February 28, 2014

4 Steps to Finding the Teacher Within. ~ Lexlee Overton

photo: lifesheimagined.tumblr

We’ve all done it—we’ve all searched for the answers to life’s most complex questions.

Whether we’ve read the latest self-help book, attended seminars by the latest motivational speaker, sat at the feet of a great “guru,” or visited a noted psychic, we have hoped someone else could help us find our way.

We’ve all spent the money, time and energy searching. Yet, somehow, we always come away still yearning for more.

Like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, while we are looking for our way home, following the yellow brick road, we don’t realize the answers we are looking for are already there.

It is then that we realize our greatest teacher is someone who has been with us all along. Albeit, someone we may not really know all that well.

In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, the opening mantra before every session is, “Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo,” which means: “I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine teacher.”

The mantra is used to tune the student into the “divine flow” and the knowledge we all carry inside us.

The great teacher is you. No one can give you greater knowledge or wisdom than you can give yourself.

Our problem is that we often don’t know how to begin meeting ourselves. The journey to the classroom of your greatest teacher follows this path:

1.  Be Willing To Be Still.

We cannot hear the divine knowledge if we are not willing to be still. And I’m not referring to just closing your eyes and sitting. Being truly still requires the quieting of the mind, stopping all the chatter and being willing to hear what lies underneath. You have to be truly present with yourself—a very hard task if you’ve been avoiding your truest, deepest self.

When I ask people if they meditate, the responses are typically that there isn’t enough time, or it seems silly just to sit there and do nothing. Others tell me that it’s useless, because they can’t stop the chatter in their minds.

There is usually a reason for this hesitancy. Anxiety can exist in just being quiet, in completely letting go of all thought. It takes courage to be in silence to hear the lesson we can teach ourselves.

Don’t give up. Be patient and you will learn what your divine nature is trying to teach.

2.  Be Willing To Accept The Teacher Who Shows Up.

Once you have cast aside all thoughts and chatter, you will meet your teacher. He or she will be some form of your higher self. Be willing to accept however “you” look.

The first time I truly became quiet, I met myself as a young woman around the age of 30. I didn’t like what I saw. I almost didn’t recognize myself.

I looked exhausted, my cheeks drawn in, eyes wide with pain and I sat on the ground with my arms reaching up, as if asking for help to even stand. This worn out, exhausted version of myself was pleading for me to help her.

I wanted to run from her. She scared me. But I stood my ground and listened.

I heard what she was teaching me. This younger, exhausted version of myself was there to show how my inner self was really feeling. At that time in life, I was ignoring my needs.

This teacher was telling me that she needed help. I had to find the courage to reach out to her, scoop her up in my arms and care for her.

In essence, be willing to accept however the “inner you” appears. The next time your teacher appears, don’t be surprised if  he or she looks completely different. Each new lesson may bring a different teacher.

3.  Be Willing To Learn.

Whatever the lesson presented to you, be willing to learn. Maybe the lesson will be a joyful one or one of appreciation. Once my teacher showed me how to dance with joy.

Maybe it will be a lesson requiring courage because the instructions are words you haven’t been willing to hear.

Whatever the message, it will be the most important lesson you need to learn at that moment in time. All the searching that you do outside of yourself could never provide the answers your higher self will give you.

The silence is always filled with the words we need to hear. We only need to be willing to learn.

4.  Be Willing To Share.

The final step in being a student of life is to share what you learn.

Every time we share of ourselves from an honest place, we give the gift of ourselves to others. And when you share these lessons, you then teach others that it’s okay to accept themselves.

As you share, you will also learn more about yourself. “When one teaches, two learn.”

You are meant to be your greatest teacher, to know yourself and be you.  

This is how we change the world, one student, one teacher at a time.

Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editorial Assistant: Emily Bartran/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: elephant archives

You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

Mar 5, 2014 10:49am

love love love this advice…I've been recently working really hard to make quiet time / space (which is so hard!!) and have recently started thinking about ways to share my story with others to hopefully bring to light some tactics for overcoming common challenges of taking time to be still…Aside from my personal network (facebook, personal blog etc.) are there any other avenues you would suggest I explore for story sharing? Thank you for this!

Cathy Mar 1, 2014 12:33pm

Yes, I fully agree that sharing our honest selves to people is extremely courageous and I share your viewpoint fully. I too have just started this sharing journey in my life now. For me personally – it is mental freedom – allowing more positive & compassionate energy to flow in while at the same time helping me release those negative engeries I carry within. Blessings to you and to all in these awakening journeys 🙂

tamyra bourgeois Mar 1, 2014 10:04am

The forth principle really touches me deeply Lex.The final step in being a student of life is to share what you learn.

In my quarter century of counseling others, what I know for sure is that the only way out of social anxiety, depression, paralyzing self-consciousness, and self pity is to serve, serve, serve, serve by giving what we have. However big or small we think the offer is. I ask my clients all the time to go out and share what they are learning with others. Mother Teresa once said, and I paraphrase, anyone who indulges in self-pity or depressed moods, has not traveled the world and looked around much." Loving support is the most transformational gift we can give to ourselves and others at the same time. It is also the 12th step of the 12 step program.

Read Elephant’s Best Articles of the Week here.
Readers voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares:
Click here to see which Writers & Issues Won.

Lexlee Overton

Lexlee Overton is living bravely as a trial lawyer, business owner, founder/CEO of a life-saving non-profit, wife, and mother.  From being a winning female trial lawyer in a male-dominated courtroom to growing a thriving business during motherhood, Lexlee has experienced a challenging journey advocating for others, which led her to a mission of self-advocacy for living authentically, passionately, and boldly.