Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Crazy Chaotic Class Creates Clever Challenge-Management

Rehearsal cancelled last night to offer our cast a much-needed night off to regroup and process what we'd been working so diligently. Feeling a little frayed at the edges, I thought I'd make use of the free night with a calm evening of Slow Flow Yoga at the Shelter. Re-focus a bit. Ground myself. Find that inner calm. 

Well, I found what I needed. But not how I expected to find it ... 

First, the instructor -- the Shelter founder's sister who always leads a stirring class -- had jet-lag from her training trip to India. (Totally understand that.)  Hence, a last-minute replacement instructor -- Destiny by name -- was called in. Then, Destiny had car issues. And thus, class started about 15 minutes late. 

No problem. I made use of the time to meditate, focus, chill, stretch and clear my head. Did some visualization to settle my busy mind. Do you recall how adults sound in those Charlie Brown cartoons? Well, as I sat in what was a very full room last night, that's what I heard. As time passed and class didn't begin, voices and conversations flowed through my head getting louder and louder. At some point, I recognized that the couple in front of me was speaking French! I found my mind reactivating in an effort to interpret but then made the choice to let that flow through as well. The result was a cacaphony of chaos flitting about inside my already fatigued mind.

Destiny arrived. The teacher that is. And the Flow began. Zoinks what a Flow it was! And though I can honestly state that the evening was not what I had set out expecting to experience, it turned out that it helped me find exactly what I needed -- physically, emotionally and mentally.

Poses came about differently. Warm up, balances and side planks. Twists and turns then half moon and reverse half moon. Chair to chair prayer twists on the toes and standing splits. Grounded crescent to crescent twists. It came at me like a tennis ball from one of those batting-cage like machines.  Music seemed a bit loud and out of sync with my anticipated definition of "Slow Flow" tunes. I dripped sweat more than I recall from any recent classes. And, at the conclusion of what I believe was a full hour of poses crammed into 49 minutes, I felt like one of those dishrags you ring out after doing a plethora of holiday dishes -- well used, stretched out and limp. But SO relaxed. And SO good.

It was a whirlwind. And it was JUST what I needed.

I got the message. When the unexpected disaster or challenge comes your way, you can let it break you or shake it off and keep going. You can stumble and fall and stay down. Or, you can stumble, fall, get back up and moving. You can let it throw you or you can let it flow through. You can fight it or you can embrace and experience.

Cause it happens. People do unexpected stuff. Life happens. The lines you expect or want to hear are not what come. You have to think on your feet ... stay focused and in the moment. The roads are slick and you have to reject the inclination to panic and opt for calm. The lights are set wrong. The car doesn't start. The weather thwarts the best laid plans. The words you want to hear or the call you hope to get doesn't happen. In these moments, only You can decide not to fall apart and pull it together. And you have to prepare mentally and physically and emotionally for those moments cause they Will come.

As I'm personally managing a crazy schedule and embarking on some more stressful moments in upcoming days and weeks, Destiny's class reminded me how to manage ... how to Let It Flow. 

Amidst the drama, rejections, twists and turns, silence, sludge, disconnects, demands, sounds and undesirable "stuff" that flies your way, consider choosing your challenge-management cure now.  I can pretty much predict that when it actually hits you won't have a nice calm environment to evaluate options. You'll have to do it on the fly.

You might even have to do it in a Slow Flow yoga class.

Thanks Destiny for reminding me that you can find calm in chaos. 'Cause that's truly when you need to find it.
                                                                                    -- Jenni