This year I upped my teaching to a new level as I led students through a training to become life coaches.
I just became a life coach myself about 3 years ago. So what makes me think I can now train coaches myself?
Wisdom is the answer.
As I plunged myself into the task of 'raising' coaches - this topic became an important touchstone in how I approached everything I said and did with them; and really - all my other students and clients.
In this blog I hope to shed light on questions about owning wisdom, sharing wisdom, and profiting from shared wisdom.
I've studied under many teachers over my 10 years of learning in many fields of healing, teaching, and leadership. Many different styles of teaching, many different personalities, and tons of perspectives on this topic. And I'm not 'done' yet.
Each of us is a vibrational being with the ability to connect beyond ourselves into the mystery (God, Universe, Pulse, etc) and through that we have access to information. Information I like to call Wisdom. These are those universal truths, whispers from the depths of your heart, or voices in your head that just feel like scripture.
So...do we really own the wisdom we download as individuals?
My beloved teacher Jonathan Foust told me as his student to steal stuff from him until I found my own voice as a meditation guide. He often joked about how he and his wife (who is also a meditation teacher) steal each other's lecture jokes. I've heard the same jokes from both of them - but they tell them just a little differently because of their personality, tone of voice, and facial expressions - the same joke is hilarious out of both of their mouths!
As teachers and leaders - we're a product of who raised us. We're a compilation of ALL our teachers - our parents, other influential people in our lives, and the people who taught us how to and how not to lead. (We learn more sometimes from the examples we've had who showed us how NOT to lead).
Within that compilation there is us. The one who translates, computes, intuits, downloads, and IS the wisdom we hear and become inspired by.
We are made up of this truth wisdom.
Teaching is not about regurgitating everything you've heard your teachers say in the same exact way.
Teaching is not about being a perfect version of yourself, and always knowing the answer.
Teaching is not having power over your students or telling them what to do with their lives.
Teaching is about sharing the jewels of truth that are nestled in the corners of your being.
It's about taking what you're inspired by, what resides within you, and speaking it. In so doing - the ones who resonate with your unique truth voice - becomes a student.
And it's about taking the experiences that you've had that caused you to learn something and sharing that
Until they get what they needed from you, and then they move on :)
All the cycles of life apply to this living relationship between student and teacher.
So how do you know how much to 'credit' your teachers for the message of 'theirs' you're sharing?
First - let's consider - does anyone really own anything?
Here's how I credit my teachers:
I pretend all my teachers are in the room while I'm sharing or teaching or coaching. I imagine they are hearing everything. If there's something directly from them I want to share - like their exact wording, or an idea I heard from them - I mention their name.
It's not hard to mention them and it doesn't mean you're giving your power away as a teacher - you're beautifully connecting the tapestry that is your wisdom. Like connecting two dots so your student may see the fuller picture.
When we do this - we show that we are never done being a student - someone helped raise us as a teacher and crediting them is paying respects to them and THEIR learning to get to where they are.
Someone raised them too - and even if it was someone else's idea they shared that I credit them for - I'm okay with that.
And - I do this so if my student resonated with my teacher's message - they can find them and learn from them too.
When I credit my teachers - my heart swells - I feel them there with me - if they were watching me teach - they would smile (I hope :) ).
It's about that - not repeating your teachers all the time and crediting everything you say to others. It's not about giving all your hard work, searching, and life story away to your teachers.
But / And - There IS such a thing as blatant copying. I get the question: "How often should we credit our teachers?"
I can only answer personally. I credit when I use their words or directly quote them. If I'm talking about a specific idea I heard from them I quote them - or I quote who they quoted!
Basically - If you repeat something your teacher said and feel uncomfortable imagining them hearing it - credit them, or say something else.
Teaching is about finding yourself in the truth you hear and digesting it. It gets broken down and transformed through your life experience and lens of being.
And it's about discovering for yourself, that wealth of truth within and sharing THAT.
Profiting from Wisdom
When it comes to profit - I think about dharma.
We are all destined to do and be something. I believe the ones who step into our lives are our teachers - and through resonance (and personal practice) - we discover who we are.
When we discover who we are, we inevitably discover why we're here. Then we have Dharma.
Dharma - also known as mission, calling, purpose - that thing that makes our life bigger than us. That reason we know in the guts of our heart that we're meant to be here doing and being this.
So I feel immense gratitude for my teachers for guiding me to myself, to my dharma, and to my dream job.
Because my calling also supports my life financially - as I grow - I can help guide more and more people to themselves, and their calling. So the cycle can continue.
If we all have heartful and aligned teachers - the tapestry of sharing wisdom grows and grows and we grow along with it.
So why are we qualified to share wisdom and call ourselves teachers, coaches, and leaders?
Because, we are all teachers, coaches, and leaders. And we're not in it alone. We're held by the hammock that is lineage upon lineage of teachers over centuries of history.
We are supported by the legacy that is everyone who raised us into the human leader we all are.
And we are validated with our direct line to The Mystery and the endless well of truth wisdom within each of our hearts.
Ultimately a teacher, coach, leader is someone who touches and inspires others through their heart, voice, and action. When something is in resonance with us - when we hear something and it wakes something up in us - that is the work of a teacher supported by the energies of the Universe.
But it isn't work that we can strive to do - we can't force people to be inspired. We can't shout or get louder so people can hear the truth we're trying to share.
It's a relationship fostered in patience, respect, trust, and time. And most of it is completely out of our direct control.
When teaching and healing happens - it's a miracle - and we're not responsible for that.
So, I call myself a teacher, a healer, a leader. I teach things. Some things I pass on that were passed down to me, some things feel like 'mine' as they've downloaded in me, risen up from inside me, or they were learned through my unique life experience.
All my successes and failures, my mess ups and my victories. And everything in between.
But when I teach I'm not 'imparting'. I'm sharing.
When I sit down to teach or lead my coaches - I'm thinking of one thing: How can I speak in a language that will inspire them?
I call myself forward into finding the part of them that longs to lead - and I help them reveal their gifts. Not the stuff they're necessarily good at, or their skills - although we look at that.
We create a space where their Voice comes through. Where they are themselves - not trying to be anything - they are just them in all their natural glory.
Everyone has a perspective to share, wisdom to speak, and ultimately when we connect to the truth we have - we're 'teaching'.
Because we are all leaders after all.
The Ego and Wisdom
One more thing. We all have this thing called the ego. And I'd do this post and all of you a disservice if I didn't address it.
In a yogic model for leadership - one of my teachers Coby talked about great teachers want their students to surpass them in evolution. They sincerely want their students to become MORE successful than them - because it's not about the teacher - it's about the student.
Many many teachers don't feel that way. They get confused about their role and the whole pedestal phenomenon happens.
We get lost when we think it's 'us' that is the owner and holder of the wisdom we share.
So many 'gurus' have fallen from this ego confusion.
Yes - I'm saying we are all teachers - but it is not the part of 'us' we most identify with.
We are simply a container for it, an endless vessel - everyone is. But when we confuse our dharma with our identity - and we ego-cise our teaching - there's no magic.
So - I'd love to hear...
Who are you as a teacher?
Who are your teachers and how have they shaped your dharma?
Do you take credit for the wisdom do you have and share credit where you've 'stolen' ideas?
Let me know in the comments! <3