Finding My Place in "Teaching"
Patty Mahaffey, who is another Cincinnati Pathworker, and I are preparing a six-week series of lessons on the spiritual journey, based on Pathwork. We have had great fun in preparing for this, yet I find a lot of apprehension in me when I consider actually being in any kind of role as “teacher.” What are my blocks to teaching? What is my resistance to teaching? I love the Pathwork material but shy away, no, run away from any thought of’ “teaching” Pathwork to anyone.
Bringing this issue to my coffee time with Pat, she observed, “You are very creative in coming up with the core questions of life to explore. You love facilitating the exploration of profound questions of purpose and meaning. And you freely share from your own depths what these questions mean to you. This makes it safe to dive deep. With you involved, the series will be guided self discovery for the participants and make it safe for them to dive deep into what is most alive in them. What could be a better offering?”
I immediately related to this questioning energy in me, and was reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet about loving the profound questions of life. I googled and found it. Here it is if you are interested. Yes, I love the questions of life! I love sharing and exploring these questions with others also passionate about these matters.
But I was still wrestling with how to teach this class with Patty. I just do not feel the teacher in me. To this Pat observed, “Well isn’t it interesting that you are paired up with Patty who is a teacher and is spiritually connected. What you bring is grounding in the wisdom of the Pathwork, passion for the questions of life, and a willingness to share from your depths. She can teach and fly while you ground and share. What a perfect pairing!” I found myself thankful for Pat’s wisdom here. And felt much more at ease in moving forward. Let Patty be the main teacher while I offer my grounding presence, passion for self discovery, and delight in engaging and sharing. All very helpful insights in getting me through this resistance.
And in the end, I’m likely to teach as well — being the PowerPoint kind of guy that I am. But just understanding and valuing our different gifts has been quite helpful as I approach this upcoming series. Onward.