Thursday, May 16, 2013

The hardest years of your life are the first few years you decide to put an active effort into bettering yourself

Yesterday I taught the most challenging yoga class I have taught yet.  It wasn't the size, as I've taught large classes before, and it wasn't the most advanced class I've ever taught either.  It had someone who had never, ever done yoga before and was trying a heated class as his first attempt.  And there was a deaf gentleman in class, and people of ever skill level.  Trying to balance all of that on top of the guys talking consistently in the back and a very disappointing e-mail from my manager of that studio hanging over my head, let's just say it was hard to keep my focus on the moment.  Sometimes, my hardest moments as a teacher are really being present in class for my students, but I feel that I have cultivated that since I started teaching.  It has become much more about them than about me, so in that way I was happy with how the class went.

The guys talking in the back were the real test of my beliefs though.  Compassion, understanding, forgiveness, and teaching.  Those ideals I had to keep in mind the entire time so as not to feel disrespected as a teacher and take any of it personally.  And then there is the art of capturing their attention without reprimanding them.  AND keeping the rest of the class engaged and feel like I'm giving them the necessary attention.  Let's just say I did alright, but felt drained at the end of it all.  I felt like I had gone through a jungle, a hot wet jungle, and come out a different person.

It did make me remember how we can have certain ideals that are relatively easy to follow in general, but much harder to keep in mind in the moment when we have to act or decide quickly.  Which words do we choose to best communicate our point and who we are and what we believe?  You have 2 maybe 3 seconds to put the words together.  Live your beliefs.  Slow it down and then move forward. It's tough!  And my life is relatively easy!

People who have a lot more going on in terms of old personality habits and better goals and ideals for themselves have to juggle this kind of stuff every single day.  No wonder people are exhausted by the end of the day.  It isn't just work and projects, sometimes it is moving through your baggage and trying to be the best you.  I feel like the hardest years of your life are the first few years you decide to put an active effort into bettering yourself.

This is due simply to the fact that you have to stay constantly aware of yourself, your thought patterns, your reactions, etc. and how you want to direct and change them instead.  Creating new thought and reaction habits is as difficult as carving new pathways for a river to flow.  You are fighting against the easy route. And so it was yesterday.

I was fighting my natural desire to control and make things go my way.  I can be snarky, arrogant, and even cruel in the way I talk to people sometimes.  This is an old trait I can clearly see the roots of.  They run deep, think family habits deep, and changing them takes vigilance and passion.

Yesterday was one of the hardest classes I've taught thus far, but also one of the most thought provoking.  Thanks students for teaching the teacher!

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