One of the odd things about humans, is our incapacity to thrive when bored by tedium, but our conflicting resistance and fear when confronted with change, especially change that was not by our own decision.

I was a Special Class teacher, which meant that my students were often in my class for up to five years, and we became very bonded. When I knew I was retiring, I started to prepare the students by teaching them about how to handle change. As I pondered on how to best do this, I learnt much myself that I have been able to use since.

The theme that I used constantly for nearly two terms, was designed to develop optimism. Lots of lessons were summarised on a two sided sheet of card that I referred to whenever the opportunity arose. On one side were the fears, and on the other was ‘But it might be…fun.. new.. .great.. exciting

I admit that whenever I got wobbly about being retired, I resorted to the same list.

When the new teacher came to meet them, she was young, bright, experienced and professional – and she drove a huge black ute with shiny chrome bars on it. Oh, and for the prepubescent hormonal ones, she also had trendy clothes and a swinging pony tail! During the next year, I had occasion to revisit the school. One of the older boys sought me out in the yard and said “Hey, you know that thing you said last year about ‘But it might be…well, you were RIGHT!! ”

This past year I have been more faithful to daily silent meditation: not perfect (more on that later) but faithful enough to know how much I miss it if I let it slip by for a few days, and how I have moved from ought to desire. That time of silence, usually when the household is asleep, is precious and beautiful. The shifts in my inner being have been remarkable, and the most amazing for me, is the surrender of my fear, and the growth of a deep fundamental trust. It has shifted from meditation simply for my own psychological health, to answering a yearning to let go of my head’s borders and enter the liminal space of Love.

Moira Deslandes in her Letters to Hildegarde reminded me of the image of ‘a feather on the breath of God’. Over the year, my eyes have spotted several little light fluffy feathers and each one has spoken a word into a situation or emotion I needed to understand. Each one has urged me to let go of my fear and embrace the new, wherever the breath of God takes me.


A few nights ago I realized that I am no longer continually working on courage to overcome fear, but I have entered the realm of trust and fearlessness. What release! Along with twelve year old Corey, I have to say “Well, you were RIGHT!!”


About Pauline Small

After a long and varied career in teaching, I am now able to pursue my other love - writing as a form of exploring the depths of life's experiences. I live in South Australia, in an ordinary house in an ordinary suburban street, which is where the extraordinary happens every day.
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2 Responses to Changes.

  1. Karen Buckman says:

    I love your blogs, I finish reading with a smile on my face, I will read these to Erin.


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