There are particular times of the school year that are more busy and hectic than others. Assessment and reporting periods are definitely one of those times! Time feels like it is moving way too fast and that there is not enough of it to get everything done. (I am sure teaching is not the only career where people feel like this!)
Sometimes just showing up each day is challenging. Showing up to work, showing up with the right mindset or the right energy. But we do keep showing up because teaching is a work of the heart.
Because teachers keep showing up though, we don't always know what is happening in people's lives. Sometimes as teachers, particularly when work is busy and we are in overwhelm, we focus so much on our own immediate world that we are not always aware of what is happening in the lives of others. We don't always see the struggle to show up each day. We don't always see the pain because teachers know they have a group of little humans in their care and so whatever it is happening in their world gets pushed to the back a little in order to get through. But sometimes...it's a little harder.
My biggest days of struggle are the days when I spend my time looking at everything I have to do plus something is happening in the background at home. If you want to know the best way to get into overwhelm....start looking at EVERYTHING you have to do. That will do the trick. To avoid or lesson overwhelm, you must first stop looking at everything and just focus on one thing at a time.
I have the greatest pleasure of working with some of the most compassionate and incredible teachers who, when I look at them, look like they have everything under control! I love that we generally make the assumption about people! When the truth is...we are all doing the best we can with everything that is happening in our lives but some are in the middle of a deeper struggle we may never be able to truly understand or imagine.
The struggle is real
Showing up as your best self for the people around you can be hard when you are in the thick of the struggle. The struggle is real and challenging and painful. As humans, we have this idea that we should not be struggling and so we fight against it which in turn, creates more struggle. The struggle is real. Be okay with it. Embrace it. It won't last forever. Talk when you need, cry when you need, yell when you need, journal, crank the music up. The struggle is real but it is part of your story. In the middle of pain, it is hard to see the other side sometimes and it is hard to see how the moment will make you stronger. But, be patient. Keep showing up each day, embracing the struggle and putting one foot in front of the other. One day you will look back and see how far you have come.
It is in the giving
When you have those days when life is hard and all you want to hide at home, under the doona and not face the world - sometimes showing up can be the bravest most important thing you can do. It is in the showing up and giving to others (colleagues, students, family etc) that we find our joy through the struggle. You have two hands - one to help yourself and one to help others. Helping others, without expecting anything in return, is what true self-worth is all about. We often find ourselves when we are in service to others and we are showing up for others and not ourselves. It could be in the simplicity of sharing our struggle and story that gives hope to someone else.
Really, when it comes to showing up each day and bringing your best self, there are only two things we need to remember: Showing up for ourselves and showing up for those around us.
Showing up for Yourself
When you show up for yourself, you can show up for the world more completely. How you show up for yourself tells a lot about yourself when you need to show up for others. You must take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Trust me...you will have good days and bad days. Some days will be completely overwhelming and other days you will just be too tired where you think you can't give any more. but you will also have awesome days.
But every single day, you will still show up. Your greatest strength is showing up and winning the small battles that people can't always see or know nothing about. The world needs you to show up every single day. You are valuable and what you believe can change the world. It is often when we are experiencing the most difficult chapter of our life, that we find our strength to show up. You have the strength to show up each day. You have the power to choose the energy you bring each day. It is up to you how you move forward. Sometimes, the pain is there in life regardless of what we do but how we show up each day depends completely on how we decide to show up.
Showing up for Others
This is where we get outside of ourselves and see past our own struggles. This is where the power of showing up each day lies.
Show up for people. Show up for your friends, colleagues, students. Offer what you can. It's not always easy but whatever you offer is more than nothing. Be unselfish about what you offer. Offer what you can from the heart with no expectations of anything in return. Love people when they need it, even when you feel they don't deserve it. Be kind. Be a healer. Showing up for others might be a conversation, a hug, a brief chat to ask how they are, asking if they need anything, a listening and compassionate ear.
Sometimes we can avoid people in a struggle because we don't know how to help. Most times, people in struggle don't want you to solve the problem, they simply want someone to listen and acknowledge. You can show up for others just by listening to their story and telling them you see their struggle. Our most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge and solutions, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help.
Where focus goes energy flows. We all know and understand the pain of struggle. But we do have a choice amongst all the pain. We can choose to focus on the pain and get all cosy wallowing in it or we can acknowledge the pain and then focus on how to move through it. Solution oriented will give you a far more successful outcome than pain oriented. Don't get me wrong...it may be painful moving through it but it is far more painful being stuck where you are.
If you want more joy, find a way to give more joy. Seek more joy in what you give and not what you get.
If you are seeking more love, find a way to offer more love to others.
If you are looking for more affluence in your life, find a way to help others more.
The best feeling of happiness is when you are happy because you have been able to bring happiness to someone else.
If you want more compassion, find a way to be more compassionate to those around you.
If you want to shift your focus off the pain you are feeling to something more productive, then find a way to move through the struggles you are experiencing or find someone who can guide you.
Courage starts with showing up and letting yourself be seen...even amongst the struggle.
Until next week.... keep showing up as your best self.
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.