Over the years, I’ve come to fully respect the wisdom of this noble art. I started to ask myself what it means to teach when my children were very young and what I wanted for them was to hold on to and cultivate throughout their lives their intuition and ability to know that what they believed in was theirs.

Eventually I became a yoga, meditation, and spiritual teacher.

I’ve taken some time to reflect on all of the “adults” in my life that have taught, or attempted to teach me things. I have come to see that the word teach means different things to different people.

As a mother, I believed (and still do) that my role was to help guide my children towards themselves, and in turn, aside from becoming their own person with their own life purposes, they were here to mirror back and teach me how I was doing as a human, as a communicator, and with my own sh*&. The feedback was almost always immediate, and it was most honest. Still is. It’s difficult to know who was more the teacher: me or them. As a spiritual teacher, I feel similarly.

To have an authority figure impose their agenda on me in the name of teaching felt incredibly invasive. What they’ve taught me the most is to not fall into that way of being because those efforts fall on deaf ears and create walls, and not only would it put me in danger of losing credibility, but also of setting myself up for frustration.

Of course, I’ve made many mistakes and lost myself in the “telling them how things are” mode. I can’t think of when this served anyone except perhaps for my ego in the immediate short term (and only momentarily, unless one counts those long windows of post-dialogue defending the position, either internally or at someone else). Out of good intention, we fall into imposing our own beliefs on others as Truth. We want to protect (and change) those we care about. We have made some conclusions in life that we believe to be sound, we feel that our formula worked for us, and we believe that it will work the same for others. We want to impart our wisdom to the world. Our stories have a lot of value.

But only when they are received. And depending on how we vibe it.

I have come to learn that we don’t get to teach whomever we want to. We get to teach who gives us permission. As they say, the teacher doesn’t choose the student; the student chooses the teacher. That is not a reflection on the openness of those who “reject” us. I know now that it’s more a reflection on what we are vibing for that person, and we get to learn from it, or not.

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