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Life has been an important teacher in life and my faith mostly but also important love ones that help guide me with challenges.
Everyday I have new teachers. Some days it is a spontaneous five year old exploring new ways of interacting with the world. Some days it’s a seasoned friend sharing a burden of her heart and trusting me to help hold space with her. And some days – like today – it is a new friend who shares a confidence and I bolt out in her defense too quickly. All are teachers.
The occasions I take to look back on my life, have been my best teacher!
I can see how all things work together to create the now!
There has been a few who invite, implore or demand I look again, differently or deeper. The garden and trees in particular have much to share. And Bella, my kelpie dog is the epitome of Joy.
This is really funny, I was just talking about how much I loved my teacher and I got this prompt. My senior year teacher that I was a TA for. I struggled a lot with my academic and personal life and i told her a lot about it and she helped me get through it and defended me. I have been meaning to catch up and talk to her again, I guess I will do it now.
Too many teachers to name. Life itself … Grateful for all here, the journey, and another day to keep showing up, practicing and learning …
Grateful today for much needed rain! Our trees are turning stunning shades of red, orange, yellow, in spite of a recent drought in our Pacific rainforest climate. One local community is on severe restrictions with diminishing reserves of water. Reflecting on practices around water use and management stepping into this day …
I have a 6 year old son with autism who has taught me about patience and acceptance; he does things in his own way and in his own time, and it took a lot of work for me to be ok with that. He makes me a better person daily. 💛
My new cat Rudi is my current teacher, as I try to figure out how to keep us both as happy as possible: 1. make my peace with a bit of gentle nipping; 2. give him plenty of time out in the condo hall – encourage him to get some exercise there and get lots of steps on my pedometer too; 3. don’t let his attempts to nip me prevent me from carrying him into our condo when I want; etc 🙂
I forgot to mention my cats. They teach me love without control.
Honestly, the most important and consistent lessons I’ve learned, have been from observing or experiencing what NOT to do and how I don’t want behave. However, there are and have been people in my life that I would like to emulate. I did have a couple of teachers in junior high school that had an impact on me. One was a history teacher that taught me to question my assumptions and how to think critically. The other was a photography teacher that taught me about composition, lighting, and how to look at the world through a lens. I use their lessons and hear their voices every day.
Kindness, my mentor of 27 years (RIP) and my son and daughter all immediately come to mind. I’m thankful for my ability to read and the many authors who I’ve never had the privilege to meet but whose words have challenged me and helped me grow. My personal experience–the school of hard knocks– has taught me that I must always remember that I have not walked in another person’s moccasins. Knowledge and knowing are not always the same thing. The principles of Toltec and 12-step have also aided me on my human sojourn.
Beautiful Carol. Thank you! ‘knowledge and knowing are not always the same thing’. Yes! 🙂 In university I stumbled on the book ‘Women’s Ways of knowing – The development of Self, voice and mind’. It was published in 1986. I still refer to it on occasion. The four writers interviewed women from all walks about their journey to find an inner self and voice. They frame the journey through silence, listening to the voices of others, hearing and finding our inner voice, questing for self, and with time integrating voices. Such a journey!
I also appreciate your reference to Toltec wisdom and the 12 step path. So many wise guides in our world when / as we are ready and willing! Also, as Antoinette expresses so beautifully, the letting go …
Hi KC, It took me many, many, many years to find my voice but I have and that’s a good thing because I’m not a spring chicken! Did some research on the book you mentioned. Quite interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Emotions, experiences, practices, and being fully engaged in the present are essential factors in my continual unfolding and awakening. However, I would be egoic if I didn’t acknowledge the Divine doing business as so many I’ve been blessed with whom to engage. Some of my teachers are long-term relationships (parents, children, my first yoga teacher, and Swami J). Some are also people I’ve had casual encounters with, but they bring wisdom when you least expect it. All of this is grace.
Most of the important teachers in my life were the negative emotions I felt as a child. Growing up my therapist taught me how to use them to heal myself (may the Universe bless her soul!) and I’m still learning, because it takes time, patience and self-compassion.
There are also positive emotions and I want to concentrate myself on them, but the first thought always goes to my traumas – maybe it happens because I’m trying to heal them.
my guru and all other spiritual leaders and seekers, from many different religious callings
It was when I realized that one of the fundamental purposes of our time here was to learn and teach that I became more readily open and available to what I often refer to as the Magnificent Now. For the first time in my life I knew faith; that this moment, whatever it was, contained exactly what the conscious and reciprocal nature of universe intended for me to understand if I could remain coachable.
My two dogs. They remind me that everyone will always be loved by someone, even if its just a pet. Coming home at the end of the day and feeling their unconditional love makes life easier because without love what do we really have?
My 10th English teacher who taught me to appreciate literature and to write a clear well constructed analysis. The writing skills he taught me served me well in my work years. I often say, “Teachers saved my life.” One of those teachers was my husband.
Many older women in my life who filled voids in my family.
Just want to add that sometimes we can learn from the least likely person or thing if we are open to learning.
Dear Rabbit, I think it’s in the Bible somewhere – that a wise person can learn from a fool, but a fool can’t learn even from a wise person 🙂
Perfect and appropriate.
Children….who have taught me the simple joys in life.
There have been many through out my life. My grandfather, father, stepmother (my birth mother died when I was 5) several old farmers whom I worked for with when young. Working with livestock, sheep, cattle, horses, growing crops, vegetable gardening. My wife of 34 years, children and grandchildren. Most recently a bunch of folks that I have read their works, listened to their words all involved in my “Radical Acceptance” of my addiction and now in my recovery. And daily reading the words of all the good folks who reflect here.
Two wise women who became my spiritual directors and friends, one still living and in touch with me at the age of 100. Forever grateful.
This is remarkable and a true gift!
Books come to mind. “Radical Acceptance” by Tara Brach. “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle. Kathleen Singh’s “The Grace in Aging.”
These all came into my life at exactly the right moment and brought new ways of living with them. I still refer to their wisdom.
Laura, I relate!
My husband, John, taught me to value who I am and my potential. He was a man who lived by his values and his faith. He became sick in mid-life and had to give up is career. I saw his wise approach which was to reinvent himself and carry on with what he was able to do. He did not want me to be his shadow. He wanted me to be my own person so he supported and encouraged me to try anything I wanted to try, to taken on challenging things and so much more. He passed away seven years ago and I am still learning from him and am inspired by him. What I learned from him has helped me in adapting to living on my own. Forever grateful for 43 years with John, first and foremost my soulmate, but also my teacher.
Pat, I’ve always heard that when you have a beautiful relationship like the one you had with your husband that you will manifest that person’s qualities when they are gone from this world. I saw that happen in my Mom’s life when my stepfather died. Thanks for such a beautiful and inspiring message.
Thanks Carol for telling me about manifesting a very special person’s qualities. Had never thought of it but I experience John participating in my life in a way that is hard to put into words. If ever I have the courage, I will write about it. Seems risky to share those things with people who might think I just have a wild imagination. Just before John passed he told me that we need to find a way to stay in communication. I recognize him all over the place. My heart is filled with gratitude.
Mary Pat, Thanks for your note. As I read it, I smiled. It was a reminder that everything is made of energy and science tells me that energy does not die. I often pray that when I pass, the energy that is released will be positive, uplifting and compassionate energy that contributes to evolution. I have no doubt that John wished the same. You do not come across in your posts as a person with a “wild imagination.” No, the description that comes to mind is “an open heart and an open mind.” Sincerely, Carol
That’s really touching, Pat! Thank you for sharing.
I was very anxious before I hit send. Your response is encouraging.
This is beautiful Pat. Thank you. Sounds like you could write a book of his and your teachings.
When I saw the word “book” in your message I thought, oh no, there it is again. Others have encouraged me to write and I have been resisting. Guess I’m slow at guessing the message. Thanks for responding.
Maybe not the great novel. Maybe just a very short post of teachings on-line everyday. Or, something for your family and friends. Just listen to your own heart. I went to a class once on writing your life story. One of the things the teacher taught was the more you write the more you remember. Like other things you would have to want to do it so if you don’t that is ok too. We only have so much precious time. That is probably one of your teaching. 💜
Farming, working the land and working with livestock as a young adult.
Working with children for forty years.
Heeding a call to Ministry.
Letting go has been the most important teacher in my life. And I don’t mean shoving away or hiding. The art of letting go is a gift from the heart.
Because of gods Grace/Truth I don’t have to hold on to anything. Completely entrusted in Truth I let go and surrender. No need to worry or fight anymore.
My greatest teacher has been Truth with the help of many people.
I’m so grateful for this life. Thank you .
Antoinette, I hear “the willingness to be vulnerable” in every word. Makes me smile!
my Uncle Ken. aka “Unk” to my generation of cousins. A Roman Catholic priest living 1920-2001, passing exactly one week before 9/11.. A skilled listener, living within his own wounded soul. Passionate about musicals, cooking, gardening, made his own vestments and parish liturgical displays. He taught me the principles of true servanthood. “to forfeit something of value for someone or something of greater value” He Blessed my life in many ways..
Thank you. We need more religious leaders that hold his values.
Beautiful, Carla! Thank you.
Carla , he sounds like a wonderful person. Thanks for sharing .
Karel, my husband. He was sincere and honest in his expressions and conduct in a kind way. Sometimes it was difficult for me or for people because the truth didn’t always want to be heard, but in the end I was and they were grateful to him for the opportunity to move on. He passed away, but I feel his guidance and love. He remains my great inspiration 💞
So beautiful Christine. It is always such a gift to hear you write about Karel and the deep, true love you shared, and share … Much love for your day, KC
Christine, Thanks for sharing…
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