When I was teaching in the public schools,
I had a sign on my wall as a reminder to myself: If you are not modeling what you are teaching, you are teaching something else.
It held me accountable for my own behavior. I also had a sign that said: S.O.U.L, it represented the words Silence, Observation, Understanding, Listening. That was also a reminder of ways I needed to be while I was with my students. It transferred to my life, particularly as a Mother. I found that each of these reminders supported me in committing to being who I aspired to be. Not always easy, but worth the effort.
Parker Palmer said, “We teach who we are.” I find that inspiring and challenging. As we move through our lives, we are always modeling, teaching who we are, and leading whether we have a position of leadership at work or not. We are making a difference all the time. We bring our own unique energy into every room we enter. We lead by being who we are, we are all leading.
As I move into my 70’s (next year will be my 70th birthday), I am more aware than ever that my presence can bring whatever energy I choose to bring and that presence has an impact. I am reminded to notice my impact.
What do people do when I walk in the room?
What do people do when you walk in the room?
What energy are you bringing?
How do we hold ourselves accountable for the energy and impact we bring to our lives and the lives of others?
This is not to say we have to be perfect. There are days when we are in different states of being. Owning our impact, and being honest with ourselves and others about how we are sets of skills.
What are the strategies, tools, and practices that work for you?
What are the ways we can learn to bring the truth of who we are and pay attention to how we affect those around us?