As you will know from my previous post, I've been watching all sorts of inspirational videos on You Tube to try to get to a more comfortable place in my life. If you were following me a few years ago you'll know that things were financially quite scary in a way I never imagined possible until I had to deal with the time and energy constraints of being a single mother. Since then I've secured better employment and we can manage as in, we can get by. However, it's not always easy, I'm not totally happy in one place of work (should I expect to be?), there is no money for extras (like holidays, extra-curricular activities for DD, or babysitters), and there are things I'd rather be doing for a living.
One of the perks of writing a blog is that every so often you get offered something in return for writing about it. (I've got a couple of cookery books this way but I'm still waiting for my free Filofax and a holiday in Eilat.) Last week I was asked if I'd like to do Breakthrough with Devorah Sisso Steiglitz. I said I'd like. I don't know how much Breakthrough costs but I do know that some of the courses offered by other gurus (for want of a better word of less than 20 characters) ask many hundreds of dollars for their courses. There must be something more that they don't tell us on You Tube. I wanted to know what it is.
I have a good idea of what's involved to get everything you want from the universe - happiness, fulfillment, a free Filofax, etc... I even started to put some of it into practice over the weekend before Breakthrough began. I stopped complaining about the physical conditions of my school and instead focused on how lucky I was to be head-hunted for a job which allows me to finish the month in the black (well sometimes in the grey but only for a short while). I thought about how friendly the staff and students are rather than how cold the building is and the fact that I teach in a dungeon-cum-room of requirement for things that need to be hidden.
On Saturday night I received my introductory letter from Devorah. And on Sunday morning I got the first session. I was psyched and ready to open my mind, let go my fears and let the universe in. However, I had to go into college first and meet with students.
Here's what happened on Sunday morning at college. The book-keeper called me into her office to tell me they'd awarded me an extra hour/week of payment back-dated to last September. I'm not exactly sure what happened there but I think it's something to do with the fact that one of my courses is online so, because there are no physical constraints on classroom size, I have bigger classes than anyone else. And they are spreading the payments for my summer courses over the year instead of me being broke in July and having to wait until the end of September to get a lump sum.
I was amazed. Could things be happening just because I'd started looking on the bright side? Before I'd even started listening to the course and doing the assignments?
I listened to Devorah's lecture on Sunday afternoon and did the assignment. The first page was the usual things you'd expect from any self-development course. You have to write down how you feel about various aspects of your life, presumably to acknowledge where you stand and to be able to see how much you change over the course of the sessions.
Part B was to commit to refraining from three poisons that you feed your soul. She gave as examples: stop complaining, stop feeling self-pity, and stop being angry. I couldn't think of any others so I committed to the examples, even though I'm not a big self-pityer.
On Monday morning the sun was shining, it was warm outside with a bright blue sky. (Yes I know everyone got that not just me.) I appreciated the beautiful scenery of the Jerusalem hills from the bus window. (Is this what they call mindfulness? It's a 40 minute bus ride.) At school I gladly gave up my free period to work with pupils who weren't involved in some rehearsal for something. I did shout a few times during other lessons but I didn't get angry. There's a subtle difference and I felt it. I smiled and was calm throughout the day. I didn't wear my coat even though it was a bit chilly - it wasn't freezing as last week was. I resisted all temptation to eat the bread that's always in the staff room. The day went like a breeze and I came home happy. (Btw, that doesn't mean I'm accepting the conditions for next year, just that I'll not suffer for the remainder of the winter this year.)
I think I might be turning into Pollyanna.