Here we are at the end of the month, and I am finally getting around to writing the post I’ve been meaning to write all September. Fitting that it’s the back-to-school season, as I’ve been thinking about the idea of “teaching.”
I had started thinking about the idea that anyone can be a teacher because every single one of us has something important to share based on our own experiences. If we choose to be we can become experts in our own experience and how our successes and quote-unquote failures have shaped us. Whether our endeavors are traditionally successful or not, we can turn them into an opportunity to offer insight, guiding others. I even wrote about this on The Thrivivalist.
I’m in the habit of writing in a journal each night. It started a few months ago with a list – a gratitude list. Then it morphed more into full sentences, still using the theme of gratitude. But then I realized I needed some more inspiration. I picked up this deck of cards Courtney and I got at a writing retreat we attended. The deck is called “Goddess Knowledge Cards.” I think the point of these cards is to celebrate the aspects of these goddesses that live in each of us. So, each night, after I’m done with my gratitude paragraph, or page, depending on the day, I pull a goddess card. Early this month, I pulled the card of Ix Chel.
Ix Chel is the ancient Mayan moon goddess who reigned supreme throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, in southern Mexico, and as far south as El Salvador for more than a millennium. She is also called the Queen, Our Mother, the White Lady, and the Goddess of Becoming. Although married to the sun, she is fiercely independent, allowing no one to own her: she remains free to come and go as she chooses. As a fertility goddess, she makes women fruitful and sends fertilizing rains to the earth. She is particularly honored as the patroness of childbirth and a healing goddess of medicine. Like many moon goddesses, she is the patroness of weaving. Ix Chel, like the waxing and waning moon, is comfortable with all sides of life. Her energy is midwife to our own creative ideas.
I felt like I pulled this card at the exact right time. I love the imagery of Ix Chel calling on the rain to nourish the thirsty earth, making it fertile so that something can grow. And as such, she serves as “midwife to our own creative ideas.” And since we all have a little Ix Chel in us, we all have the capacity to support the dreams of those around us.
Then, I went to intenSati, and lo and behold, the September series in the class I most-frequently attend is about learning and teaching – specifically the idea that as students we are teachers, and even teachers are still students. Perhaps the best teachers are those who admit they are still learning, still devouring new data, insight, philosophies to inform their practice.
About halfway through the month, I got chose to be a mentor for an organization that offers one-on-one year-long writing coaching to NYC high school girls from “at-risk” neighborhoods. At first I was chosen as an alternate, then I was called up. I got a little nervous that I was not going to be able to sufficiently lead a young girl in her writing pursuits. I am still entrenched in my own writing pursuits, still not having reached the end goal of novel publication. Then I was reminded of the messages I’d been receiving all month. I am master of my own experience. As such, I have important lessons to share. Even as a student, I can still be a teacher. And that’s the best kind of teacher. One who admits she’s still figuring it all out. I am excited to be a writing mentor. I am compiling ideas and cool writing trends that I think will appeal to a high-schooler. (Six-Word Memoirs! Stories that are told in one sentence, like this one, famously written by Ernest Hemmingway. “For sale: baby shoes, never used.”) The fact that I love this kind of stuff should signal I’m fit for mentorship.