A theme that came out of our teacher’s group today was overwhelm, the overwhelm that can come from constant empathetic listening when we aren’t first grounded in ourselves, or have lost the grounding in the moment due to factors such as fear, or judgment, or just plain exhaustion. There were a lot of heads nodding…I think we have all experienced it!
Taking the time throughout the day for a micropause of even a few seconds (the heart knows not from minutes or hours) can make the difference between health and burnout.
- How am I feeling in my body?
- How am I feeling in my gut?
- What is on my mind right now?
- What are my intentions for today or this moment?
Directing our awareness to ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually grounds us powerfully, enabling us to be resilient and responsive to our students and emerging situations. It enables us to lead from the emerging future as opposed to re-enacting past patterns.
If we practice this when we are not in the hectic classroom, we can whip it out when we need it, even under pressure. Try attaching this practice to something quotidian; it will help make the process a habit. While you are waiting for the subway in the morning or right after you park your car at school, or even while you brush your teeth in the morning. Just pick a time and do it.
A micropuase also can be used differently. It can be a time when we check our assumptions and connect with the source of our actions. What is leading me to think what I am thinking right now? Am I using old information about someone, or have I left them free to change between the last time I saw them and now? Am I fully aware of my intentions and if those intentions are leading to the desired outcomes?
Shining a light, however briefly, on our internal conditions, will be elucidating, giving us more freedom to become our highest and best future selves.