Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Lessons From My Teacher

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Caroline Myss

Update: Something interesting happened to me after writing this initial post. Obviously our earthly teachers, mentors and guides are humans...just like us. As humans we make mistakes and have opinions for starters. By her own admission, Caroline Myss labels herself "obnoxiously opinionated." On this we both agree! However, there are many times that I have not agreed with Caroline Myss. After listening to the taped version of my missed Chicago seminar, I realized just how far apart we are in some basic ideologies. And sometimes her "obnixious opinions" interfered with my ability to absorb a lesson or a point. Certainly, I don't think that was her intention, but nevertheless it's what happened to me.

So, will I continue to claim her as a teacher?

Yes. Yes, I will. Is it okay that I disagree with her? Yes. Yes, it is.

Original Post
She doesn't know she's my teacher. I take that back. Maybe she does. Maybe she saw the roster with my name and the names of 250 other students on it a few weeks ago. Never mind that I never made it to the class in the first place. Remember the failed trip to Chicago?

But surely she knows. Right?

Of course she doesn't know. And the truth is it really doesn't matter. Whether we ever exchange a word or not isn't important because I have learned so much simply by reading my teacher's words and listening to her lectures and radio show. What matters is what I have learned.

Today, while doing some mindless tasks I tuned in to Caroline Myss's most recent radio show archived on HayHouse Radio. During the show, she talked about self-esteem. This piqued my interest because I have been talking to GirlTech students recently about self-esteem.

She told us things I already know, but what I love about my teacher is that she articulates the ideas so beautifully. Makes me want to say: "Yeah, what she said."

Caroline explained to a caller, "Each person has to earn self-esteem." I agree. People don't arrive here fully loaded with or without the self-esteem gene. It's something that living your life helps you grow. Some of us have more challenges than others, sometimes this makes a person grow stronger and sometimes, it leaves one with stuff to overcome. No matter, it's the culmination of our experiences and how we deal with them that develop or destroy our concept of self.

Caroline said something else that interested me. She said, "The illusion is that you get self-esteem by pleasing others." When we think about this we know she's right. An important question to ask ourselves is are we still making desicions because of what the all important others might think? Caroline tells us it's as if we think all this people pleasing activity will eventually rid of us our need for approval. If you continue down this path, the opposite is the result. Our need for approval from others intensifies leaving us without confidence and lost. Before signing off today, Caroline gave us some tips about how to help ourselves and to build self-esteem.

So, I'm sharing a little Caroline Myss wisdom with you. To take steps toward a more powerful you:

1. Release the fear of humiliation.
2. Face your fears.
3. And keep promises you make to yourself.

Hmmmm. I think this is easier than it sounds. As always, though, I am up for trying. And you know what? I'll continue this discussion in a few days or so. We'll start with releasing the fear of humiliation first.

Think you'd like to read some of Caroline's books. I suggest starting with "Anatomy of the Spirit." If you have an illness or health issues, you might benefit from her earlier work, "Why People Don't Heal."


Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Aha! I finally get to meet the other Carolyn! I've heard so much about you, Carolyn. Glad to read about you, too. Its obvious your fants will go to great lengths to connect with you. (-:

Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Nicole said...

Ah yes, please let's do start with releasing the fear (of whatever actually). I need an apprenticeship on that one. I want to watch and listen while someone demonstrates that so that I can copy every nuance of the act. =)

I have Anatomy of the Spirit. It is always very inviting. I seem to get to a certain point and then skip around, or stop. Recently I've learned that this is a symptom of my commitment phobias...what I can easily translate into, "I'm not ready."

But I suppose it's true. I can't hear or see the possibilities until I'm ready. And in my case, ready often involves being so darn sick of something that I'd rather die than continue doing it.

I'm ready to hear you tell me more about this. You are one of my teachers. Teach away! I'm listening and watching, knowing you are on a good path, one I can emulate to some degree.

I think choosing our teachers is really the very first step. So now let's release the fears! Huzzah!

Anonymous said...

I just spent a week with one of the survivors of the Sunchon Tunnel Massacre. Again, I am amazed at the personal courage of these men. Their power comes from having put aside those things that most of us worry about...what we weight, what we look like, how we sound ... how we measure up against other people. They focus on life itself...what it means, how it tastes, how it precious it really is.

When I find my courage drifting, I think about why I'm lost...and realize that it's about focusing on myself rather than the tasks at hand...perhaps I'm saying the same thing...but it's sobering ...

Thanks for a great post, Allyn.

Joyce Faulkner
Co-author of Sunchon Tunnel Massacre Survivors
Author of For Shrieking Out Loud
Author of In the Shadow of Suribachi

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks for all the comments!

Joyce, I know what you mean. There are so many experiences that make you wonder..."What the hell was I thinking?" And, "How come I'm self absorbed about all these things that don't matter."

You are so right...And your comment gives me much to think about.