The Friday before spring break it hailed on the Seed playground. A huge dark cloud that resembled the kind Nebraska tornadoes dropped out of when I was a kid rolled across the valley, leaving us slightly stunned by the load of white icy pellets on our streets, yards and even the Seed playground. It was a dramatic prelude to spring break. The chilly day that brought hail quickly melted into a puddle of hot ones, many of which, I’m happy to say, I missed because we were on Coronado Island. Walking the beach and breathing in a few days of ocean air allowed me to temporarily leave behind the drama of everyday life, including hail in the desert.
The great thing about being a school director is that no matter how exciting one event has been, it’s guaranteed there will be another one before long. This week has certainly delivered. For a starter, I woke up Sunday morning without a voice. No other symptoms, just an absence of voice. I was basically voiceless till Wednesday, which I found out makes my job slightly challenging. I talk a lot. I took the silence as a sign that maybe I was supposed to be quieter this week, and accomplished this with limited success. Gratefully, my voice has mostly returned and I’m glad to be able to communicate freely again.
Days at the Seed require extensive communication. This week’s topics include the transition to iCloud with our new computers, the usual coverage arrangements for staff absences, buzz surrounding the upcoming silent auction of art by the kids and staff, discovery, treatment and management of head lice, and speculation regarding when Kristen, our office manager, will have her baby. On top of that, spring has apparently arrived, which always stirs everyone up. Sunflowers we planted a few weeks ago are growing taller and stronger by the day and sweet peas are blooming. Transition is in the air.
The day it hailed on the playground and for the remainder of that weekend, I had the privilege of attending an iRest yoga nidra workshop. Yoga nidra is sometimes called “yogic sleep” and is a guided practice that allows participants to experience a state of full relaxation while maintaining awareness. It is a practice that is gaining popularity in the West and has been especially successful in treating conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, fear, pain, and post-war trauma with veterans. Programs are being developed for school children with excellent results. During the training we discussed the idea that as humans when we experience any feeling or emotion, there is always the option of also experiencing the opposite feeling or emotion. Frustration or impatience can be replaced by patience. Courage can take the place of fear. This aspect of the training has lingered in my mind. When I find myself being drawn away from my place of inner balance by life as the Seed director, I notice I’m now beginning to pause and ask myself what alternative feeling or emotion is also available. As this first week back from break winds down, I shift my overwhelmed and off-balance feelings to gratitude, for the blessings each day of this work brings.