TAKING OFF THE WEIGHTS
Every so often, as I prepare for a class, I remind myself to just simply take off the weights. It's strange to me that I so often willingly carry enormous weights around with me when I'm teaching, and it is a definite relief to set them down and see them shrivel away to nothingness. These are not physical weights, but the shapeless, evanescent weights we carry inside us, like remorse and worry and diffidence and fear. If I'm not feeling guilty about not giving my best teaching to the previous class, then I'm concerned about the lack of creativity in this upcoming lesson, or about my lack of ability to steer the lesson to success, or about the blunders I might make as I bumble along. True, there are many times when I take the first steps in an English lesson with a cocky kind confidence, but there are too many instances when I carry the burdensome weights of my own irresolute attitudes. This is why it's such a relief when I remember to lay all those inner weights right down -- to simply set them aside and raise up my thoughts in liberation and sovereignty, to just say I am me and this is the moment and I can make miracles with this class. When I do this before a class -- when I loosen and let go of all the needless burdens -- I sometimes feel as light as the sunlight in my classroom. On those days I teach as easily as a breeze blows along, and the happiness I feel seems to flow from somewhere far beyond my sight.