It always happens and it pushes my buttons. A student shows up at my workshop to challenge me. These students interrupt me when I’m talking, correct me when I share an observation or act like smug know-it-all types. Perhaps, all teachers face this challenge at some point, but I realized that this challenger shows me my shadow.
I recently taught a Whole Music workshop out of town. After taking a bus, getting settled at my friend’s house (where I was staying), and grabbing something quick to eat, I headed to the book shop where I gave an introductory workshop to four students (word hasn’t caught on about my work yet). My first mistake was that I didn’t ground and center myself before the workshop (not that I had time to do that) and the second mistake was that I engaged in conversations with the students while the clock was running. Meaning, I had an hour and a half to share a lot of material and I wasted it in conversation. When this happens the students lose respect for the teacher and start talking out of turn.
The other lesson which comes from my spirit guides is that they ask me to teach and write for a fifth grade level of understanding. This isn’t because humans aren’t smart enough to understand metaphysical concepts, but that music consciousness is a new field of understanding. My guides also told me to infuse humor and playfulness into my workshops and stop acting scholarly while cramming in way too much information for any student to digest. BTW, many metaphysical teachers make this mistake and leave their student heads spinning.
Astrologers especially lose their students or readers when they talk in astrology jargon, “Well, your Pluto squares your Mercury in angular houses…” Or the Law of Attraction teacher uses phrases that mean nothing to a newbie such as, “You create your reality.” The newbie scratches his head, “Huh, what does she mean by that?” But I digress, once again. The big lesson for me and for other spiritual teachers revolves around making this material playful so we don’t bore others with our big egos. And yes, this lesson hit me in the head over the weekend.
While my first workshop went okay, no one showed up for the intensive the following day. I didn’t listen to my guides and use the introductory workshop to simplify concepts and create an atmosphere of play. While I don’t think I bored the students, I did confuse one and another told her friend that I wasn’t sharp enough for her tastes. She didn’t know I was standing behind her when she said this, then she quickly changed the topic and acted pleased to see me. Earlier, she played the role of the know-it-all who disrupted me while I gave my presentation.
However, she showed me a side of myself that causes me to cringe. How often have I walked into a workshop or a classroom with an attitude? I’m embarrassed to say, more times than I can count. So instead of berating myself, I decided to do some shadow detection work on myself. Hmmm, what would cause a person to feel so insecure that they have to prove their cleverness? They could have had parents who called them slow or stupid. They could have suffered from a learning disability and other children could have called them slow or acted annoyed with them for slowing down the class. They could have worn negative labels about intelligence as a child. And over time this perceived lack of intelligence turned into a gaping wound.
But wounds are ugly and only people who enjoy playing the role of victim expose their wounds to the world. So we repress the wound and overcompensate in the opposite direction. So someone who feels stupid takes more classes, reads books, attends lectures and they strengthen their mental power to prove to the world that they’re not slow. They learn a little about a lot of topics so that they can join urbane conversations as if they’re starring in a Woody Allen movie. Then when they show up at class, they prove that they know more than the teacher. They even give scathing evaluations of their teachers to show how clever they are. God knows, I’ve received enough scathing evaluations from disgruntle students.
And since I’ve hit bottom with one unpopular workshop after another; one disappointment after another, I decided to investigate. I’m not going to blame lack of students on the economy, or the weather or that no one knows who I am yet. Instead, I chose to dive into the muck of my subconscious and clear away evidence of self-sabotage and negative broadcasts I send out to the world because of my insecurities.
You see, as a child, a teacher diagnosed me with dyslexia and this hurt me deeply. I learned to read and write by the end of First Grade, but I still make mistakes. Every time I see a mistake I made, that old voice of “You’re too slow and you can’t keep up with the others,” pops into my heads and drives me to my edge. Physical pain hurts much less than this old voice and the projections that it creates in my life. To compensate for this, I made the choice to work harder than other students. To read everything, take harder classes and delve into any topic that grabbed my attention. I have a good brain, but it has some quirks which cause me to space out at times. My mind loves to wander off on daydreams which bodes well for creative and intuitive pursuits, but leaves me dry in the academic world.
So what I’m getting at is that we all have shadows, these places where we would rather forget because they feel like a knife to our heart every time they crop up. And these projection will keep cropping up until we face them and integrate them into our lives. For instance, suffering from dyslexia caused me to create a mask to prove how intelligent I am, but dyslexia also helped me to develop compassion for others, especially people with learning disabilities.
In fact, my eyes mist when I hear about children having a rough time in school. I also feel this way with adults who have a hard time functioning in the world because they dropped out of school because of learning disabilities. Sometimes they cover this up with a crusty personality, but hurt deeply underneath their tough exterior. They might even abuse their children because of this repressed part of them. Actually I was the recipient of this type of behavior as a child because this pattern is passed down through generations. Double the pain.
If you find a pattern that repeats itself in your life that brings you to your knees, do some shadow detective work. If you keep meeting the same type of person who pushes your buttons, do some shadow detective work. The greater the repressed pain, the greater the charge. Shadows don’t go away on their own if you ignore them. We often see other people’s shadows, but never our own. If we find ourselves constantly blaming other people for our shortcomings or failures, then it’s time to confront the shadow.
The good news is that I have a playful side. I find humor in life and I could easily transform my workshops after swallowing another piece of humble pie. When our spirit guides give us specific directions (because we asked for advice), then it’s time to follow through. Only our egos stop us from paving the road to success. The answer lies in the heart, not the brain. Many dyslexic people are rooted in their hearts and from this space, they have healing gifts they can share with the world. Just because someone can’t read in a straight line doesn’t mean that they lack wisdom. And just like anyone else, once a dyslexic heals their old beliefs and negative perceptions about themselves, they have the power to transform the world. You’d be surprised how many dyslexics forged careers as authors and public speakers. They’re the ones that bring you to your knees and fill your eyes with tears.
I’m now giving astrology and intuitive readings at Inspiration Alley in Bellingham, Washington. Go to Whole Music for details. Are you an artist requiring motivation, inspiration or direction? Ask for a coaching session. Are you a parent of an Indigo Child? I give pediatric astrology chart readings.