Impossible? Yes. So let’s get to work.

Impossible? Yes. So let's get to work.

I’ve been asked to present a workshop next week at the New Zealand Teachers of English Conference in Hawkes Bay. I always tell my students that the magic happens outside the comfort zone and to be brave, so I said ‘yes’ to that offer. But as the time gets closer to the conference those old self thoughts have been coming back to visit: “who do you think you are to speak to English teachers?”; “they’re already gonna know what you’re going to tell them, it’ll waste their time”; “what you have to say isn’t even important.” I get those kinds of thoughts whenever I feel challenged to do something that for me requires bravery. Not long after that I’ll probably have my recurring dream too. Throughout my life whenever I’m about to do something that helps me grow, I have a dream that I’m on a high place and something goes wrong e.g. I’m in a plane and it crashes, or I’m on a mountain and I fall off. It’s an appropriate symbol for me because I ma really scared of heights! So last night I had the recurring dream again. Someone had built a huge park for people to recreate in. It included a mountain that people could climb and tracks people could run. Somehow I found myself in the most awkward place at the top of this mountain, wedged in between two rocks. When I looked down all I could see was the ground hundreds of metres away. Whichever way I went to place my feet it seemed I would drop. To me it seemed like the only way down was to get picked up by a helicopter.I was really distressed and began to cry. “Why would they make a place like this that amateurs like me could get stuck in?! I’m not a climber, how am I supposed to get down. They should have known this would happen to people!” Just then a really un-athletic guy came bounding along a track below where I was. I watched as he jumped onto a platform, and then another and then another, kind of like a cat. And that’s when I saw that if moved down a little it was actually really safe to get down. What I had seen as a drop to the ground below was hiding large platforms and ledges that people could easily jump onto and walk breezily down the mountain! The word of encouragement I got from this dream is that knowledge will help me face this challenge of presenting at the New Zealand English Teachers workshop. I just have to take some time to assemble my knowledge, find any knowledge I don’t have and then the way will be much more open. The picture of Phillipe Petit inspires me. He walked on a tightrope between the twin towers in New York in 1974. He had no safety harness under him. As he was planning the walk with friends one declared it was impossible. “Impossible? ” replied Phillipe. “Yes. So let’s get to work.”

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