Being A Student… To Yourself!

Montmartre

Image by John Althouse Cohen via Flickr

Self-Care Tip #240 – Be a student to yourself.

The PossAbilities Triathlon today was the best.  It was the first triathlon for my young niece.  Doing it with her made it so much more than just a triathlon.  She is someone who works hard on what she loves.

Her father, who is my brother Vance, and I had more time to chat today, thanks to my niece’s excellent pacing.  Vance is a natural teacher as well and he’s been practicing on me our whole lives together.  The fact that we are old now doesn’t change the dynamics much and I think we are both just fine with that.

Today we talked about teaching directly.  Vance said,

To teach well, first you have to understand what their fears are, and waylay them.  Then you inspire, but you can’t inspire until the fears are examined at some level and trust grows.

Isn’t that lovely?  So my question for us today, is how do we do this for ourselves?  Sure, we want to be humble students as well as educators in the teams we work with involving others.  However, reducing this to the basics of self-care, we finger the idea that this can start right here, where things start and end with “Me.”

Understand our fears and let them lose their power over us.  Then spend our time and energy on what inspires us.  This is how we can teach ourselves and learn from ourselves!  What a delight.

Questions:  What do you think about the idea of being a good teacher to yourself?  Is it ridiculous?  Arrogant?  Possible or not?  How do you teach yourself?  Is it the same as a “doctor-heal-thyself” trap, or as described in this bl0g-post, “teacher teach thyself?”  Is there still self-care potential in this, despite its obvious limitations?  Please tell me your story.

What’s Happening in Your Space?

Almost finished a triathlon today.  If it wasn’t for that chafing because I forgot my biking shorts, I think I would have.  I was wearing surfer shorts.  I will never poke at people who whine about chafing.  They’re right!  It hurts!  Enough for me to cut my run in half twice.  And I walked.   People I saw afterward kept saying “At least you finished!”  I felt like I had to confess but then I’d want to explain so I left it all out which I know in itself is a little lie if there is any such thing as a little lie, so I’m atoning by confessing to you.  There.  (Breath.)

The truth is, even though I cut across lawn, and walked the cross walk, and broke all sorts of athlete-codes of honor, I had such a wonderful time.  With all my abbreviating, I caught up with my brother, Vance Johnson, and his 10% body fat.  He’s always been sensitive, so he kindly slowed to walk me down the last stretch.  We don’t get to spend enough time together and even a few moments like that are golden!  We were laughing and strolling and probably looking too pleased to be appropriate for the last 40 yards of a long race.  So, of course it took us both a few extra seconds to realize what the woman had yelled as her large frame thundered by.  “If you aren’t going to race, get off the road!”  It was extra shocking because it was like a parallel universe suddenly collided ours.  We were happy.  I with my swollen inner thigh, and Vance with his little sister as audience.  It was over-cast, perfect weather for the day.  The beach was a few yards to our right.  Everything else was San Diego green.  Then, Pow!  “Get off the road!”

At first, I was ticked.  “Listen …,” I said in my mind.  Not nice.  But then I saw my brother.  How could I be angry?

There were many scenarios of this woman’s life that a carousel flashed on the screen in my mind.  Maybe none of them were true. Maybe she was simply an avid committed athlete who found us people soiling her turf.  Whatever the situation was, she was finishing the race and looked like she’d done well for her potential.  She hadn’t cut lawn and street.  She wasn’t walking.  She was running or galloping or something.  But she wasn’t happy about any of it.  Looking back, she might see us as the reason her mood soured.  Regardless the reason or the date and time of onset, she was sour.

It was only a few moments really that my thoughts stayed on her.  Vance had moved on to another subject and I didn’t want to miss it.  Reflecting now though, of course I’m struck by the perspective of success and failure.  A race is a perfect stage for demonstrating something with a beginning, middle and ending.  Sounds like a shortened version of life.

I’m not sure who first said that there is only one beginning and one ending to life.  “It’s the journey that matters.”  Probably God.  Someone who is timeless and infinite would get that.  Today He blessed us with that.  I can’t count on myself to have it the next time.  God knows I’ve been the one screaming something like, “Get off the road!” enough times before.  But next time, I hope I remember what God gave Vance and me today.  I hope I will succeed as happily as I did today when I lost the race.

Self Care Tip #65 – Get into the in-between spaces in your life and go for the joy!  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What have you been finding in your own space?  What do you think?

If you’d like to read more blog posts on the journey, read here.