Can’t Stay

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Class is staring in 20 minutes. Everything is ready but I feel like there’s no oxygen in my lungs. There’s no way that I can teach. There’s nothing for me to give. I make myself sit down on a chair. I guide myself to feel the ground under my feet and connect to my breath. It’s not working. My thoughts are racing. Can’t slow down. How am i gonna teach? A voice inside says “it might be a good idea to talk to her”. What’s the matter little one? What do you need? Bingo! That’s exactly what she needs! Someone to notice her, notice she’s struggling, ask her what she needs. The throat start to swell with tears. She also needs someone to tell her that everything is OK. That the world is not going to end.
As I’m preparing to go on my Healing From Wars trip, I’m noticing that there’s a constant underlying feeling of urgency in my body. There’s an unaware thought that I better hurry and try to finish EVERYTHING before my time is over. I’m feeling totally overwhelmed by everything I “have” to do.
As I consciously slow down and let myself feel that terror in my body it comes to my awareness that: A. it’s not a coincidence that I’m coming up against these particular set of feelings before I’m going to visit the concentration camps and do some healing work around that, B. that this feeling has always been there and is something that I somehow internalized from my well-meaning family who had the “privilege” to inherit it from their own ancestors and so on, C. That this particular set of feelings has everything to do with the persecution and annihilation attempts that they have been targeted with.
It turns out that slowing down, as unbearable as it may often feel, is the best remedy to counteract this constant artificial but understandable need to run away. The only way to connect to the little one who hardly ever experienced any form of reassurance and trust in life Is to slow down. She needs to hear that everything is just right.
As for class, it was obvious that day that as much as I can make it possible for myself to slow down, the class goes better. I don’t know how others experienced it but I felt as present as could be and It was completely mind boggling how the feeling of “no way I’m teaching today” transformed into a delightful, connected experience for my students and I. I’m going to Poland to face the unfaceable. To look squarely at the origins of the feelings of “I can’t stay”. I’m hoping to bring back some more mental space which I will be the main beneficiary of but I’m certain you will get the leftovers 🙂

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