This post is going to be one of my more personal ones. It has been almost 5 years since the idea of quitting my job first entered my brain and I want to share with you what actually made me do it a few months after. Because why would I leave my stable job to teach something hardly anyone had ever heard of. Well, I'll explain......
Around this time five years ago I had just finished giving my first ever Mindfoodness-course, as it was named in the beginning. It had been an absolute joy to teach and I spend all my time outside work learning more, writing blogs, finding places to give workshops and connecting to people for collaborations. I was a freshly certified mindfulness trainer and had fallen in love with the practice. The course was based upon the 8 week MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy)-course. It was the start of what is now the 8 week Conquer your Cravings-course.
Because I had started to meditate more, something had radically changed for me. It was as if I could hear a soft voice inside me that was trying to guide me in the right direction. As I now know, God speaks to us in the whisper, but in order to hear it we need to become quiet first.
And the voice was telling me the same thing it had been telling me for almost 10 years....."I don't want to be a primary school teacher". Very early on I had felt that teaching primary was not my calling, but due to circumstances I had decided to stick with it. And I was good at it. I seemed to have a talent for connecting to children with whom others would have difficulties. So from the start of my career I got known for being the person who doesn't shy away from a challenge (aka teach a class no one wants) and even thrived in it with the children. Behavioral problems and aggression got way less, their confidence grew, the group dynamics would improve and so on. Parents would always tell me they hoped I would teach their kid next year and I got praised by my colleagues for the job that I did. And I honestly loved working with the children, just not in a traditional classroom setting.
And all the compliments made me stay. If I was good at it, then this must be what I'm supposed to do. But sometimes it isn't. I see now that my talent was not to be a primary school teacher. My talent had been to connect to children who had been hurt, to get them to trust me and work with me, to figure out what they needed in order to thrive. And when they saw I believed in them, they would start believing in themselves too.
So in February 2014 this soft voice becomes more clear and I hear my truth. "I don't want to be a primary school teacher" and for the first time in my life I know what I do want to do........to help people overcome their inner struggles by teaching mindfulness based practices. I wanted to expand on what I had been doing with the children in my class and felt a big pull to now work with adults as a mindful eating coach.
But it wasn't that easy to just let go of what I had been doing for so long. And what about paying my mortgage, how was that going to work? I did some calculations and found an alternative source of income that would cover the necessary, so when that was no longer a problem, what was stopping me? Nothing........so in March 2014, I nervously went into the office and told them that I was going to quit.
I stayed until the end of the school year, I wanted to do that for my kids. Soon the last day came and I wondered if I was going to have a hard time letting go. Only when you really do something, do you know the effect it is going to have on you. The last children left and then...... I felt overcome with joy! It was a huge relief and I did a little dance by myself. A weight had been lifted and instead of getting ready to celebrate summer holidays, I had work to do!
That summer I gave many workshops at festivals, food markets, you name it. All to spread the word about what mindful eating is and what it can do for us. It was a huge success and I loved every minute of it. I met so many amazing people and I was having the best time. When I was a teacher I was always looking out the windows, dreaming away about the world outside my little room. Now I was in this world, having adventures and feeling alive.
I love teaching mindful eating, because I can see the difference it makes in people's lives. And that's my reason for getting up every day. I just love sharing the practice and am really looking forward to what is to come.
I'd love to hear from you!
Have you ever made such a big change in your life? Or have you ever entertained the idea?