Being a Student

Being a Student
May 15, 2013 Millie Parmer



There is a wonderful saying that I try to live by: “When the student is ready, the teacher arrives.” About a year ago I was showing some of our rooms to a beautiful young man who was passing the area and was curious about our place with the red doors. I began telling him all about the progress and changes we had made since buying the property. He asked how I got everything done so quickly and I responded immediately with pride, “I am great at multitasking!”

He paused and stood in one of the doorways and said, “You can’t be great at one thing if you are multitasking. You are just doing things half way.” I didn’t agree. But, I wasn’t going to disagree either. A part of me understood what he meant. I had an “Aha Moment” that stood out as we continued down the rest of the rooms. He was right. I hadn’t been giving a 100% of my time and effort. As much as I prided myself in being an overachiever, I was giving less and less each time while trying to do so much simultaneously. Like a Latin robot, I was just fueling the energizer bunny to get as much done quickly so I could go on to the next task. Reflecting back to that experience I realize that I have evolved in this characteristic. A year later I am still reflecting on what this man taught me.

He was a teacher at that moment. I was the student ready to learn. The thing about doing so much is that we get lost in the doing. We forget that the process is much more satisfying than the finished project. I learned a few other things that day just by being in the moment with this man. He might never know what he taught me in a few hours of deep conversation and true awareness. He was a teacher dressed as a guest and I was there to learn a very valuable lesson. Even a year later when I find myself trying to do too much I stop and think of my beautiful teacher.

I remember sitting by the pond that afternoon and watching the fish jump out of the water to catch the bugs. The dragonflies hovered close to the dock. The butterflies nested by the grass near the shore. There was silence between this stranger and myself. On one of those quiet moments he began to talk about how people feel the need to fill the silence between each other. I agreed. As I looked out to the mountains in front, the water dancing to the gentle breeze, and the wind caressing my skin, I decided then and there that I was going to start being fully in the moment. I wasn’t going to kill myself to multitask just to check another thing off my To-Do List. The only thing to do was to start living each moment. I’ve read enough books on the theory of living in the now to write my own book. I have lived it to the best of my ability…until that day when I realized that I wasn’t living completely in the now. I had been living in the “right now I need to do this and that.”

The lovely thing about strangers and learning is that we are receptive when it comes to those who don’t know us. We tend to listen because there is no attachment. If we stop for a few minutes we realize that this person is presently interested in us. We seem to evolve because of that unknown and familiar factor of comfort. It is in that moment of learning that our spirit soars. That’s why I truly believe that I learn from every single person that I come in contact on a daily basis. Those things that rub me the wrong way are probably things that I am projecting in myself. It’s in those moments that I step back and ask myself what needs adjusting? What am I rejecting that needs to be accepted and embraced in myself? It’s often difficult to embrace the ugly parts of ourselves, but worth examining the desire to adjust them. I am always amazed at what comes up when I least expect it. We are multidimensional beings in spirit. Accepting the light in ourselves is easy. Embracing the darkness is not.

Each person is a teacher. Even nature teaches us how to live fully and unexpectedly. We are in a continuous huge classroom called life. What you take from it is up to you. I plan on learning to slow down even more, if that’s possible after all these months. I have mastered the art of relaxing to a whole new level in spite of being busy with our business. And, that is the best lesson the mountains have taught me. Peace is an inner strength that requires nothing but letting go.


About the Author:  Millie A. Mestril

millieAfter raising six children, working in the corporate world, and being part of a relationship for eighteen years, I found that happiness was not consistent in my world.  I left the business world, ended a relationship that was deteriorating and headed to the mountains.  My best friend and I bought a small motel in the middle of gorgeous country and began the greatest journey.  What started as a visit to Asheville in May of 2010 became a permanent home for us.  Now with only one teenager at home, I am able to be part of a wonderful world of meeting people from all walks of life.  We’ve transformed an old gem of a place into a sweet and quaint oasis for others to find peace.  To those looking into our lives it seems we saved Peaceful Quest Retreats, but the reality is that this place saved us.  Every day brings joy, inspiration and a zest for life I never knew existed.  The lessons have not always been easy but the ride has been scenic and delightful.  I can’t imagine ever returning to a life that was not authentic to my spirit. ~ Millie A. Mestril

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