MAKING CHANGES IS AN INSIDE JOB
A while back, I had a difficult situation with a student of mine. His parents are well educated and work in the education field. They will always ask me to put a little pressure on him during his exam and always give me very little time to prepare him for the exam. Instead, they would spend the time on family holidays, overseas.
I would feel helpless and always felt like giving up on teaching him. However, I knew that it was not his fault. And I had already communicated to the parents that learning to play the piano should not be rushed.
I always tell myself never to give up easily on any student or rather not to shy away from any challenges that I may face. If I give up, I would never have the chance to see the results of my efforts, especially when I have given my all in a task. But at the same time, I learnt not to expect any specific outcome but just to do the best that I can.
Don’t React, Reflect
And so I learnt not to react so quickly when faced with any challenges during my lessons with him. I admit it was not easy at all in the beginning, as I had resistance in my heart and a little voice kept telling me to give up.
Instead, I chose to do some self-reflection later during my meditation session, on the issues that came up. In doing so, I found inner peace and the answer on how to cope.
The important thing is not the problem. Therefore, don’t focus on the problem. Instead focus on the solution, on how to improve or get things done. Stop blaming others or victimizing yourself.
All the blame or resistance is from the Ego and it doesn’t help at all to keep dwelling on it. What we focus on, expands.
Accept & Let Go
Of course there were incidents when I lost my temper. I sat down and looked within, at my emotions. I learnt to accept things as they are and release all unwanted emotions. Know that we can’t change others or rather that it is not within our control to do so. Why don’t we change our feelings towards external situation or people instead?
After my self-reflection sessions when I had completed my inner work, I felt much more at peace within; I was able to move forward in my work with him. My focus on preparing him for his music exam was clearer and my teaching strategy was well planned.
I gradually became more patient when teaching him. And I did not feel any less passionate even when he did not play well. I just gave my best in every lesson.
From one incident to another, I increased my self-confidence and strived to improve my attitude and behavior towards other people and situations. When there were conflicts, I focused on changing myself.
We can master our own thoughts and emotions. It may take time for self-mastery, but we should never give up, just keep on going. We can choose to make changes within ourselves to gain inner peace.