Monday, 29 August 2011

Yoga Sparks Responsibility

Sometimes it can be overwhelming to step back and see potential. When you start looking to the future there are just so many possibilities, so much information, so many opinions and so many directions, that it can seem impossible to move forward. It's easier to just stay in a little bubble and work on your own. It's easier to dismiss others' ideas because they don't work with how you are already doing things.

Today we had our first meeting of the year as a complete school division, a pep rally of sorts designed to get us motivated and excited for what is to come. Followed by a pRep rally, where our professional learning communities met.  But instead of leaving the meeting peppy, I felt drained and down.  And that’s okay.

As I get deeper into yoga I realize that yoga is not about staying in happiness, it’s about staying present for whatever comes up. And when a “bad” feeling comes up it can be easy to disengage, to protect our selves by choosing to sit doing nothing rather than participating and productively contributing. There were points today that I heard my mind saying, “Whatever, I’ll just go along with this and then do my own thing in my classroom (bubble).”  I had to make a conscious effort to work through that initial voice in my head and still engage with what was happening.

Now when I say engage, I am not talking about fighting or arguing or being stubborn.  I mean be truly present, truly listen to others, consider what others are saying and then respond in a gentle way so others have the opportunity to listen to you.  This involves a certain amount of vulnerability.

In the past I have put my opinion out there, in a gentle way, but still to convince people that my way is right or maybe that my way is best.  And thought that just because I was being gentle meant that of course they would agree. And when people don’t agree with me my ego immediately jumps in telling me that I need to be offended or that there’s something wrong with me. And after I’ve gone through that exhausting process a few times it seems like the only other option would be to disengage, “Fine I’ll just stop caring, I’ll sit here at this meeting but I won’t really participate.”

Yoga sparks being present for the “good” and the “bad”. I have the responsibility to not disengage.  I have the responsibility to watch my ego jump and then from a place of watching engage some more.  I have the responsibility to speak my truth and then not take it personally when others don’t agree.  I have the responsibility to myself, my students and ultimately the world, to completely engage in life. And the best part is that I can still protect my self by choosing to not see rejection as something that defines me.

As we head into a new year I want to challenge teachers to stay completely engaged with your colleagues. Engage outside your bubble of a classroom with people that maybe don’t always agree with you, and then be open to whatever comes up. Yoga sparks the realization that your truth and my truth can exist at the same time.

Take what rings true for you and leave the rest :) And then of course let me know, what does yoga spark in your teaching practice?  What does yoga spark within your teaching relationships?  

With love,

PS Seriously excited for exposure to little people on Wednesday!

1 comment:

  1. Such wisdom Amy, and so well articulated. I am realizing how much work it is to truly work together. I believe it will be worth all the energy it takes if we are really going to do what is best for "our" children. I am sharing your one classroom rule "Work towards harmony", and I am looking forward to the work that will happen in our classrooms. I'm excited to watch students learn that work isn't something to be feared, but a means of moving forward. For me yoga sparks courage to do more, because now I "know" more.