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Digging Deeper: Featured Circle of TrustⓇ Touchstone

Featured Circle of TrustⓇ Touchstone

By Kim Irish

With each edition of “Seasons,” I’d like to focus on one of our beloved Circle of TrustⓇ Touchstones, reflecting on what it means to me. Attend to your own inner teacher” has been speaking loudly to me recently, and was also critical in bolstering my courage from the moment i first encountered it.

Winter prompted me to find time for stillness and reflection, both of which allow me to create space in my work and life. I love nothing more than retreating indoors to spend time writing and doodling in my journal, allowing my mind to wander freely. Doing that brings me back to our Courage to Lead retreats, when we would find a quiet spot alone at La Casa de Maria to respond to the inviting prompts given to us by Ken and Kim. It was there that I felt my inner teacher begin to lift up her voice.   

Before I arrived at my first Courage to Lead retreat in the spring of 2016, I was filled with self-doubt and anxiety. My partner and I had broken up just a few months before, and I was taking on greater responsibilities at work by leading OneJustice’s Executive Fellowship Program and spearheading our efforts lobbying for federal funding for legal aid programs in California. I questioned whether I could heal the heartbreak while managing the weight of my job. “Attend to your own inner teacher” was an utterly fresh concept to me. I’m a teacher? I have inner wisdom from which to draw? It turns out that the answer to both of these questions is a hearty “yes!” My inner teacher’s voice is quiet, but if I am still and wait for it, she will emerge and guide me. Learning from this internal voice turned out to be one of the most valuable gifts I took from my Courage to Lead experience.

Two years after this first encounter with “Attend to your own inner teacher,” I am still using it and sharing it with others. I invite teammates at work to a weekly self-care session where we can journal, meditate, and otherwise listen to our inner teachers. I am filled with gratitude for the meaning this touchstone has added to my life, and I invite you all to reflect on how your inner teacher may be showing up in your own.

– Kim Irish

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