The theme at yoga last night asked us to consider the grooves we carve in our lives as we make choices about how we spend our time and how we react to situations. We make choices at every moment, every day. I like a lot of my choices, but I realize that some of the grooves I'm stuck in aren't leading me where I want to be. It's pretty liberating to know that all it takes is a slight shift and I can make a change in course.
A foot injury has taken a toll on my usual routines (and I really really like my routines). However, I am realizing I can establish new ones that will allow for healing, and that may just offer up some new opportunities and perspectives. Tonight I was driven to the pool by a need for movement and the oppressive heat that is taking a toll on me (as it always does in August). Every time I breathed west I was afforded the most brilliant view of the sun setting beyond the storm clouds that hover (and don't ever seem to storm). The combination of moving through the water, hearing the silence, and being treated to a visual show every time I breathed reminded me of the importance of simply taking the plunge (excuse the pun) and enjoying the time I have and how I spend it.
I've been having a difficult time getting into the groove of the new school year. I feel slightly off balance as I have watched some of my plans fly a little lower than I'd hoped with my new group of students. I finally remembered today that sometimes this just doesn't matter. That it's more about the softness in your eyes, the love feelings, and the easy laughter that make things work. It's not what I have written on the page as my plan. It's not the handouts I make. It's not the fact that the closure wasn't as solid as I'd hoped. It's the ability to be real in the moment with a group of people who very much need for me to be.
Teaching is a pretty solid metaphor for life: If you get flustered, everything gets worse. If you laugh at yourself and the situation, it diffuses. If you move through with love and not fear, things fall into place as they should. A good plan is only as good as its responsiveness to the present moment. And all of these choices become habits. All of these choices inform the groove that is worn into the fabric of the classroom, my day, and ultimately, my life.