Have you ever been teaching a class or facilitating a learning session and had the fear that if you were to let go of your plan, you'd lose control of the group? I think this concern is more common than many of us acknowledge. What I notice in sessions I lead with school, out of school, and community organizations is that, for many of us, what lies beneath this fear is a dichotomous belief that we either have: total control OR it's a free for all and chaos ensues.
Check this out for yourself.
Colonial, hierarchical ways of thinking and acting keep us limited to two polar opposite ways of engaging. Flexibility offers us access to all of the glorious middle ground and we have the opportunity to:
recognize and work with learners with what arises in the moment,
acknowledge our own fear and be flexible anyways,
honor learning as a dynamic, fluid process.
Flexibility is a way of being which allows for:
- multiple truths to exist at once
- everyone to breathe as we move from an authoritarian learning narrative
- power struggles to be minimized
- creative ways to engage and connect with learners in the moment
Personally, I work at being flexible and practice it on a daily basis. A few things that help me are:
Being patient and self-compassionate (Thanks Dr. Kristin Neff!). This is an ongoing practice.
Establishing and maintaining boundaries and guidelines
Listening and moving with what matters in the moment
I'd love to hear how you integrate flexibility into your practice. E-mail me at REiLlearning@gmail.com