“Inch by inch, life’s a cinch.”- Anonymous
Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just relax and let the good stuff happen. For whatever reason, in my case, when all the things I enjoy doing start happening at once, it is easy to feel stressed out and start looking for ways to avoid the feelings that come up. This week I had this experience as I prepared for our Extended School Year session in Culver City Unified. I am also preparing for our weekly radio show, and to take the stage at the Italian Cultural Institute to interview my co-host, and local author, Darrell Fusaro on Thursday night. Even though it is all came together rather smoothly, there was a part of mind that wanted to head for the hills.
I think this is all part of the process of embarking on new and exciting things. It is like starting a car that has been sitting for a while. There can be a few hiccups and sputters from the engine before it finally turns over and starts to purr. I recently read, in a book by Florence Scovel Shinn, that before something new and exciting occurs the old thought patterns, often of the limiting variety, must be brought into the light and released.
One of the limiting beliefs that I am releasing is the belief that, in order to be successful, I must stress out and get things done by the force of my own will. With regards to teaching, this is an insane thought considering the amount of people in our district, including parents and students, who are collaborating to make this summer session a success. Not to mention, the support of my own friends and family, and all of you who read these articles and send me encouraging thoughts and words.
Nevertheless, this week I have had the opportunity to use all my tools in order to take one simple step at a time, and set myself up for an enjoyable five weeks of teaching. By taking my time, and using my tools, I have been able to relax into the anticipation, and have appreciated the support that I have received along the way. From the teacher, whose room I will be occupying, getting it all cleaned out on a moments notice, to the program specialist and department secretary who provided me with supplies, everyone has taken the steps required to help my classroom set sail smoothly. Now all that is left to do is show up and enjoy the time I have with my students.
There is a part of me that likes the feeling of getting things done. I remember the overwhelmed feeling I experienced when my son was born. When Elliot came into the world, I learned a great deal about taking one step at a time. Parenthood and teaching, like life, cannot be forced. There are so many variables that are beyond our control. The only sane path through is to learn to actually enjoy the process, to have confidence that there is loving hand behind it all, and that in the end, we will look back on our experience and smile.
One thing we can all do right now is take a moment to appreciate what is present. Feel the nervous energy that comes up when we are embarking on something new. Let it be okay to feel scared, and it might soon turn into excitement. I tried, in the past, to control my feelings. I would pretend that I was feeling fine, when I was not. It never worked out very well. Now that I am able to sit in the process and laugh about what is coming up, or even cry about it, I reestablish my connection to a sense of peace that goes beyond the daily happenings. So take a moment and relax into the unknown. Talk to a friend about how you are feeling, or sit in quiet reflection. Remember why it is you embarked on your journey in the first place. This is a great way to welcome the best that life has to offer as we move forward one step at a time.
Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District. He is also co-host of the popular radio show, Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed, live each week, Wednesdays at 3 pm on www.UnityOnlineRadio.org. Visit www.TappingIntoGenius.com for more articles and a free, inspirational parenting download.