Sunday, April 4, 2010

Give yourself permission

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
~ Marianne Williamson

One of the hats I wear is that of ESL teacher. Last week in class, my students were struggling with a difficult listening exercise, and I found myself saying I give you permission to be wrong. I wonder if that shifted anyone's world the way it shifted mine. I give you permission to be wrong. How often do we explicitly receive or grant ourselves this permission? It's true that we are often told that it is OK to make mistakes as long as we learn from them, but in fact I think the overarching lesson of our society is that to be wrong is a terrible thing.

Giving yourself permission to be wrong is the first step down a path to unknown discoveries. It is the first step to learning, exploring, discovering and growing as a person. By not only walking that path fearlessly but also explicitly giving others the permission to be wrong, we can give the world a great gift. I know that when I offered this permission to my students I really meant it and so I would like to learn to receive this permission - from others, if it's granted, and from myself. I can balance on my head and bind in Side Angle, but I don't think I've ever really given myself permission to be wrong, to shine my light without reservations, to start down that path with the unknown destination. I am still new to this practice, still learning to take my first steps.