Courage

21 Feb

Another day in Wettenbostel.  It snowed last night.  My child-like delight for snow has diminished some after a month walking on the frozen earth.  Nonetheless we got a little sprinkling of it, just when I thought Spring might be marching in.

We are preparing for a seminar this weekend.  Generally a typical thing at a Seminar Haus, but alas as it has been quiet here for the past two months and my preparations today for this weekend feel a little unrehearsed.  I did my best to get the house ready as the new group arrives on Thursday.  We had some unexpected problems today with a few pipes breaking and some water leaking.  My hosts amaze me at times with the work and pace that they keep up.  Responding so quickly to the next emergency at hand.  Today it was the pipes.

When things get a little hectic in life or in the day I find I need to pay special attention to myself to keep me grounded.  Today I took an afternoon break of chanting, a little yoga and a walk down the road just to feel my body and my feet connected to the earth.  I feel so many changes happening within me, sometimes I feel like I might fly away.  I do my best to shift my focus to the here and now and not get lost in emotions and excitement of people around me.

I had an unexpected gift today.  As my host was working on fixing the pipe leak, his student unexpectedly arrived at the Seminar Haus.  He is a young German boy/man, about 17, preparing for his final test when he leaves what we would call high school.  It is a challenging exam that is the entry way for students to study further at university.  He meets with my host, a native Canadian, every week to practice and ask questions  regarding his English.  My host needed to pay attention to the leak at hand and couldn’t shift his energy to his student… so he asked me… to teach him instead.

When the student arrived I could see this may be happening and started asking myself if I would do it.  Should I offer to do it?  I asked myself… shying away, I thought no… no… no…  and then I was asked, and of course I said yes.  The student’s name is Marcel and I am impressed with him and what he is undertaking, what he knows, and what he wants to know.  His extensive test requires that he take an oral exam where he communicates completely in English.  Not a small undertaking.  Marcel mentioned his challenges with speaking and writing English, but he was able to communicate this all quite clearly in English!  I compared him to a typical American student with a second language and his capacity and expectation for speaking and writing English was far beyond what is typical of a second language in the states.

Now we get to the courage part.  As I have mentioned before, I sometimes feel uneasy with myself.  This feeling can be very intense and hit me at unexpected times.  A success for me can look like having an entire meal in a restaurant with a new friend where I don’t feel like I want to crawl out of my skin the whole time.  I don’t totally understand why this is so for me, I have some ideas, but alas there it is… and here I am in my life now… feeling this way.  So while on one level, helping Marcel out with his English studies was easy.  I am confident with my English and have taught in the past… on another level for which I cannot explain… it is … hard.  And that is where the courage part comes in.

Often when sitting one on one with a person talking I become extremely self-conscious and I cannot breathe.  And then I become aware that I cannot breath, and that just makes the cannot breath part worse.  I become hyper sensitive with myself and my body and being in relationship to the person across from me and it that moment it seems there is little I can do about it… almost like something in my body or being is locked up and cannot be released.  And while this is going on, I am doing my best to not look like this is going on…It is not fun, but I suppose it is something I must continue to explore and work with for my fun, my life, my healing.  So meeting and talking to a new person, and teaching one on one with an unexpected German student, for me takes… courage.  And so it goes.

I suppose we all have our little things for which we must summon up our own personal courage.  Things that perhaps we judge ourselves for or hide from others… I have to be patient with myself.  I cannot respond to myself as I think I should be or wish was so… but rather what is actually so.  Because that is where I am.

That being said and breathing challenges aside, it was great to work with him for a little bit.  He is smart and it was fun to assist him with his work and his studies.  And we may do more in the future… which will help him and… yeah, it will help me to.

So what about you?  Are there any little challenges that you face in your life that for you take big courage?  Where are your secret places where you summon your courage that go unnoticed by the world?  I would love to hear from you!

And for now, it is soup and fish and me having a little dinner in the Wettenbostel kitchen.  Bye for now from the still snowy days of Wettenbostel.  Calling for a little warmth and sun as we prepare for our weekend seminar.

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