It’s not a new concept that if you want your outer world to be better, or more organised, your inner world needs attending to, changing and transforming.
As educators, we have so much to do – deadlines to meet, planning, teaching, marking, assessments, loading data, predicting grades, meeting parents, after school interventions, projects, own commitments etc. The list is endless. At what point do we focus on our inner world to start making change? How do we do this? Do we talk to ourselves? Do we talk to others? Often we end up just off loading our issues onto others.
Do I have time for wellbeing?
There are 24 hours in a day. If we spend 8 hours of them sleeping (lucky people who do), it leaves 16 hours available to choose and use. In a working week, it equates to 80 hours. With the “busyness” and the current “workload issues” we need to find a way we can reenergise ourselves and reconnect to our inner world. In the current climate it needs to be simple, quick and effective. So, does this mean another silver bullet?
It is the art of practising sitting still, in the silence.
Ancient teachings and traditions in practising the art of stillness and silence will teach you that from the silence answers will come.
If you are looking for clarity…sit still in the silence.
If you are stressed…sit in the silence.
If you are anxious…sit in the silence.
If you need ideas and inspiration…sit still in the silence.
If you need to reenergise and reconnect to yourself …sit in the silence.
When I say “in the silence,” it’s the silence within.
The wellbeing “buzzword”
The concept of wellbeing in schools has become a huge “buzzword.” Things like having tea and toast for staff, a week of no meetings after school, or other goodies and incentives do have their place. They do create a “dopamine” and/or “serotonin” hit in the brain, so yes momentarily they will create a happy feeling, lift moods and show a level of care or consideration for staff. We are so used to having a quick fix with everything, yet we need to combine this with activities that encourage and empower us to own our personal wellbeing. It needs to be approached from different angles. We are not going to get extra time on our timetable, or get a reduction in the school day, or stop having the monitoring of our lessons, book scrutinies and other things we have to deal with. Change will only happen if we get to the heart of the matter.
The heart of the matter
The bottom line is we are experiencing too much busyness. There is no time to process it as more and more work is piled onto us. This causes a build-up of excess energies and charge in our system. If this is left to its own devices, and we don’t recharge, renew or reconnect, it ends up coming out as verbal expletives with loved ones, or staff, or in some other way.
Sound familiar? Experienced it? Done it yourself?
If this continues and nothing is done about it, it will start to block the flow of your energies, and ultimately the congestion will impact your physical health. It will reduce your ability to cope. People then go off with stress and a removal from the situation is required.
Yet, you don’t need to allow yourself to get to this point.
We therefore need to manage our own flow.
We need to manage our own processing.
We need to release and let go of these excess energies and charge out of our system.
We need to reenergise and reconnect so every day we have new windows of opportunities to make a difference in a more energetic way, a clearer space to work in and better emotional and mental wellbeing.
All you need to do to reenergise and reconnect to yourself is to make the conscious decision to STOP. Sit still for a few minutes ensuring you don’t add anything further to the situation.
- Find a quiet space (ground floor).
- Sit on a chair with your back straight and feet focused firmly on the floor. Feel the connection to the ground. Consciously discharge any excess energies through your feet into the ground.
- Focus on your breath if it helps.
- Sit still, in the silence for 5-10 mins. You could download a mindfulness bell app. They make a pleasant bell sound and it will go off at the amount of time you set it.
- When you are ready, return your focus to your physical body and the present moment, focusing and feeling your feet on the ground.
Your first step to meditation.
Why sit still in the silence
The first objective is to stop the inflow of any further transactions or data coming in. When you first stop and be still, you will find your mind is buzzing with everything. Wait 2-3 minutes and the backlog in your brain will start to clear.
The second objective is to take the pace out of movement out of all the energies moving in your personal space, your energy field (“aura”). The stillness takes away the energy of activity, and action which is, and will have been fuelling the fast moving energy elements and keeping them hyped up. Research has shown meditation releases neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin) in a natural way.
Set a time of 8 weeks. Do this exercise regularly – whatever you can manage.
See and feel the difference to the quality of your life and share with me on Twitter @amyjeetley. Then decide if you wish to continue. You may be surprised with the results.
Wishing you all an “empowered to take ownership of your own wellbeing” 2018
Points to reflect on – please tweet answers, tagging me in @amyjeetley
- Leaders – not allowing time for processing and expecting staff to finish full teaching days, attend meetings, and keep their energies high, overloading with work, and expecting them to be engaged will add to this excess charge and build up – eventually this will cause staff to breakdown or be off with stress. Knowing this information what can you, or will you do differently?
- Everyone – There are 80 hours available in the working week of 5 days (weekend is extra) – how much time will you realistically commit to in order to reenergise and reconnect by sitting still?
- Middle leaders – would you consider incorporating a 5 minute sitting still session at the start of your meetings so staff can reenergise and reconnect?