Yesterday I was having one of those mornings. I woke up exhausted and sad. My partner had left the day before to go back to his home across the Atlantic after a beautiful time of intimacy and sharing together. I was on my long commute down I-5 and the traffic was worse than usual, putting me way behind schedule. I would probably be late for my class.
But beneath all of this everyday grouchiness, something was grating on me in a much deeper way. And has been for a while. I have been feeling more and more frustrated with the limits that universities place on what I can share, know, and teach. The world is imploding, our imperfect democracy is crumbling, and yet I feel that my students and colleagues are often myopically focused on arcane analytical issues and the memorization of facts, rather than learning from a place of embodied wisdom that will allow them to use their gifts to change the world. And this is because their mentors and teachers believe that this is what education means. Sure, we all hear a lot of talk about transformative education. But it’s not glamorous or marketable to sit with the discomfort, vulnerability, and humility that transformation truly entails. I thought about all of this as I crawled through traffic.
When I finally walked into class just on time, as if possessed by something larger than myself, I launched into a long polemic about the importance of embodiment, sensing, creativity, and using one’s own inner wisdom. “I consider it my job to facilitate your recovery from the paralysis of dissociated rationality!” I said, knowing that I sounded a bit crazy. One of my students responded, “I think it might be too late!” He was half-joking, but also seemed interested in the idea that his education was about more than filling himself up with someone else’s ideas.
The rest of the day, my office was filled with students who came to my office hours to say how much they appreciated what I had said. Students from my other classes even came by, somehow magnetized by the force of my discontent. I had a long chat with two of my grad students who confided how much of a relief it was to be in a class where it was encouraged to feel their bodies, to write creatively, to learn in community, and to explore the intercorporeal field.
I share this story with you because I believe that many of us struggle, as I do, to feel our impact on others. But our discontent, when it emerges from our truth, is a powerful ignition of change. Yesterday was an important reminder for me to stay with my process, to stay with the growing resistance I feel every day, let the potency build, and speak my truth. We can never know what will resonate with others’ experience, or when that resonance will begin to blaze like a forest fire of change.
Where do you feel resistance in your life? Where does your wisdom and truth push against the containers of your life just now? I would love to hear about your experience, so please share in the comments below! I will respond to all comments.