This week I was working with a long time student of mine who has also gone through the ITM Teacher Training Course.
We were chatting about the future of the ITM and whether we were going to commit to another four years of professional development in 2016.
She told me that no one she talks to seems to understand why she dedicates so much time and money to learning about this process.
I can relate.
In a world where you can professionally certify in many disciplines in a weekend, the 8 years of formal professional training I will have completed in 2016 could seem a bit excessive!
She said she does not often tell people that this work is about reaching your dreams.
She said that the people around her don’t see that she is reaching her dreams. But she knows, on the inside, she is becoming more and more of the person she dreams of being.
I was so touched by her saying this.
I have to confess, I can be a bit sheepish about claiming this work I teach is about reaching your dreams.
Because there are things I dream of having in my life that still feel totally out of reach.
My student that day made me realise that on some level I only feel justified talking about reaching your dreams if I can point to some outrageous symbol of success in my life that represents a huge dream.
I have somehow limited my idea of dreams to achieving things that other people can see and ackqnolodge. Objects! Awards! Projects! Jobs! Trips!
I have forgotten that the health, peace, love, freedom, joy and sense of purpose I experience in my life more and more every day is something I only dreamed of 20 years ago.
Thinking about this reminded me of the principle we study in our training course so perfectly expressed by Stephan Covey when he claims that private victories proceed public victories.
Now, I don’t for a moment want to suggest that studying the ITM may not lead to achieving those dreams visible from the outside. In fact, our current training course is full of people doing just that over the four years they immerse themselves in this work.
It has been incredible watching the trainees apply the material in the curriculum to their lives and land dream jobs, start businesses, create incredible charity projects, write plays and put out albums.
It has also been inspiring to watch people manage incredibly difficult life circumstances with grace and dignity as they find more and more resources within themselves through using the tools and principles that make up the ITM Alexander Technique.
One of my favourite things I have heard Don Weed, the founder of the ITM say about reaching your dreams is this:
“If you are taking steps toward your dreams, you are already living your dreams”.
How wonderful is that!
And yes, I still have projects and goals I will tend to and pursue. I still have my worldly ambitions.
But fundamentally, my student that day helped me remember that the biggest dream of all is to become the men and women we are capable of being.