[We had a rich Awakin Circle yesterday. Below is part of my share after reading the passage for the circle.]
I found my calling 21 years ago as a teacher and I will say something that happened very recently that made me realize that I have been singing my song and that that is my song.
About three weeks ago, I lost my voice entirely. For 14 days I could not speak. I was on a kind of silent meditation retreat, only it wasn't a retreat because I was fully engaged with the world. I was fully engaged with my students, with my colleagues, with everyone that I interact with, only I didn't have my voice. The first day when it happened and I walked into my classroom of 160 students, I entered a totally different space. I wrote on the board “I've lost my voice completely so I need your help today” and I proceeded to teach. I proceeded to teach like that for the next two weeks and it was incredible. I just shared with a colleague yesterday (because a lot of people didn't know that I had lost my voice -- I just wasn't talking) that it was probably one of the most profound experiences I've had as a teacher because it made me realize that I don't have to have my physical voice to actually do what I love to do.
After that first experience, it's just like what was said earlier about elation -- the feeling like you're doing what you're supposed to be doing. I always feel that very strongly in my life, but it was a new high to just feel, you know what? It doesn't matter. I don't have to have a voice. I don't have to have this or that or anything else. I can do what I meant to do. I will say I'm very grateful that I was able to actually physically read the passage to all of you because losing that capacity for speech for two weeks also made me really reflect on how have I used my words? Have I used them all up? What if I never get to speak again? What would I want my last words to be?