We've all heard, "I'm a human being, not a human doing," somewhere along the line. But what does "being," really mean? Having studied just about everything I could get my hands on in the self-help and metaphysical realms, by my mid 30's I couldn't find any way to simply be. Sound familiar?
I don't have an answer for what being is exactly, but here are a few things I know.
I had a teacher in the 6th grade, Mr. B., who did unusual things with his students. For one, he hugged. I experienced tremendous abuse and neglect at home and Mr. B. was willing to acknowledge this about me even though I worked pretty hard at hiding it. During one lunch he asked me to stay in the classroom and sat me on his lap. This would certainly be considered inappropriate by most folks' standards but Mr. B. changed my life that day. He pet my hair, which was matted from not having been shampoo'd or brushed, and told me he cared about me a whole lot. I cried. And for the first time talked about what had been going on at home.
Mr. B. did special exercises with us he called, "Be Withs," too. We were partnered and gathered in chairs, where we faced our partner, toe to toe. For a whole minute, we had to look into another kid's eyes without saying anything or breaking the gaze or even giggling. Before "be withs," I made fun of Danny Robles for his weight. Not after. His misting, brown eyes still shine in my memory.
Mr. B. did lots of other irreverent things with us that year. We read books on transcendentalism and sang "Dust in the Wind," to our principal. And later, as I studied to become a teacher, many of the lesson plans I wrote sprung from my 6th grade memories.
But I moved into junior high and lost touch with Mr. B. and as I stepped into adolescence, I sort of buried any hope of truly being acknowledged. It was the tiniest thread of possibility, so minuscule my fingers kept slipping when I'd try and grasp at it. Or else I grasped so tightly that I couldn't figure out how to tug.
Good news… even the tiniest threads can expand and they are for me daily now. People who are willing to see and know everything about me, even the stuff I try and hide, are showing up in droves. Well, maybe there aren't droves but the few who do are so wonderful that it makes up for any numbers lack. Most of them are friends I've met through Access Consciousness ™ but not all.
There's Dr. Dain Heer, co-founder of Access, who has the same intensity of presence as Mr. B. did and a whole lot more. Being seen by him is life altering. And there's my friend Mira who is showing me that calling someone when I think I'm feeling down or out of it is OK. She's showing me that allowing someone to be generous with me is OK too. Plus, there is Jack, whose friendship is unexpected and nurturing beyond what I thought possible. There are so many things to be said about Jack that I suppose I'll make a novel of it someday.
You, who are reading this, I hope that you have discovered a Mr. B. or a Danny or a Dain or a Mira or a Jack. I hope that you are willing to be that intensely present with someone and to allow them to be with you.
Lit and Comp teacher gone rogue, disguised now as a Living and Relationship Coach, Body Worker, and Access Consciousness Facilitator, I still sneak off to write because, well, it makes me come alive and it's one of the joyful ways I create the future.