fear

Learning To Conquer Your Fear

 

Learning To Conquer Your Fear

I love this quote about fear from Pema Chodron:

“The on-the-spot practice of being fully present, feeling your heart, and greeting the next moment with an open mind can be done at any time: when you wake up in the morning, before a difficult conversation, whenever fear or discomfort arises.

This practice is a beautiful way to claim your warriorship, your spiritual warriorship.

In other words, it is a way to claim your courage, your kindness, your strength. Whenever it occurs to you, you can pause briefly, touch in with how you’re feeling both physically and mentally, and then connect with your heart—even putting your hand on your heart, if you want to.

This is a way of extending warmth and acceptance to whatever is going on for you right now.

You might have an aching back, an upset stomach, panic, rage, impatience, calmness, joy – whatever it is, you can let it be there just as it is, without labeling it good or bad, without telling yourself you should or shouldn’t be feeling that way.

Having connected with what is, with love and acceptance, you can go forward with curiosity and courage.”

~ Pema Chodron

fear

I use this image on my daily agenda at school – partly to remind my students to brave, but also to remind myself.

Just because I’m an adult doesn’t mean I don’t have to think about conquering fear – it just sometimes looks a little different for me than it does for 8th graders. I love Pema’s idea of conquering fear as a way to claim both courage and kindness.

embrace change

For years I’ve been wearing a silver cuff reminding me to have courage – to look at each day and break it down, to find small ways to chunk out tasks and experiences and problems into manageable pieces.

Some days it works better than others.

I try to teach my students about time management, about self-advocacy, about believing that they deserve to be successful.

Some days my words are stronger than others. Some days they, believe me, some days they don’t.

“You’re still learning,” I tell them. “Excuses are useless,” I remind them.

I remind myself, too.

As teachers, we’re learning how to help kids experiencing trauma. We are begging for professional development to help kids with anxiety, to build relationships, to remember to put KIDS first, CURRICULUM second.

moms make awesome teachers

We’ve seen what happens when kids/young adults fall through the cracks.I’m sure that I spend more time with some of my students than they actually spend with their parents. I’ve got kids stopping by to say hello between classes, sometimes asking for a hug or sharing something they’re proud of. I’ve got kids who eat lunch on my beanbags or tables every single day, I think because they know it’s a safe, calm place.

I guess that’s one way they’re learning to conquer their fear – to find a community in a place where they know they’re not being judged or having to monitor their ‘likes’. They can just connect, just be there as is.

I love those lunch hours, knowing that I really just need to let them know they are loved and accepted and that they are connected to someone who cares.

fear
Me stepping out of my comfort zone – coding with my students!

I think that’s a pretty decent place to start learning to conquer fear, right?

Do you have any advice about conquering fear? I’d love to hear it – leave a comment below, or tweet me @mamawolfeto2!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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In Our Most Ordinary Days

In our most ordinary days we have moments of happiness, moments of comfort and enjoyment, moments of seeing something that pleased us, something that touched us, moments of contacting the tenderness of our hearts. We can take joy in that.
ordinary days
in our most ordinary days
I find that it’s essential during the day to actually note when I feel happiness or when something positive happens, and to begin to cherish those moments as precious. Gradually we can begin to cherish the preciousness of our whole life just as it is, with its ups and downs, its failures and successes, its roughness and smoothness.

~ Pema Chodron

I celebrate the extraordinary in the ordinary, the touching of my feet to the floor every morning, the opportunity to watch my children and my students smile and grow every single day. The moments of happiness, even in times of grief, and what is essential to focus on.

That’s where I am in this moment – striving to remember the deliciousness of that first sip of coffee in the morning, the surprise April showers pattering outside my window, the joy of my teenage son waking on his own – early, even – and the solid curl of loyal, black doggie fur pressed against my lap as I write.

As we watch the world struggle to agree, as we mourn the loss of musicians who have made us feel joy in the smallest of moments and the lowest of times, as we yearn for simplicity and understanding, please cherish the ordinary moments of happiness right in front of you.

That’s where we start.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Beginning of a Great Adventure

Arenal Hanging Bridges park of Costa Rica

There’s a big change going on in my writing world, the beginning of a great adventure. And it’s all happening on top of itself, rolling into each other like dominos.

It feels exciting, unsettling, and makes me tremble just a little bit.

But I like that.

I spend my days teaching, my early mornings and late evenings writing, and mothering all the way through.

That gives me a lot to think about.

I spent 2014 with my head down, riding it out, powering through the change. It was rough at times, the vulnerability uncomfortable and the uncertainty intensely painful.

But I made it.

I started 2015 sick in bed, questioning how I spend my days and how it impacts the rest of my life. It was challenging, and the not knowing left me positively miserable.

And then the Universe opened up and my dream of blogging on the Huffington Post came true.

And this week, I was asked to be a part of #WomensLives, a a media partnership between Public Radio International (PRI) and SheKnows Media, created to increase the news coverage about women and issues that impact our lives

And yesterday, I completed my blog update, thanks to great help from Anna Hartman and Jessica Ziegler. Didn’t they do a beautiful job?

2015 is off to a exhilarating start!

 I thought one way I could say thanks for supporting me on this great adventure is to share this beautiful poem by Pema Chodron, words which speak to my state of vulnerability and delirium, and remind me that it takes courage to embrace the ‘not knowing’ and make change.

When we think that something is going to bring us pleasure, we don’t know what’s really going to happen.

When we think something is going to give us misery, we don’t know.

Letting there be room for not knowing is the most important thing of all.

We try to do what we think is going to help.

But we don’t know.

We never know if we’re going to fall flat or sit up tall.

When there’s a big disappointment, we don’t know if that’s the end of the story.

It may be just the beginning of a great adventure.

Life is like that. We don’t know anything.

We call something bad; we call it good.

But really we just don’t know.


Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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