One of the greatest honors I have in my life is teaching magick.
(Though I’m a bit more partial to saying facilitating since I hope to facilitate experiences more than tell someone what to think or do.)
When I was first starting out, I thought being in the teacher role meant being 100% grounded and together when I walked in the door. After all, I was the role model, the one that others were looking to for guidance.
It was a mentor of mine that reminded me that vulnerability is a teaching in and of itself. That being myself was the thing that invited permission for others to be completely in themselves. To be able to go to the places they needed and wanted to go, seeing that I went there too.
So, while I do work actively to not let my own personal experience be the driving force of my classes and workshops, I don’t leave it all at the door.
The Walls I Held
I rarely cry in front of my classes. I don’t know if I do this intentionally or if I do this because I want to be steady and strong, but it’s something I’ve noticed. That others have noticed.
At first, it was seen as amazing groundedness. And it felt like that. It felt as though I was projecting a presence that was calming and inviting. But, over time, I got feedback that it was also a clear wall between me and others around me.
I was offering out and not letting it impact me too. After all, I have been honored to hear some of the deepest secrets and invited into stories that still ring in my mind today. Tragedies. Triumphs. Things that only came alive in the depths of magickal space.
I was stoic. I thought I was holding the walls up. I was not. I was separating myself to not feel a thing. Only later would I weep and feel the banging of complete vulnerability resonate in my heart.
I was missing the moment because I was unsure of how to hold it.
I was missing people because I dared not crack or bend or flinch.
I stopped growing.
It’s Not Just about Crying in Teaching
I needed to soften. To lighten. To become a part of the swirling of thoughts and wisdom. I needed to surrender to the moments, throw out the outlines, and show up for what was emerging.
I can recall the first time I allowed myself to bend into what was arising. Where I let the magick arrive instead of ushering it in. It was the Witchlets, a group of four to eight-year-olds. In the woods, armed with their plastic swords in the midst of the story of Ariadne and the Minotaur.
There was a plan. The plan turned to a chase.
I found myself chasing their energy, their imagination, and their inexhaustible movement. I noticed I became frustrated and wanting to make something happen…but when I just let go, something always did happen.
There were parties underwater, in the river close to the gathering space. A conversation when a small one told me that they needed streamers underwater for a fairy party. That the trees were the home base where the princess ruled the land.
I surrendered to the magick of creation. Gone was teaching. Play led the way. I followed and fell in love with the magick of seeing beyond seeing. Of letting imagination be what changed a box into a minotaur that the swords could battle.
That following the red string through the trees was the maze. And everyone could find their way back safely.
I didn’t need to memorize or keep a straight face. I could laugh and fall on the ground. I could stop and feel the cool mist of the morning.
Letting Myself in the Door
I am grounded. And I am also goofy. I am sarcastic and I am silent when I teach. I am prepared and will quickly let go of a too tight plan. I will say the words that seem to come from my toes. Or from between my bones. Or sing a song that feels like one that could shift the energy.
Or just be quiet. Until…something else arrives.
While it’s true that I leave the story behind of what happened before the class, I bring the energy and the questions. I wonder between words about how to meet that energy, collect it, let it fuel and inspire, and then transform it within the time we share.
I invite myself inside the teaching as it unfolds and unfurls. Sometimes in ways I expect, mostly in ways I do not anticipate.
Because if I knew what was going to happen to each person or how their story might arrive, I would not still feel the awe of beings draw together for a perfect moment.
Because if I planned every second and held back all that impacted me, I would only be knocking at the door, rather than walking through.