The Lesson in Fitful (Non)Rest

no sleep

“Let your practice be a refuge from the need to control.”

-Rolf Gates, Meditations from the Mat:  Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga

Day 4 – The sleeping hours did not bring sleep for me. Mr. Sandman was snoring beside me, but I was wide-awake at 2 a.m. until my alarm, a fitful sleep, at best.  And, there is certainly a lesson in this circumstance.  I lost my cool at school yesterday–nothing major.  I apologized for this, and explained my frustration.  In most day-to-day classes, I can feel the students’ frustrations, as well.  There is a nervous and negative energy that hangs over the day.  Everyone is on the tipping point.  It is definitely different from other years, and people lack respect.  Adolescences certainly lack the experience of when to back off.   Even some of the best behave kids act somewhat passive-aggressively when faced with a task–not a monumental task, mind you.  And so, I rolled out of bed at 4 a.m. and danced, stretched, and did what I call “voodoo” yoga (vinyasa krama, basically).  This morning, basically I breathed and grounded and then breathed some more.  And then, I stretched my neck gently because I got smacked in the head with a volleyball going full tilt at Harrison’s game last night, and I could hear my vertebrae in my upper back go “crunch”.

Today, no less than in practice each morning, I come to see that “stillness and silence form the backdrop” of my life.  Everything else is just happening around me:  sounds and sensations, thoughts, and emotions.  As Rolf describes in Meditations on Intention and Being, I “become the sky that holds the weather.”  Through practice, I am able to “give my full attention to the weather of my life, to care for what is coming and going…to love what is passing through.”  The struggle will always be for me in letting go.  It is hard to celebrate the now, especially when you’ve blown it by getting frustrated and angry at a bunch of silly adolescents.  Nonetheless, today (like all my days), I will revel in the now and move past what I can’t control.  The task is big and I am imperfect.  Practice will help.


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