After twenty-five hours of travelling there isn’t an ounce of fatigue or jet lag as I take my first steps onto Middle Eastern soil. My delight grows with each passing scenic images ranging from desert landscape to intricate golden framed mosques. There is a serene tranquility in the air and general placidness permeates the people, the atmosphere and myself. Even in the bustle of the city there is an underlying quality of softness, perhaps intensified by its juxtaposition with the forceful heat.
It’s 43 degrees plus Celsius outside in the desert and yet the yearning inside each student burns stronger. With this kind of passion, it’s no surprise that BreakThrough had its debut in Abu Dhabi, UAE at the end of 2009 thanks to one wholehearted coordinator, Eveline Schooling, CBP.
I teach and always will for the purely selfish reason of intensifying the learning process for myself. Each seminar I teach continues to facilitate the process of deepening awareness. The unique challenge I encountered teaching in the melting pot community of Abu Dhabi was that I had to slow down my speaking pace. At first I was a worried that the seminar wouldn’t finish in the scheduled time. It quickly became apparent that when I took the time to speak more slowly and more consciously, less time was actually needed. How could this be? My teaching experience, which mirrored my life, had always been one of feeling like I was running a bit of a gauntlet trying to squish in everything and never having enough time. And here I was faced with a situation that, uncompromisingly, demanded I slow down. It turns out that less is actually more! We finished the lecture part ahead of time, allowing for lots of time for demos and practice.
The slower pace presented the opportunity to speak deliberately by having to select my words to make maximum impact. This also shaped a space for gentleness by allowing the time of each pause to further relax into a calm state. The seminar was nearly effortless to teach and virtually meditational. It was difficult to believe that I was the one getting paid to explore this quiet, still place which was simultaneously fresh with liveliness and spirit.
This was evident in the feedback I received:
“I really liked Allison’s way of explaining and her calm, supportive manner.”
“I enjoyed how uncomplicated the instructor was, the very gentle approach.”
“…really liked the teacher – personable yet in control of class and very enjoyable.”
“I most enjoyed the experiential nature of the seminar and I got to see my pain and stored trauma and finally set myself free.”
This experience has enabled changes to be made in all aspects of my life, from teaching to scheduling to relationships to finding wealth and much more as I consciously embrace the pace in which I`m engaging with life. For me, the true gift of teaching is the experience which affords the opportunity to listen to what is hurting and see what it is telling me. It`s rather tough to ignore the once intellectually understood clichés such as `less is more` once they are understood experientially. If you have had the impulse to teach, but not yet followed it, then I strongly encourage you to follow through and make this the time for you. If you have not yet had the thought to teach, perhaps this will inspire you to ponder and start playing with the idea.
Thank-you to all of my students far and wide, who teach me so much.