Thank You to My Teachers

This post is part of Reverb 10, a project that provides daily prompts in the month of December to help you reflect on the past year and set your intentions for the year ahead. 

Today’s prompt:

This month, gifts and gift-giving can seem inescapable. What’s the most memorable gift, tangible or emotional, you received this year? (from Holly Root)

I’m reading The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde — a book that artists seem to consider a Bible of sorts (I’ve only read a few chapters). Hyde writes of the power of teaching as a gift that sparks transformation. In this spirit, I would say that the most memorable gift I received this year is the teaching of Jillian Pransky, who led my Restorative Yoga teacher training at Kripalu. She taught me how to help people relax — a powerful gift that I expect to give to myself, and others, for the rest of my life.

Like so many amazing teachers, Jillian’s life embodies her gifts. She has dedicated her life to healing people through relaxation. She IS what she teaches. I aspire to attain that same unity of purpose, values and BEING.

I am so grateful for all the wonderful teachers in my life:

  • Kimberly Wilson, whose yoga studio, Tranquil Space, in Washington, DC, introduced me to the love that is yoga. Kimberly is the first person I ever met who was truly living the life of her dreams, and she continues to inspire me deeply;
  • Al Filreis, my college English professor, who taught me the importance of taking a position;
  • Lorene Cary, also a college professor, who taught me to be a writer, and Deborah Wilchek, my high school English teacher, who taught me to journal;
  • Ruth Fishman, my high school art teacher, who taught me to connect ideas and turn them into art;

…and so many of my dearest friends, and so many writers, and so many yoga and meditation teachers…

There is wisdom all around us. There is so much to learn. There is so much to teach.

What do you want to learn in 2011? What do you want to teach? (Remember, we can teach by example… by the lives we choose to live.)

Photo above by Flickr user tramod.

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3 thoughts on “Thank You to My Teachers

  1. Aw, Mark – the thought of warming your heart, warms MY heart. It's official: it's a love-fest…Patti – I'm really enjoying it…the beginning is a little wonky/dry as he describes the gift economies of tribal cultures (!)…but then he uses this as a foundation for talking about art as a gift, which I find VERY interesting.


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