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Archive for January, 2012

Lesson 1; Status

So after my misery of not getting a job I didn’t want to apply for in the first place and then realizing it was not some paranormal plot to sabotage my life, I began to journal.  I realized that I had been purposefully ignoring the very beginning of the experience; the original job was for the paraprofessional position.  I cringe at the thought floating in the back of my mind that accuses I didn’t apply for it because some part of me felt I was “better” than a para position.  That I did not put in as much effort into getting that original position because I wanted a teaching position, because I have a teaching degree.  My mind knows this is not true but my gut is stomping around inside in disagreement.  It’s not easy to admit and face the things about yourself you don’t like but it is the only way to find the real answers. 

I know I have problems with status.  Even though the Universe doesn’t see people as better, smarter, higher, or further along; we as a society do.  Status is the position of an individual in relation to another(dictionary.com) and I know I sometimes can’t help comparing myself to someone else.  Status and Caste systems have been a part of humanity since the moment one person had something someone else didn’t.  If one caveman found something rare then that one person had more, was slightly better and the comparative adjectives began.  Status is used to establish and keep order in civilizations.  I was raised to honor my parents.  My father was in the Navy and it was impressed upon me that even though I answered to him, he answered to his chief and he to his and he to his eventually all the way up to the president.  We all have our place in the hierarchy and I fit myself where I’m supposed to be.  We all do.

For some time I have been aware that my attitude differs with my spiritual beliefs. Years ago, I was crushed when I had to once again don a uniform when I took a part-time job at the mall.  I was embarrassed when someone I knew in high school saw me working there.  I went to college!  I used to be a teacher and now my job was telling people where to find the bathroom.  But Buddhism teaches we are all the same, everything on and in the earth was created from the same divine energy.  To the universe I hold the same value as the president.  I am the same value as the man sleeping in the street.  We are all equal.  In Christianity we are all God’s children.  We are all loved and valuable in his sight, from the least of us to the greatest.   So why do I have such a hard time being myself in front of my boss?  Why do I find my mind comparing my abilities, my body, and even my personality with others’?

I am a substitute teacher and what I need to learn is that according to the Universe my job is just as valuable as classroom teacher’s position.  According to the Universe I am just as capable of changing the world as a sub as I am being a teacher or a principal or the president.  I am given the rare opportunity to interact with a multitude of children with a minimal focus on content and a maximum focus on being mindful of the soul standing before me.  I don’t have to worry about MCAS scores and I can take the time to teach about kindness or honesty or any other concept teachers can’t fit into their curriculum anymore because the state demands more content and less life lessons.  Being a sub is a rare opportunity.  I need to take that into my heart.

Lesson 1; Accept you are where you are supposed to be.  Recognize the value of your work and stop trying to be “more” or do “less” than what you are being called to do in this moment.  Be mindful.  Be Kind.  Be you. 

So let me get this straight,  I’m supposed to accept my status so I will learn that there is no status?  Yeah, ok, I got that.  Wait, what am I supposed to do again?

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Bring It…On?

It still surprises me how different the Universal approach to learning is from what I know and understand.  On earth, in our schools we teach with the progressive approach.  We teach one skill or knowledge and then we build on it.  You can’t teach a child to read if they don’t know their letters and letter sounds.  You can’t expect a child to add if they haven’t been taught letter value.  You start with one lesson, asses to see if the material has been absorbed, if it has, you move on, if it hasn’t, you reteach, hopefully with a different approach, assess again, and repeat.  It is all very linear and logical. 

Spiritual lessons don’t come that way.  If you remember the eddy analogy from a prior post, Spiritual lessons come four or five at a time from different directions and in different ways.  Each one waits for understanding and then finally (If I’m lucky) they all come together.   It works I guess.  I mean I did learn last time right? (can’t begin to tell you how much I am holding on to that thought) The problem is that it becomes rather difficult for a human to put into words what is happening.  These last two weeks have been laden with lessons and messages and after all is said and done what have I learned?  I now know what I am going to be taught.  Yes! after two weeks (feels like four) of struggle and real hard work I have finally received the syllabus for my next class.  I’m still only on my first day! Are you kidding me?  Here is the convuluded outline I have so far.

  • Heed the Patterns (final assessment from last lesson)
  • Rejection
  • Misery
  • Love
  • Status
  • Service
  • Mother Theresa
  • Hollow Bone
  • Shamanism
  • Shadow
  • Shamanism
  • Mindful eating (what!)
  • The call
  • Shamanism
  • Ego

 Do you see a connection?  I read somewhere that when the mind just goes with too many ideas at the same time it could be a sign of mental illness, maybe after this is all over I’ll get some help.  Keep in mind that in today’s society Joan of Arc would have been medicated and never would have won all those battles and the next King would have never been crowned.  Granted she wouldn’t have been burned at the stake either…there I go again.

 The good news is that in the Universal Classroom you don’t have to take notes.  If you forget something it will come to you when you need it.  Which is good because I can’t quiet remember what I have already learned about each topic.  As a matter of fact when I look at the list my mind sort of gets all fuzzy.   I got so much work ahead of me.  Half of me is terrified, “no thank you I think I’ll just stay here and be quiet and moderatly happy.”   The other half is like… “Yeah! Bring it on!” Shut up Brave (crazy) half…. Deep Breath.  OK, (sigh) Bring it on.

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