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I returned to teaching, then quit (embracing my sensitive soul).

Last month I dissolved my depression.

I had returned to teaching, after nearly a decade away. I re-entered the profession apprehensively. Despite some wonderful early teaching career highs while working in the early years and special education, I often felt uncertain with a shaky lack of confidence teaching the older kids. A part of me wanted to prove to myself that I could be a great teacher, despite the age of the children.

My new teaching position was at a school I dreamed of with low class sizes and a strong focus on wellbeing and nature connection. It was a one-day per week role, with older kids. To cut to the chase, while I did my best, I found myself extremely overwhelmed in the classroom.

In my role I was thinking,

‘I can’t do this.’

‘I’m failing.’

‘I’m inadequate.’

And then my mind spiralled to,

‘I don’t fit.’

‘I don’t fit into this job.’

‘I don’t fit anywhere in this world.’

Finally, in a state of despair I heard in my mind,

‘I can’t be here (in this world) anymore.’

This last thought jolted me. It scared me. I wasn’t unfamiliar with this thought, having experienced depression many times in my life, but hearing such a helpless cry come from inside, I knew I had to take action.

It was time to sit with my excruciating thoughts and feelings of having failed as a teacher, that I was too sensitive and that I just couldn’t do it.

In a quiet place at home, I sat with these thoughts, ‘I can’t be here anymore.’

I felt the feelings in my body.

With my curious, loving attention, the heaviness of my depression alchemised from pain to pleasure and I began to feel okay. Then a deep wave of knowing came through my bones and I heard ‘I belong to me’. And I was reminded of Maya Angelou saying, ‘I belong to Maya.’

No longer did I have to extract myself from this world.

My perspective back-flipped from trying to find a place to fit into the world to meeting myself as I am and choosing an environment that supports my needs.

I began to accept that I am sensitive, and with that sensitive nature, there are limitations. I can’t do everything and I don’t have to do everything.

‘Sensitive’ is something I had tried to severe from all of my life. I’ve tried to stop crying and not take things so personally over and again. I’ve tried to be someone that I’m not.

But this time, labelling myself as sensitive felt healing. It was like welcoming all parts of myself rather than continuing to resist the parts I deemed to be not good enough.

Allowing my sensitive nature ushered in relief.

I thought, ‘I get to be me.’

I don’t have to be different from who I am.

I cried as I arrived at a deep acceptance and understanding of myself and my needs.

I need time and space away from the world, from interactions with others. I need to be slow so I can ponder on how I want to answer questions, a luxury unavailable to me in the classroom. I need quiet solitude so I can hear my next steps along my soul’s journey.

I didn’t need to pretend I had it all together anymore. I could finally be free, knowing that I have needs that might be different from other people. And those needs are not met in the role as a classroom teacher.

So thank you life, for handing me this opportunity to graciously receive and accept that I am sensitive.

As I close this door of school teaching, I re-open the doors to the Diamond Mentorship, for you if you are sensitive, intuitive and curious to follow the journey that lights your soul up and meets your unique needs. Book a two-way interview HERE (a free online conversation for us to see if we’re a good fit to work together). I can’t wait to see you!