“It’s not about you, it’s about them.” This is one of the most important attitudes I have learned in my mentoring process with Char over the past years and the mantra I recite to myself before entering the class or starting up a mentoring sessión. “In class, it is not about me, it is about them.”
Why I teach
I came into Mindfulness and Mindful Eating as a way to do personal work and to engage and commit with the practice through the teachings. This meant, in my personal case, that a lot of personal work had to be done to become a solid mindful eating teacher. And I found this personal work essential for the process. With time, it has helped me to create the space needed for my participants to experience and deepen into their own personal stories of hidden suffering with food without interference from my personal story.
Practicing mindful eating is not just about releasing the utensil and noticing the flavours and textures in the mouth. It is about connecting with ourselves and our bodies with curiosity to identify and attend our needs. And many of our participants come to class completely disconnected from the body and their personal needs. Creating a compassionate space for this to happen, it is something that most of them have never experienced or were afraid to do it on their own. And we, as teachers, create the container for this to happen.
It’s about them, not me
“In class, it is not about me, it is about them” is a simple phrase but it has helped me to move into a state of heart and mind that I found essential to enjoy the process of facilitating. It releases the need to do more, be a better teacher or include additional practices for them to “get it”. It reminds me that I do not need to fix anyone, nor me. Just practice curiosity. In other words, it helps me to move from doing to being and unintentionally model this for the participants. “We teach more by modeling than by saying”, Char usually says.
However, I have learned there is something that I can do during the week that helps me be more present yet invisible in class. Besides the commitment to my own meditation and movement practice, personally engaging with the suggested practices on a weekly basis has helped me to connect with my participants and the difficulties they might be experiencing. And to slowly develop an inner curiosity which then can be offered to service their own processes. Curiosity is the antidote for judgment, and this is a whole new way to explore our experiences.
What do you bring to your teaching?
How can curiosity be more present in your life?
Is there a ritual you would like develop to “be” more mindful when facilitating mindful eating?
Cuca Azinovic (Spain)