Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 320 of 365: See What Resonates

Be forewarned: this is about as hippy-dippy and pseudo-life-poetic as I get.

Yesterday, I got to buy my tingshas. As I mentioned yesterday, tingshas (or Tibetan chimes) essentially look like brass flying saucers connected with a leather cord. Chiming them together creates this absolutely gorgeous ring -- a perfect way to end that last pose in yoga (aka savasana). I remember my main/favorite instructor using them during my very first yoga class in Nashua and I thought to myself, "Holy God why don't all yoga teachers have these?"

I lucked out tremendously: the instructor (who also owns the studio and is an assistant instructor in my teacher training) was able to order them wholesale, and pass them onto us without any markups. I paid for my tingshas roughly 1/4th of what I'll be paying for my new mat (and the ultra-tally version of the mat I'm looking at is roughly $75) and the quality of these tingshas beat anything I saw on Amazon. I came into class early yesterday to play around with the various tingshas. Each had a different, intricate design on them, which affected the ring it made when chimed. The differences were subtle but noticeable. I chimed away until I found a pair that literally resonated with me.

I've been holding onto this "pre-graduation, almost a yoga teacher" euphoria as hard as I can, because I recognize it can and will not last. The feeling is all-too familiar for me: this is exactly how I felt my senior year of college when I realized I wanted to be a preschool teacher. And we all know how that played out.

However, the euphoria between the two are similar because, at least at one point in my life, I was ecstatic over something actually resonated with me. I was bored when I interned at a library. I was unsatisfied when I interned at a publishing company. I came alive when I did volunteer work at a Belfast primary school. I was in love with my job when I student-taught at an elite preschool (and those exist, especially in cities like Boston). I dove headfirst because working with children like that resonated with me.

In a way, that never changed. When I see my friends' kids, I immediately gravitate towards playing with them (and they immediately gravitate towards playing with me -- this right here was why I was the go-to teacher for new, unsure kids when I taught Pre-K. Not so much when I looked after one- and two-year-olds and they just screamed all day, but that's for another time). But what didn't resonate with me was the politics, the overcrowded classrooms, the parents who could not be bothered and -- most of all -- working with toddlers en masse (there's a reason why the turnover rate for teachers who work with toddlers and infants is exponentially higher than teachers who work with, say, 4-year-olds). What didn't resonate with me was the realization that schools operate a lot like businesses sometimes, and your intentions will get squashed under the bottom line.

And I recognize that there is a lot in yoga that probably won't resonate well with me. From finding a place that will hire me to people who cannot be bothered to enjoy the class to any slew of issues with payment. But it's about finding that balance: seeing what truly resonates with you at the base and seeing if it's worth it to invest more into it. Whether that's a literal, "the sound vibrations just feel right and I'll buy this tingsha," or a metaphorical, "This feels right in my gut and I'm pressing forward." It's about seeing whether or not you still feel right about where you are, even when the reality and the setbacks come seeping in.

The reality of working with young children was more than my pie-in-the-sky, elite-preschool-with-ideal-teacher-student-ratios, self could handle. But I have a good feeling about my yoga classes. And it's just a matter of time and letting things unfold naturally and exactly how they're supposed to unfold.

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