We are all students. We are all teachers. Everyone wears masks.

 

The Masks We All Wear

We are all teachers, and we are all students…we are both.

 

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Photographed by Kelli Brooks. *All Rights Reserved*

 

What does it mean to be a teacher? To me, it means being educated in the area in which you wish to teach, as well as being experienced in the field which your students play. It means being willing to care about the experience of the student as much as the content of material to be offered, to be an example of that which you express to be important to those around you. Being willing to go to round 12 to find success, when both teacher and student get tired at round 4. Believing in yourself and your students, expressing a failed attempt is simply a stepping stone towards success. Being aware of when to be a student.

 

What does it mean to be a student? To me it means being willing to learn, to put down the “I know” hands in class, and open the ears to the tunnel of intelligence. It means appreciating the experience, paying attention to the information that’s being offered, while listening to the intuition of your mind. To be each letter in the phrase “If at first you don’t succeed, try try again!” To put the hours in, to do the work, while respecting the health of your body. Believing in yourself and the support of your teacher, asking for help when you need it. Being an example of what you learn, because to someone else, you are the teacher.

 

I truly believe that each one of us are wearing masks. The mask that best fits the situation. When I say, best fits the situation, I mean the mask that may be necessary in any given moment. I don’t mean changing who you are depending on what you are doing or who you are around. No no, I mean being the true and divine self of potential that you are. Each mask an expression of your capability, a window to endless opportunity, a facet of a multifaceted emerald stone. Not changing yourself, but being yourself!

 

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Photographed by Lindsay Cathcart. *All Rights Reserved*

 

How many masks do YOU wear in a day?

 

I read while studying N.V.C. (Non-Violent Communication, its great, google it.) about how to really connect, sometimes you have to take the masks off. I agree, there is always the someone, the core self, behind the mask, the Emerald itself. There you can connect and talk about all the mask you may wear in one day. Some people have to wear the ‘Parent mask’, the ‘Waitress Mask’, the ‘Student mask’ and the ‘I’m Single’ mask all in one day. The N.V.C. reading was expressing how sometimes people can wear so many mask its difficult to connect with each others core self. N.V.C helped teach me it is important to remember we are each crystals at the core of ourselves. At any given time when trying to connect with someone, to remember we may only be seeing one side of them. To have patience and compassion. That we are all very diverse, that we all wear many masks. All the same, but very different in ways that matter, and are useful.

 

we all wear masks slackrobats slackline acroyoga yoga bend oregon lindsay cathcart buddy thomas lindsikay lindsi cagan

Photographed by Lindsay Cathcart. *All Rights Reserved*

 

Break the Routine

 

Sometimes I find it very valuable to step out of your normal routine and daily habits to experience something new. To try on a new mask of sorts, and get out of your comfort zone. This requires a certain willingness to redefine your limits and expand your barriers. I have a friend who says “If I only surround myself with people who agree with me, I will never learn anything.” I’m not sure if he made it up or if he is keeping it alive, but the value is the same. Try a new mask on every now and then, be willing to view a new perspective . That new mask can also just be an old one you haven’t worn in a while. I think if you are willing to be aware of yourself, those around you, and your environment, you know what mask to wear.

 

For example, its okay to step back and switch the teacher mask for the student mask, when you are comfortably and confidently aware of another around who can offer you information. We are all students and teachers, and being willing to be what is needed in the moment is a wonderful display of human care and connection. The beauty is, we all have different mask, or abilities, or character traits to offer each other. When we come together and share what we know and who we are, it makes anything possible.

 

we all wear masks slackrobats slackline acroyoga yoga bend oregon lindsay cathcart buddy thomas lindsikay lindsi cagan

Photographer: Lindsay Cathcart. Yogis: LindsiKay and Buddy Thomas *All Rights Reserved*

 

The amount of energy and tasks that can be achieved when we work together is really incredible. So to all you out there in this big world, I say thank you for being you. Thank you for having the courage to be different, to be unique, to offer as well as receive. Whatever mask you may be wearing now or later, may it be a true extension and expression of you. Thanks for taking the time to read this and many blessings to you and all the sides of your crystal self.

Peace,

Buddy Thomas

 

 

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