Do you ever find it difficult to deal with new situations? Last weeks blog Hiding under a Rock - Confessions of a Terrified Swimmer explored some helpful ways to deal with new situations. I am very thankful to have received this wise advice. This weeks blog is another opportunity to share with you ways i have been able to put this wise advice into practice.
A few years ago I was asked to teach a group of people. I had been studying myself for some time but certainly did not feel ready to lead such a group. I was terrified and look for all kinds of excuses to stay hidden under my rock. Around the same time I was asked to teach a yoga class at a retreat at a yoga Ashram. I was part way through my yoga teacher training and certainly not confident or in my view competent to teach a yoga class with thirty plus people in it! Both these teaching opportunities had me terrified beyond belief. I needed some help. I had all sorts of crazy escape plans including ringing the Ashram to tell them that the yoga teacher coming for the retreat had not finished her training; in the hope they would ban me. I was fortunate enough to receive some very wise advice, which helped me though both situations. Actually it got that terrified me out of the way so I could do my best to pass on what had been so helpful to me, in the hope it may be of benefit to others.
We all have many skills and talents that we can share to benefit others. I knew enough (not a lot) about both philosophy and yoga and I could so my best to share what I knew. In order to do this though I needed to get that scared Maree who was so worried about what might happen, what others would think etc. out of the way. I was then free to focus on being available to do the best I could for whoever turned up. I now realize when I focus on how I can be of benefit others and stop worrying about myself, that I find true happiness and meaning in my life.
As I said we all have unique talents and skills. It does not matter what we do. We can serve in a bakery, sell clothes, teach, parent, lay bricks or be a doctor. As long as it is with this attitude of connecting with and benefiting others, whatever we do we can't go wrong. Our only responsibly is to do our best to kindly share these skills and talents with others and let go of the result.
A friend of mine shared some helpful advice about this in relation to teaching. She told me
This advice has been so useful to me and helps me get over my fear of teaching each week. It has also made it possible for me to be a teacher of yoga and philosophy, speak to large groups of people, and even tap dance in Moomba and live on stage at the National Theatre!
I have a responsibility to myself, those who have kindly taught me and those who want to know or see what I know to continue to do my best to share what has helped me. I can rest in the intention of doing my best to share and let go of my self-consciousness, expectation of appreciation or approval from others and give it to myself. I am doing my best for others, which may not go the way I planned, like when I completely forgot what I was meant to be doing with my cane in the tap concert, which of course was perfect and provided lots of laughs for us all. Learning to let go of fear and expectation and doing my best to what needs to be done for others at the time is a much more fun, kind and peaceful way to go.