Thursday, March 1, 2012

Teachers, Friends and Birthdays

Gosh my thinking cap has been screwed on so tightly lately. I've been thinking about the role of a teacher, and I've been thinking about the role of a friend. And sometimes, in my free time, I think about one of my favorite things to think about: birthdays! Today is tipsandtricks' six month birthday. Woot! Happy Birthday tipsandtricks!

I've been thinking about how tipsandtricks got started. There was a time when I used to teach a lot of yoga classes. One of the places where I taught wanted me to start each class with a "dharma talk". At first, that part of class was the hardest for me. It really made me feel like a teacher, and who was I to be a teacher? I felt shy. But then, thanks to lots of hours clocked meditating, the idea of what it means to be a teacher opened up. This opening first had me looking at how being a teacher can be like being a friend. Sometimes, I have friends who ask me for my feedback. Lots of times, the feedback I have for them is not so much about them but about me. They'll tell me about something that's going on with them and it will remind me of something that happened to me and I'll tell them how I dealt with it and what I learned. What a relief for that dharma thing I had to do! I no longer had to think up something important to say! Pheeew! Incidentally, this transformation in my being also helped me not get my heart broken when I found out that MY TEACHERS were, ACTUALLY, humans.

My heart goes out to some of my dear friends whose teacher is in a big old-fahioned-yoga-style scandal right now. More than ever, I deeply believe in the teacher within each one of us, while still believing in the importance of having a teacher outside of each one of us. It says something on my tipsandtricks bio about how I am grateful for the teacher in everything. That may sound kinda woo-woo but its true. The other day, I was telling a lady a story. The story was personal, and it meant something to me to be sharing it with her. While I was talking, she got out her phone and started looking at it. It seemed to me she was no longer paying attention to what I was saying, so I stopped talking. She figured out before too long I had stopped and said something about how rude she was being. There's that good old teacher in everything again! I chose in that moment to ward off my judgment. For this quick and painless example of how I will choose not to behave, I am grateful. Just as I am grateful to all of the people who I am surrounded by everyday who teach me more about how I do want to be.

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