accessing that presence, we feel very connected to our purpose.
As I was thinking about this year ahead, I was thinking about Parker. Palmer's courage to teach in his book, the hidden wholeness, his writings on sensing into presencing, witnessing, holding as possibility that profound courage to act from love. To act from humility to act from not already knowing to act from inspiration.
It takes courage to hold that. Especially in our times, right now, the culture around us is exhausted. Teachers are exhausted. Administrators are exhausted. Children are exhausted. And holding that courage to teach that connection to the love of discovery, the love of transformation, the love of growth and becoming the love of creative potential take is an act of courage and it takes tremendous courage.
To not be allow ourselves to be pulled into the undertow of negativity, but to hold true to our deeper values, to hold true to what we most care about to hold true to that inspiration, which is why we began teaching in the first place.
It's an act of courage. We don't have to adventure to the remote corners of the earth, or put ourselves in dangerous situations where we overcome to demonstrate courage. It takes tremendous courage to go against the chatter of the mind that would SAP our energy and enthusiasm and zest for this. It takes tremendous courage to hold true to why we're in, whether you're a teacher or an administrator, a social worker, a youth mentor, a parent, or a concerned elder or uh, a growing emerging adult growing out of your school year.
It doesn't matter which stage of life we're in or a profession. I think of educate being an educator and being engaged in education as really the pursuit of a life. Well lived the pursuit of a noble purpose. When I use that word. I mean to exclude anyone who doesn't count themselves in that specific profession, the education that we need in our, our complicated world is much broader than that.
It's an education towards wholeness. It's an education towards wellness. It's an education towards the passion to live a life filled with purpose and directionality. And faith in the possibility of a world that can work.
We have to go deep into ourselves to uncover again that always shining nugget appear, inspiration, dedication. And love.
There are many ways that we can encourage ourselves to do that by listening to podcasts like this, by connecting with others who are focused on our whole. Focused on the possibility of, of depth focused on the greatness that human beings can attain and that have focused on really educating so that we all can lose the blinders and the lenses that distort our perception.
And that make us react in less skillful ways that make us cause harm or suffering to others.
If we were able to see and to know deep into the future, the ripples that come out of our unskillful action. We would certainly abandon them, but because of the blinders, the lenses, the distortions on our perception, we don't see, we don't know. We don't understand.
So let's commit to have the courage to live from those days. And to aspire to bring that into the world, in our classrooms, with all the students who were with, with all the colleagues we work with.
And the way to do that, I think is to commit to staying center.
How can we commit to staying centered when the world is blowing us off course, right? Left and center. How can we commit to that?
We can commit to that by engaging in a relationship to our own thoughts and feelings. That's mature. That's Adam.
They where we insist on letting our inner adult hold court.
And we defer to our inner adult when our inner two year old is angry and frustrated by the environment around.
We choose to distract that inner two year old from the temper tantrum, redirecting the energy redirecting because that level of frustration takes us off center. That level of frustration makes us victim to what's happening around us. And we may not be able to control what's happening around us, but we can control to some degree where we rest our attention and what voices, emotions, and feelings that we give our attention.
So this year to make 2022, a year of possibility, a year of growth, not a year just of surviving, but a year of coming together to make the human family truly an expression. Of that profound sensitivity, insight, passion, and compassion that the human race is capable of.
We anchor ourselves in presence encourage, and in our own centeredness, we anchor ourselves in these three ways. So that we're rooted in that sense of not knowing, being open, being humble and being strong.
We are resilient species and that's positive, but resilience can often make us bounce back. From challenge without necessarily deepening and wisdom in order to really teach in this year, moving forward. I think we want to cultivate wisdom more than anything else. We want to cultivate that sense of kindness and love and inside.
And the ability to work with complexity, both in ourselves and our colleagues and in our students, and whether your students are six years old or 60, it's going to take some focus, some conscious effort, some re-evaluating of lesson plans. Covering the same material, but with a slightly different focus,
really inviting our students to think, to value their own sense of discovery and to reach for the highest common denominator in the class. It'll pull everyone up.
So I wish you all a healthy year. I wish you all patience and focus. I wish you all times of deep immersion and that sense of presence. To continually restore and renew yourselves.
And I wish you, most of all, a sense of support and wellbeing and love that comes from the vast goodness in the fabric of life. That comes from the people around us and that most of all comes from within
I'm looking forward to this year and to some great things that we can do together, be well till next time.