What might happen if you knew that every day you were guaranteed to succeed?
What do you think would be different in your life? Would you be more adventurous? Would you check your vulnerability at the door, step out of your comfort zone and SEIZE THE DAY?
Yep – cliches intended.
We talk a good talk about being successful. We say the right things, read the right books and make sure we have a positive mindset.
Or at least that’s what we say we do…
But we know when that shadow creeps in, that little voice that tells us it’s never going to happen. There’s a part of all of us that believes that our success isn’t limitless. That the boundaries between what that person does and what we can do are tall and unbreakable and topped with barbed wire. We might feel that it’s too late. That we don’t have the energy, time, resources…..fill in the rest of that sentence.
We don’t believe in our own ability to reach our dreams.
I feel it too, that curse of the monkey mind. I battle the ‘fatigue demon’ all the time, feeling raw and frustrated and dubious and wonder if my limitations are going to get in my way.
And then I tell myself to shut up.
Or sometimes, I let it ride. I just sink under the covers with a lusciously written novel and shut off the world.
And then the next day, I tell myself to show up.
Have you ever heard Maya Angelou talk about being a ‘rainbow in someone’s cloud’?
I listen to her words all. the. time and treasure the moments I was in her presence, in an audience completely engulfed with her wisdom. The recordings of her words sustain me.
Teaching is one of those professions where it’s impossible to hide. We’re on display, performers expected to push down our outside lives and ‘turn on’ in the presence of our students. And some days, that’s really, really hard. It feels darn near impossible to believe that the world is truly designed for us to succeed. I often think about how so many of our children come to school feeling the very same way…and spend day after day wondering if they will ever succeed in life.
I had one of those days recently…when the kids started wiggling my classroom doorknob before I was ready to perform, one of those days when I had to take a deep breath, push open the door and smile.
No one comes in my classroom without a handshake, high five or hug.
I want to be the first contact my kids have before they enter our learning space. I started this routine the first day of school…and I don’t think I’ve missed a day of smiling at every kid as they pass the threshold; high fives are most popular, followed by handshakes…and then hugs.
There are some kids who come in for a hug every single day. Sometimes for more than one. Some do the side hug, or barely get their arms around me. And sometimes, they don’t say a word, just open their arms, tip their head slightly, and wrap themselves up. I love that they love to see me.
There was that day last week, a morning when I was feeling defeated and depleted and like I couldn’t make it til 3:30 without taking my pain out on someone else. It was a morning if I heard something nice I might just burst into tears… and they hugged me. Not every kid, but enough, and I transformed.
“Prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud,” Maya Angelou taught us. I wonder if we all prepared ourselves every day if we might be able to guarantee success, even for just one someone’s cloud.
You might just be the rainbow that someone needs today. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful way to spend your day?