People say they want to be transformed. They search and search for the perfect teachers to guide them, convinced that “if only they find the right teacher …” their desired transformation will magically manifest without any effort on their part. They want something outside to change them. They fail to realize that the guides they seek are there to point the way, to guide them – not to change them … not to do it for them. Change must come from the inside … and it all begins with “teachability.” No one is teachable who is not first reachable!
Here lies the challenge: Are you willing to be sufficiently vulnerable to be reached? Are you really open to being transformed? It may be the most courageous thing you have ever undertaken!
There’s an odd parallel here: some people want the world to change without them lifting a finger or changing anything personally. From my perspective, that’s not going to happen because I believe that all change is the out-picturing of shifts in consciousness. As Mohandis Gandhi, the Matama, declared, you must “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Here is where the process begins:
Are you teachable? Is there any space in you that is open to being changed? Whether you realize it or not, you are changed by everything you learn. Transformation (deep, lasting change) requires a willingness to release old ways of being … to release attachments to what’s familiar.
Sometimes people build such sturdy walls around themselves that they are not reachable rendering themselves unteachable. Sometimes the walls they build to keep bad stuff out block good stuff from coming in. They actually imprison themselves. This is a crucial factor in the development of prejudices. All prejudices are pre-judgments based on past assumptions. Without the benefit of current input, they may be faulty, perhaps unfounded, opinions. In the face of such closed-mindedness, the possibility of learning anything new (especially anything that differs from the prejudice) is obliterated.
Sometimes these walls arise from someone being so full of themselves that there is no room for anything new to be added. At times, the walls are fear-based assumptions that “different is dangerous.” Ironically, people don’t just apply this belief to other people and situations, sometimes they apply it to changes within themselves. Change calls them to stretch into new, perhaps scary, experiences. However they came to construct the blockages, the result is the same: they have cut themselves off from the richness of being fully expressed.
Are you, by chance, the “they” I’ve been talking about?? Life is calling you … are you answering with a powerful “Yes!” If not, why not?
In Entering the Castle, author Carol Myss asks six insightful questions:
- What are you really willing to change?
- Can you change with a willing, cheerful heart or will you have to let others know how difficult changing your life is?
- Will you expect God to heal you immediately? How soon?
- What kind of attitude will you have if you don’t see results right away?
- Are you willing to change, not look back, and have no expectations?
Listening (which is quite different from the physical faculty of hearing) is key to being teachable. Listening is a faculty of the heart and soul. True listening requires being present with oneself, others and the world. Listening engages every sensory system. True listening gleans what wants to be communicated not just what is being said. It calls for a willingness, in fact, an eagerness, to be changed by what you experience. This is soul-full listening.
Being “Teachable” requires Listening!
In the absence of Listening you are not reachable!
If you are not reachable you are not teachable!
Stop trying to “mind-muscle” your way through life. Open to listening and absorbing … gleaning the choice morsels that can be found in every experience. To win true understanding, take heed of the old expression: “You MUST be present to win.”
Wake up to your life…
Listen for the whispers…
Don’t wait for the screams!
To be reachable requires some vulnerability … openness … perhaps a bit of risk taking. Try saying to yourself:
“I must risk releasing my white-knuckle grasp on what I think I know … what I think I control … in order to receive “new” … new concepts, experiences, knowledge, understanding.”
I realized that in order to be teachable … to learn, comprehend, understand something new or some new perspective about something I thought I knew, I must be reachable. I had to be open to the possibility of being changed by what I experience. I also realized that for me to grant such openness, I needed:
- At least some sense of feeling safe
- Trust that I am what I believe I am … an expression of Spirit
- Confidence that I know myself reasonably well
- Faith stronger than fear
- Courage grounded in feeling safe
- Determination to silence our inner critic … the one that scares me
- Curiosity and openness
- Eagerness to discover something new
- Willingness to be changed
My list can be summed up as “confidence in the power of Love.” What’s on your list?
John O’Donohue in Anam Cara, stated, “Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul.”
Is understanding sufficient?
- Understanding is often considered a mental process
- Comprehension is a more thorough. emotional process involving the assimilation of knowledge, which is subjective by its nature.
How we use these gifts of understanding and comprehension is all that matters. Gaining knowledge simply to be a holder of more information has little or no value. Alternatively, opening to the myriad learning opportunities provided by the Universe can be totally transformative.
Ernest Holmes affirmed, “We are on the path of experience. Just waking to the real fact of our true being; as we awake, we find we are surrounded by many false conditions, but there is something within which remembers the real state. If one will sit in quiet contemplation of good, as an inner experience, he will experience the good which he contemplates.”
Tune into the voices whispering and shouting within you. Discern which are teachers, which are echoes of your own thoughts, what is just chatter from all around you, reverberating within you.
- Open to the instruction of your Inner Teacher …. The wise and wonder-filled aspect of you that waits ever so patiently for moments when you pay attention to it!
- Accept the richest possible experience of this thing we call life … become an empty vessel … an eager student … ready to receive all that Spirit is offering.