On the Sunday of a recent teacher training course weekend, ITM Head of Training Don Weed kindly asked me to share an experience I had had the day before.
I had attended a seminar with a woman called Marianne Williamson on the topic of “Career and Spirituality". For those of you not familiar with her, Marianne Williamson is a spiritual teacher who has been active in American politics.
Due to her political engagement and outspoken opinions on US foreign policy, inevitably someone asked her a question about the recent terror attacks in Europe.
In response, she spoke about what she thinks is most needed from us as world citizens at this time, as well as what she believes we must demand of our leaders and decision makers.
She spoke about how we must learn learn to more accurately identify and analyse causes. How we need to more clearly understand the relationship between cause and effect.
She put forward that we must learn how to read more deeply and learn how to more thoughtfully process information.
She suggested that we, as a collective, must learn the skill of how to live with the questions rather then rushing to answers and solutions.
She talked about developing the ability to have a more nuanced analysis of situations and developing the ability to have more nuanced conversations. She spoke of the importance of being able to hear and consider opinions with an open mind and identify good ideas regardless of their source.
As she spoke I thought of my colleagues who were at that time in class with Don Weed at the training course. I felt very proud and very grateful. All the things of which she was speaking are ideas, values and processes that lie at the very heart of what my colleges were learning and sharing at that moment. They lie at the heart of the ITM Alexander Technique.
This woman was declaring that not only are these ideas important, she was claiming they are what is most needed in the world right now to tackle the biggest problems facing humanity. She believes the very future of the human race may depend on us bringing these processes forward into how we live our lives.
If you, like me, are doing a little imaginary fist pump at this moment and thinking: “Yes!!!!, but how do we get more people involved in what we do so we can really make a difference?”. Let me leave you with what happened next.
As the topic of the seminar was “Career and Spirituality” a women raised her hand with a question. She told us that she had developed a process that grew out of her deep passion. She told us she knew it could change the world. Her question to Marianne was about how to get her message out there.
Marianne Williamson lectures to tens of thousands of people every week. She has sold millions of books and provides spiritual council to some of the the most influential and powerful people on the planet today.
She told this women that in all her career, she has never, ever concerned herself with getting her message “out there”. Her only concern is getting her message “in here”, at which point she gestured to herself. Her concern lies with how to live her message, how to be her message.
As I shared this with our current trainees and looked around the room at their bright eyes full of understanding I saw a group of people doing exactly that.