Taking time to Listen
Good evening everyone,
I hope this finds you each doing as well as possible.
Last week was quite eventful personally, with a new camp in session and a new collaboration bringing virtual yoga preschool to life. Each time I teach, I’m constantly learning. This week, I found a resurgence of students needing to talk about and process thoughts around Covid. I’ve observed the slow decline of outward concern, both online and with my own kids, but this week was notable with an increased discussion about it. Perhaps it’s the increased discussion around school and all of the back & forth, all of the continued uncertainty, and all of the big emotions surrounding the debate one way or another (all with good reason).
Above all what I’ve recognized, is that they need someone to listen. I do my best to give attention when it is asked of me, but I also know how good it feels to be seen and heard through a fresh perspective; a new mirror to be reflected in, so to speak. One student in a recent camp outwardly observed that "we don’t do a lot of yoga” during our time together. Perhaps their assumption was that yoga camp is 2 hours of poses! In those moments, I like to remind them that yoga is more than just a physical practice. It includes the time we spend observing ourselves, reflecting, and sharing. I’ve also see how my own kids have different ways of sharing to those outside of the immediate family, and how valuable it is for them to connect with other kids and adults. I’m so thankful for our karate studio and their online classes. The private lessons are a highlight for my boys. (Check out Life Kido, if you haven’t previously – they’re amazing).
Although Micah and Anothen both join me in various classes, and although we are together all.the.time, I have felt like the quality time spent with each of them has somehow dwindled. In the past few weeks, I’ve become more intentional with two main things.
First, I’ve started looking at them in their left eye when we’re speaking to each other – specifically if they’re telling me a story, or if I’m trying to help them understand my point of view on something. The reason for this is layered. If we look at the energetics of the body, it is said that the left side of the body is represented by feminine energy and is more receptive. After recalling this idea recently, I took note of the eye I tend to look at when talking with someone and it is often the right eye. I’m not sure why. The process of being intentional about which eye I’m looking into, it causes me to pause and be more present in the moment, as I work on shifting a habit. I also remember the reason for the shift: I want to receive more of the information they are giving me, and I want my message to be more fully received. Remembering this drops me more into my heart, which is where I want to speak as often as possible.
Second, I have created a time with my older son before bed once a week where he can talk to me as long as he wants (within reason, of course). Sleep is especially important for him, but he seems to have more difficulty. Often at night each of my boys thinks of so many things they want to share. While I love so many aspects of these moments, I’m also pretty darn tired by that time. I sat with this a few weeks ago and came up with the weekly meeting idea. Micah loved it, and though we’re only two weeks into the practice, it feels deeply connected and truly easy. I’m able to be present because I gave my word, and I treat it like I’m meeting with a friend who I am looking forward to catching up with. It’s not to say big feelings won’t come up on other nights (a tired mind is a worried mind), but so far the time spent connecting has helped reduce the number of drawn-out bedtimes that can otherwise occur. On some level, I can see it building trust and consistency – a routine he can rely on, during a time when there are no real routines.
This time is so challenging, for each of us in a unique way. I suspect the rest of this year will not ease up, and we are in for big shifts in so many different areas of life, but we will continue on. I invite you to continue connecting inwardly, and with your families. Any change that we want to see in the world starts at home, and a diamond is formed within the pressure of coal. I know so many are making big decisions about the coming school year. We were homeschooling last year and will continue down that road for the year ahead. To be honest, I’ve had many thoughts about the shifting landscape of our world and wonder what the best path forward is for our kids. What will they learn this year that will be of most value for the rest of their lives? I’m still coming up with the answer to that one. While I am working out our personal schedule and mission for the year, I would like to extend an offer to get in touch with me with any questions you might have if you’re considering homeschooling. I’ll to my best to guide you in the right direction or connect you with others who can assist you.