The greatest teacher you could possibly have is a child aged around 3-4 years old. They are born leaders living and playing in the moment.
Why the greatest teacher?
They are the MOST authentic beings on the planet. Young babies and children can simply 'be' with success or failure. They, along with informed high class athletes!
"They allow the mind to go where it is going to go." Garret Kramer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gxV5GefFRI
There are no holds barred with a tiny child, everything is 'normal' being able or being unable is part of the ebb and flow of play. Turning up to life or the nursery day by just being yourself allows play to flow through the day.
If you have time to watch Garret Kramer in the clip above, he coaches many famous athletes and talks of their having secure or insecure thinking as we older folk have. (Older than 4years).Garret tells a true tale. As a famous golfer approached the 18th hole in a hugely publicised national game, he has grave doubts about his shot and suffers a panic attack.
"What did you do?" Asks Garret
"I lived with where I was and tried the shot anyway." Just like the nursery aged children, this international golfer just went with the flow of where he was, success or not was only his thinking - the path of least resistance was to take the shot through the thinking.
How can we achieve this authentic flow in our classrooms and meetings?
Usually life in education is metred out, timetabled, measured and cyclical. As soon as we reach the end of one year, another begins. Often we don't manage to finish everything we had hoped to, nor do we manage to achieve a sense of completion. Add a touch of worry or a life circumstance to this means heavier thinking, and bingo! The normal ebb and flow of daily life begins to feel more like the push and pull in opposite directions. Perhaps a feeling of dread or doom follows; maybe grumpiness, and that pupil you hadn't noticed suddenly becomes irritating. The marking seems insurmountable and the day longer than a decade. Your mind state falls below zero (if it were measured in temperature).
Restoring the flow isn't just about resilience
Resilience is spoken of publicly far more often than a year ago, held aloft as something to attain rather than something we are all born with. You see this in action with babies and toddlers persisting at their play even through failure or less success. Like toddlers we always have resilience within. We sometimes lose the sense of it, burying it in content (judgements, irritability, fears, doubts).
As we experience some thought as negative or of less value (unlike the toddlers at play or the champion golfer) we react to it, perceiving it to be real. When we allow our mind to go right down the middle of any feeling - good, bad, indifferent, it is least resistant. It is more aligned with our well being.Do you see?
Our thoughts come and go moment to moment, regardless of any emotions and feelings, or external circumstances. And when we are in a resistant place our thoughts are not to be trusted because we do not have our usual clarity - seeing events through our poor thinking. The famous golfer coached by Garret knew this. He knew that to play on, was his best option and path of least resistance. You cannot solve problems from a resistant way of thinking. If you are struggling with something, find a space of ease. For example, there are things in teaching I never used to like. Long meetings without impact; moaning adults; small yet challenging uninteresting daily tasks; that particular irritating governor. I know these are my judgements, my lists of where I sense most resistance. And when I am tired, the list becomes longer and heavier. I can laugh at myself far more today, because I know it's me reacting and it brings such ease knowing that all those irritable things are my irritable thoughts. Nothing to blame but me!
Your thinking is an inside out experience, created by you. It is not your intellect. NOT your intellect. This can be hard to grasp because our true nature is invisible and deeper than words or problem solving. There are fundamental principles at play here, something infinitely more intelligent and expansive than we could imagine. If we think we are in charge, in control, then who guides a single acorn to become the oak ? The birds to migrate? We are aware of this natural flow of things, we breathe and have a heart beat. Everything ever created has a response - an awareness of its existence. Consciousness, awareness of life itself, is a gift of life, a life we create or think about moment by moment.
With this understanding, comes a flow and shift in our thinking. A shift to an easier place where you see that any overwhelming situations, frustrations or irritating pupil is merely your own resistant thinking. We all have a choice of response, to believe our thinking no matter what, or to understand how it fluctuates and creates illusions. To experience ease and success comes from a place of well being. A place ever present - before the intellect, a place where we live fully in the moment. NOW time.
The NOW time feels spacious and expansive, uncluttered by anything. This is where our true well being resides.
For further reading on this psychology see https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07P45NQ8R Simply Being YOU