Yesterday, my daughter asked me to go to yoga. I thought I want to finish this book. And, I’d have to change. I weighed my thoughts against the invitation and responded, yes.
My second thoughts came on the way, crossing the bridge. Could I do it? I’d never done yoga outdoors, in a public park. I’m the kind who prefers a darkened room with quiet music.
We parked overlooking the beach and walked up the hill to the grassy area. It was beautiful. Surrounded by people, yoga mats, blankets. Really? Me? The instructor so far away, the breeze, music blaring from passing-by cars. I was, as they say, way out of my comfort zone. But I was there. And soon I was breathing in and out. Lifting my heart and hands up and down.
Yesterday I realized I don’t go to places because I think, I can’t, or I don’t fit in. And that makes me wonder.
How quickly we find our group.
Our place. And don’t move from it.
With our people.
We rarely seek out different. We avoid, ignore. We eliminate, amend. To stay safe. To fit in. To belong. To avoid looking stupid.
We learn how to do this early on. And it makes me wonder, what about all the potential, the wonderful that might be, but isn’t for fear of not fitting in. Of looking dumb.
Matt de la Pena said it today:
I’m thinking about my most reluctant learners. The ones that don’t do. The ones that act up. The ones that don’t fit.
Or appreciate anything.
This summer I’m seeking out different and with that a bit of discomfort. To see if I might uncover unknown possibilities. And discover what it’s like to go there. Where I don’t (think), I belong.
Even though I’m not that kind of person, I went to that yoga class. In the park. I breathed in and out. I lifted my heart and hands. It was different but not so different or so impossible, that I couldn’t see the possibilities I hadn’t considered.
Later this summer, I’m going to write with friends. At a farm. Even though, I’m not that kind of writer. I’ll go. And write. I’ll lift my heart and hands with the hope I’ll see possibilities in me.
To consider these different and uncomfortable places, it takes an invitation. A kind reaching out that opens a path to an intimidating space. One that said you can do this. Please come. And with the invitation came trust, an understanding of who I am and a promise to be cared for, not left alone to flounder.
Thinking of my students, the ones who struggle to fit into classroom learning, who feel they don’t fit, the invitation should hold these same supports. Trust, understanding of who they are as learners, a promise to be cared for, not left alone to flounder.
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesdays. A day to write, share and give pieces of our lives. Read more slices here.