A Giant Leap of Faith

It amuses me that as we get older and supposedly wiser, we step away from taking risks. We fall into ways of being that nourish us, routines that serve us and ways of being and existing in the world that become known, familiar and comfortable. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, it does take away a degree of spontaneity and risk that essentially, is what initiate growth and inner development.

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For many years I have been asked and offered to host raw food workshops and time and time again, I have politely shied away, opting to offer catering or post my recipes online- finding comfort and anonymity in the solace of the kitchen or tucked behind my computer screen.

Public speaking is of course a fear that haunts many. Although for me, it was also a feeling of not knowing enough, not being ‘good enough,’ comparing myself to the likes of David Wolfe or Elaina Love- raw food experts that have inspired me through talks, classes, lectures and demonstrations over the years.

A few months ago, I was asked if I would like to teach the raw food component of a vegetarian cooking school, run locally here in Mullumbimby. Something told me the time was right, the content was familiar, the group small, and the facilitator lovely. It felt like the perfect step into a new way of sharing my passion with the world, so in a moment of bravado, ignoring the inner dialogue that usually answered ‘No’ without contemplation, I accepted.

I planned. Planned may even be too gentle of a word here. I dedicated a great amount of time and energy to make sure my menu was correct, the recipes were foolproof and the introduction was both entertaining and offered an insight into my experience and credentials in the world of raw food. I created homework tasks for the group, back up recipes incase there was extra time and shopped for a box of extra ingredients that would be back up incase the shopping list I had given was at all inaccurate!! Pedantic? Perhaps. Alas, I wanted to feel well and truly ready for any possible occasion to arise.

On the first day I woke early, did yoga, went for a long beach walk, went over my notes, had two chai teas instead of one and practiced in my head how I would introduce myself and the first topic to the group.

When I arrived. I took a deep breath and I let it all go…

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I think what makes a person a teacher is their ability to offer information that is innate knowledge to them- material that is so ingrained in their cells and so entrenched in their heart, that the words come before the brain creates sentences and the answers are spoken before the questions are even registered. After many years working with raw living food- living and breathing this lifestyle with love and integrity- I discovered that indeed, it was not a separate part of me.

I made my way through the entire weekend with a degree of undeniable ease and grace. I shared the tricks and techniques I have learned. I demonstrated the recipes I have created. I talked of my time in raw cafes and retreat centers the world over. I even had a lot of fun!

By letting go of the structure and allowing for spontaneity, the days slipped by with laughter and joy. Best of all- I too learned so much from the students! Their creativity, attentiveness and willingness to learn and experiment blew me away and they invented dishes and recipes that I had never dreamed of before!

By the end of the two days, I sheepishly realized that teaching wasn’t the terrifying experience that I had built up in my mind over all these years. Teaching was simply sharing. Teaching was simply learning. It was all very simple when I removed the story.

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I am looking forward now to saying YES! Yes to more workshops! Yes to teaching classes! Yes to collaborating! Yes to adventures! Yes to taking risks and learning as I go.

I also realized that the teachers I do look up to are always learning themselves and they are never afraid to be open about this. For we never stop learning. We keep growing, evolving, shifting, taking in new information and seeing where that fits within our existing concepts and framework. To stop taking risks is to let go of so much of the reason we are here on earth.

The students walked away with newfound knowledge and enthusiasm, tools to add to their kitchen repertoire and recipes to recreate and share again. I walked away with more than I could have imagined. Best of all- the reminder to always take leaps of faith.

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