Dear Homegrown Yogis,
This past week we had over 20 amazing kids at our Summer Kids Yoga Camp. As LaPrincess Foster created and ran the class, my job was simply to assist – I passed out pompoms and markers, held the limbo stick, helped kids open their water bottles and then cleaned up water bottle spills shortly thereafter =) I felt like I was doing the best job UNTIL we played a game where each child had to blow up his or her own balloon…
The thing is I know how to tie balloons – seriously I do. But when 20 little kids are simultaneously asking me to tie a balloon and then balloons are loudly flying and shooting everywhere as they lose grip of them, my hands suddenly could not tie a single balloon. I had literally forgotten how to do a simple task because I was so overwhelmed by the noise and situation. I froze up and superhero LaPrincess swooped in tying 20+ balloons like it was no big deal.
I was so frustrated with myself that once the kids had cleared out and the studio was quiet again, I pulled out that bag of balloons and tried to blow them up. And what do you know… it was no big deal to tie those knots. So what had happened? I had gotten flustered and panicky, and I wasn’t seeing clearly. I wasn’t able to take correct action because my body and mind were in a state of stress and chaos.
The past two months of my life have basically been like those few minutes of trying to tie balloons while chaos ensues around me (but not nearly as cute or entertaining as that situation). And from what I’ve been hearing from many of you, your life has felt somewhat similar to that. So I want to pass along the little insight I had once I got quiet and calm with those balloons. It’s a fact that life is busy right now, and there are countless challenges that come up and decisions that need to be made every single day. And yes – these challenges, actions and decisions may be really hard and may feel never-ending but trying to do them when I’m frazzled and stressed only makes them that much harder.
At the risk of sounding like my mom who would always say “first, you need to calm down Rachel” when I would be freaking out as a kid, I guess she’s kind of right. Or as one of my favorite stories goes – a man is in the woods feverishly trying to cut down a huge tree with a dull saw. Another man comes over and asks him, “why don’t you stop and sharpen your saw?” to which the man who is cutting the tree says, “I have no time! Can’t you see I’m busy trying to cut down this tree??” What my mom and this story are both saying is that I’ll be able to see, act, decide and respond much more clearly (and even much quicker) when I first do what I need to do to center and calm myself.
It’s a busy time in life, and I can’t write here confidently that it’ll change anytime soon. But what I can write with full confidence is that if I commit to the practices that keep me calm and centered (helllooo yoga), I’ll approach these times with clarity rather than chaos, and although life may still be busy it doesn’t have to be crazy and overwhelming.
So if things feel a little crazy for you right now listen to my mom and, “first, calm down!!” =) Then listen to me and come do some yoga =)