Has it been one of those days and it’s only 8:15am? (Well, let’s face it. Has it been one of those years, too?) If you haven’t yet, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ll have to teach – even when you’re exhausted. But how do you teach effectively and authentically when you’re exhausted (or angry, or numb, or hormonal or or or…?)
This is a short helpful blog to get you up and going, authentically, when you’re not feeling the love. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go find it. You get to start where you are!
Your first instinct might be to “fake it ’til you make it” but that’s not going to help you show up in an authentic manner nor will it help you sweep away that exhaustion. In fact, it will make you feel more exhausted. Don’t push! Don’t force an emotion, energy or speed that just isn’t there. Remain “in your body” and assess first what you’re dealing with (anger, fear, hunger, apathy etc.)
It may sound far too simple but a good deep inhalation can do wonders for the body, mind and spirit. So go ahead – take a much needed moment or two and focus on your breath. Remember, there’s nothing harder than forcing the breath (there’s that “don’t push” again) so when you’re ready, I like to say “let the breath drop in.” When you allow this, your body knows what to do. In fact, your body wants to breathe. Allow your body to do its job. Stop and allow your lungs to breathe deeply.
Name the Present Moment
What’s happening in this moment? Say it out loud. This is where the Arts Integration comes in to assist. There is an acting exercise that many performers utilize before stepping into the scene at hand. In order to get where they want to be (emotionally, physically, mentally) they first assess where they are in the present moment and then find a way to bridge the gap. Because it’s a long road to get from A to B when you are denying that A exists. So, in this exercise, it may sound something like: “I feel angry, my heart is pounding, I want to scream <maybe you scream to get it out> etc. Then the bridge building begins: “Well, when I’m angry I feel heavy so I’m going to let that anger ground me which makes me feel more stable and secure….” Stay with that for a while then begin again: “I still feel that anger but now it has a strength and a grounding to it. I can teach with strength. I can teach from a grounded space.” Bridge as long as you need to.
This is a very short explanation to a longer exercise but hopefully you begin to understand that you have the ability to bridge your current experience to one that might help you better in your day of teaching, speaking or performing, or just visiting the in-laws in one way or another.
How do you bridge that gap in your life? Do you feel that you have to ability to do so when time might not be on your side? Let me know in the comments your experience.
And remember, when all else fails, start by looking up!