Brené Brown did the world a great service when she shared, from her research and experience, about the importance of being willing to be vulnerable. But just because her TEDx talk went wildly viral and has been applauded by millions around the planet doesn’t make it any easier to stand, exposed, before others.

I know, because I teach. Not the kind of stand-behind-a-podium-reading-notes-you-developed-years-ago teaching, but teaching where you know you have to always be a learner, that each group you teach will be different, and that what matters most is always their engagement, not your glorious words. Teaching, facilitating. and sharing stories are areas of my work where I challenge myself to stand in front of others in the vulnerable void, a place where I’m willing to let go and not know.

Where do you practice working from that place of vulnerability?

I wrote this on the eve of launching a new course. (Not surprisingly, it feels vulnerable to share it!)

 

Teaching

I love it I hate it

It is my audience, my stage

Where I come out to the world

It is my place to design

my playpen

my artbox

my excuse to spend hours reading

tied to my computer, mapping the timing,

dreaming of guests

I’m anxious to meet.

 

It is my prison

My despair

Where I have to wake at ungodly hours

to alarm clocks designed to crush the muse.

They call it training; I don’t like the word

I train my dog and horses.

Educare, to lead forward, is the verb I follow.

Not pretending that I see a world

you haven’t imagined.

 

It is where,

after eight hours of communion

evaluation forms are passed around.

On a ten point scale how did I do?

Tell me, did I change the life you have yet to live?

Because you don’t yet know

and neither do I

but let that be our direction.

 

Not just whether you liked my jokes

or the style of my blouse.

Did I impress you? (eight points)

Or really impress? (a ten)

Or did I impress upon you

an idea

the kernel of a dream

which if you follow it

will become so much more

so that in the future

when I am perhaps forgotten

You will find more of you

and say hello

to a part of you

creative and whole

that you have just remembered.