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Patience

In my new role as ESL teacher I am learning self-discipline and patience, even before the school year begins.  Although I can be self-disciplined when I need to be, I am not a very patient person.  I am thrown off course when confronted with ambiguous situations and unresolved issues, such as not knowing exactly what I'll be doing or how many students I will be responsible for, or even if I'll have many students to work with.  I want to get started on my classroom, study the curriculum, plan for the first week with students, but I can't.  Instead I'm forced to wait and let things take shape.

It's a good exercise for me.  When I'm feeling calm I think that everything will work itself out. But, when I'm feeling unsure of myself (much of the time) I start doubting myself.  I revert to ineffective habits:  if I'm focused on negative outcomes then when they happen I won't be blind sided.  Because that's something else I don't like: surprises.  So, I find myself in a catch 22 where every negative thought or self-doubt produces similar thoughts and more self-doubting.  It's a never ending cycle.

So, I remind myself that my thoughts and feelings, positive and negative, nurture each other.  If I let go of preconceived notions and ideas I will open myself up to unexpected experiences and relationships.  And, who knows?  I may create something better and more satisfying than I've known to date.

So, here are some of my affirmations for this school year:

Stay focused on the moment so that I can enjoy it.
Acknowledge that all is well now so that I practice gratitude.
Stay focused on the positive so that I can recreate it.
Be open to whatever comes my way so that I can take advantage of it.

How do you deal with changes and uncertainties?
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