Fear, Teaching, and Learning in this Age of Uncertainty and the « What Ifs ».

Today I taught many virtual music lessons. Some kids, some adults. Nearly everybody was wanting to express themselves, via songwriting, or just playing. There were bits on the news with residents of Italy singing and playing on their balconies. It felt kind of the same today with many of my students. Which felt to me, like hope. 

Seems we all need to express ourselves and connect. At the same time, we have to distance and hunker down for what certainly appears to be some sort of end of the world scenario. It is SO scary!

In all of this, we are all trying to do the best we can to keep ourselves sane, safe, and still connected.

Before teaching, I drove the hour and some to see my horse, and give him a cranio sacral session. He really enjoyed it-he let out a lot of stress. I thought to myself, no matter what else happens, I am going to be present with him and ask what he is feeling. He had a lot of releases, and I really think our beautiful animals are sensing the stress the whole human populace is feeling. 

There are many things going through my mind-many different scenarios, and imaginings. It’s only when I can be truly present (which hasn’t been easy!) that I can be effective. 

Only a week or so ago I was concerned-so concerned!-about the various challenges with my horsemanship with various horses. This week, it is mere survival. 

Will my student’s be able to still take lessons from me next month? Will everyone be completely broke and unable to do music lessons, equine bodywork, and the things I can offer? I certainly hope not. The only thing I CAN do NOW is just be the best I can at whatever I am doing. 

My aikido sensei’s sent out a mail after the dojo had to close-it was that we train to be calm and effective in normal times so that we can be calm and effective in crazy times like these. The last seminar was from a sensei who had been in very extreme circumstances, and had to learn how to not only survive, but thrive, in those circumstances. 

Now I find myself in the same place. Little bits of presence and calm are appearing, here and there. With my horse today, and with my students today. The woods were magnificently showing signs of spring. I enjoyed them, but with a little bit of « what if » thinking creeping in. 

Doing virtual lessons with students I often heard a bird outside their house, coming through via our virtual connection-birdsongs of mockingbirds, pileated woodpeckers, and robins. Several times the family dog had a voice in everything going on around the house.

So, while I am very concerned about what the future may hold, I am taking some solace in hearing the birds, signs of spring, the may apples blooming in my yard, and the inexhaustible expression of creativity and life. 

Many thanks to the kids I taught today who are undeniable in their joy of just being, and the horses in their amazing ability to teach us to be present in the moment!

I wish for all of us to be healthy, happy, and full of wonderful insights once this time has evolved into something (hopefully) much better!