Today I am preparing for a workshop I have taught several times before on the Celtic Medicine Wheel. I have changed it yet again, expanded it some, removed and rearranged other stuff. As always, I am at the point of worry, when the structure hasn’t quite gelled and there are many more things to think through before the content is cast in type—and in my head.
What I always worry about at this point is clarity. Will the information be crisp and accessible to those who come, or will it come out of my mouth all a muddle?
I journey to my guide for some support. This is a spirit guide who came my way in the 1990’s when I had cancer. He has a big long name that took nine days to spell out—one letter at a time, so I just call him Y. Y’s been through a bit of the thick and thin with me. I take my insecurity about my readiness to teach this class and plunk it down in his lap. He looks at it.
You have a lot to say, he says. Yes, I say, thinking he means the seventeen hours of material I must compress into five. He smiles. You had a lot to say even before you could talk.
I get this rather humorous image of myself at age one, blue eyes round and wide, head weighted with thoughts I don’t yet know how to download. My brothers and sisters, all older by five or more years, tower over me. I look up at them with wonder. They are all talking at once, and I am overwhelmed at the speed and accuracy with which words and jokes and observations fire from their mouths. How can I keep up with this, I think to myself, how will I ever be able to deliver my thoughts with such wit and precision? My head feels like it feels now—too heavy for my neck. I endeavor to speak, but what comes out is just what I feared would emerge: a long, slobbery stream of gibberish.
Life is not a talent show, Y says.
Then I see a room of people sitting quietly, expectantly, in front of me—the faces of the folks who will be here with me for the workshop on Sunday.
You teach because you have to, says my guide. You don’t do it for them—you do it for you. The only loyalty you have is to your own truth. So speak it.
I open my eyes and look around me at the note cards and papers, books and handouts strewn around me on the floor. My heart seems to swell with all the beautiful stories and messages contained in this Celtic Wheel that I love so much. We are an awesome people, we Celts, I think. And all I want to do now is talk about it!