At this point I have been teaching almost 25 years. Our group is blessed with a great core of instructors who can teach as well as me and, at this point, are probably better able to take physical falls, etc. of our art. (I turn 63 next month.) It is a favorite mind game of mine while I am gone to ask if now is the time to retire....but then I return and stand in front of the class. I am lucky as there is always a great group of students. They are inevitably skilled for their rank (due to the high quality of instruction in our dojo) and eager to learn. And, I am reminded of why I teach.
Saturday morning was a great example. I overheard two high ranking students discussing an issue in technique before class started. It became the basis for the second half of our class. As the group practiced, my experience allowed me to offer suggestions to all on how to tweak their throws. They expressed appreciation. I left the dojo feeling that my presence contributed to their learning. And, as a result, I felt great the rest of the day.
Teaching is something I love and continue to do after all these years. Why? Because I can give value.
Anytime in life that we can give value to someone, we receive as much, if not more, in return. This is true in any activity. I find that it is as true in my fiber art as in my aikido. When I feel that there is value in what I am creating, that I know it will lift someone's feeling, perhaps inspire action, then I feel great.
|Garden of Dreams, 2008|
For all of you, I wish in 2011 that you may appreciate the value you are giving to others in their lives through your art, your work, your many activities, and I hope that you will carry the joy of that feeling with you throughout the year.