They say that when the student is ready the teacher will appear.
Well, I guess the student is ready. Because, over the past several months, I’ve had the pleasure and privilege of getting to know a 43-year-old man who has become my teacher.
This man, while in the process of defining and taking the actions needed to live into his best life, has been teaching me so much – about his many gifts and strengths and capacities; about how I may use my God-given gifts to support him in living into his best life; and, amazingly, about my own daughter.
This insightful man has been reminding me of the importance of listening – intently and intentionally. Of stepping back. Of observing objectively. Of interpreting not only verbal communication, but non-verbal communication, as well. And then – taking action.
If only I had been doing this consistently with our daughter over the past several years, I would have understood long ago – she’s been communicating clearly. It’s just that I wasn’t listening.
I’ve been tired. Almost 35 years of getting to know our daughter and responding to the challenges that swirl around her can tire a person. But – if only I’d been listening. How much energy would I have manifested! How much more progress would we have seen! What kind of “amazing” might have transpired!
Gratefully, the teacher appeared – just as the student became able to hear.
Now, I am fully aware of just how much it means to our daughter to have and use tools that have the potential to radically transform her life.
What joy on Christmas morning, when she opened her gift and found the tool she had been wanting for so long! She had been asking, but the student had not yet been ready to hear.
To some, it might look like just a Day Planner. To her, it looks like hope – for a future filled with “amazing.”
Goals to be set – and achieved. Friends to be met – and met again. New experiences to be had – and then even more experiences. Comfort zones smashed and grown – and then smashed again. Self-determination and self-confidence increased – and increased again. Life lived. And shared. And celebrated. And captured in the pages of a simple Day Planner.
Thanks to my teacher, I am ready to help our daughter to incorporate her new tool into her daily activity. And I’m ready to train myself and heed the lesson of my unassuming teacher…..
Listen. Listen intently. And intentionally. Take determined action. Then – watch what kind of “amazing” happens.
Linda Doran Viscardis is passionate about ordinary people living extraordinary lives of contribution and freedom. She has worked tirelessly since the mid-80’s in the pursuit of her passion. She believes that all people, regardless of ability, must be the designers and authors of their best lives. Recipient of Canada’s Commemorative Medal of Honour and the Spirit of Trent University Award for her work with and on behalf of people who live with disabilities and their families, she lives with her husband, Dennis, in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. She would love to hear from you! Contact her at Linda@Viscardis.ca.