"The real hope that we have of positively affecting our lives and our relationships is the process of working with the blocks that prevent us from being in the flow of this very moment." J. Lasater
I've been trying to create white space in my life--again. That empty spot on the calendar where I can finally tackle the ever growing stack of delayed to-do's. I just barely manage to create some (a friend took Andrew for a playdate for a few lightening fast hours) and then suddenly something else comes rushing in to fill it (a meeting at an inconvenient time that wasn't mandatory but going was the right thing to do). I could give you half a dozen more examples just from this week, as I have been really committed lately to releasing things that are unnecessary and take me out of where I am sensing that I'm meant to be. But just as sure as I release one thing, another grabs a hold of me.
I read again yesterday about letting go, giving up control because the only thing that I can control is myself and my own response. Then, in my in-box, this message: "Control, I've come to understand, is an illusion. And even if it could be had, it would not be the best thing for me."
A friend and fellow teacher shared with me a few situations in her classes where she felt a student was demanding something that was not in the best interest of her class. And, in another instance, someone was interrupting the class by walking in mid-class, not to take it but to just get something from the room. (Not once, but several weeks in a row.) This happens frequently in my classes, too. I wonder how, if I looked at the same situation with a different lens, I could show compassion instead of resistance? Or perhaps I could look at it not as a loss of control but as vehicle to better communication. What if, instead of responding in a way that commanded respect, that I showed my students that even the smallest or biggest distractions don't have to rock our boats. A willow tree doesn't break in the wind. It's able to bend and move as the wind blows. In the case of the students, I find that most just need a refresher in yoga etiquette. The "do unto other's speech" usually does the trick.
I think it all boils down to less of me-- more grace. When I am so consumed with trying to orchestrate things the way I think they should be, my view needs a rebalance. Yep, me time, white space, peaceful classroom environment, all good- but not a constant. I'm learning to be open, flexible and joyful when things pop up whether they are controllable (like re-connecting with a friend via i-chat half way around the world, when I'd planned on preparing for my class) or uncontrollable (my son needs help to decorate his "wounds", some real, some not, with all the sponge bob band-aids we have in the cabinet). What else can I let go of right now?