Be the student

"Failing down ain't falling down if you don't cry when you hit the floor." Alicia Keys.

Growing up I didn't always have the best role models which left me confused and torn. As a young girl this made me somewhat resentful, but I was equally determined to change my circumstances and rewrite my story. I didn't know how, but I was a great student even though I didn't much like school.  I was picked on for being born in another country and it took quite some time for me to feel comfortable in my own skin. It  was awful in those early days but I made it through. Looking back on my experiences I can reflect on my life either with an eye toward blame or with a spirit of growth. I choose the latter but I am here to tell you, growing up is hard work.

They say that seven is the age of reason. At that point we step out of passive learning and into the realm of awareness.  We are internally accountable, it just clicks. We start making distinctions about who we are and who we want to be. Some of us choose to be just like our parents. While others favor some other ideal. Fundamentally it is our choice and probably our first major decision. We tend to see things in black and white and we are comfortable with that clarity.

And then comes adolescence when life seems life a constant distillation of information. So much is being thrown at us all the time. It can be difficult if not impossible to always know what to believe. But we get through it, cloudy at times but complete. Knowing that we took in as much as we needed and left the muck behind, well most of it, we look forward to a time of independence. We can finally be ourselves, usually in a hurry.

But not much changes after high school, except the choices become more sophisticated and the stakes are much higher. Oh and yes we are much more independent but we are also alone.

"Wow I wasn't ready for all of this" we say. It's so overwhelming.

So what do we do? We struggle through the muck, fall down, get up, shower, (most of the time) or at least shake it off and get back to work.

And then the real learning begins. My experience has been that pain usually shows up to teach me something about myself, usually that I am am stronger that I think. Recently, after facing a difficult situation, my son Jonathan sent me this message “ It’s during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. Life is about perspective and nothing is definite. Enjoy the things you do, love the people you love and let the rest take care of itself." I stood in awe of his wisdom and simplicity. Is that my Son? I would say that he has it all figured out, or maybe those were his words.

Remember what I said about high stakes?  The greater the lesson, the more we stand to loose. 
Jonathan is not my own source of inspiration. My other son Nathaniel died after spending ten days with us here on earth. Despite my anguish, I knew he did not die in vain. I knew he had a specific purpose. I knew he came here to bring me and my Husband together. Talk about a big responsibility. Nathaniel did his work, and then went on his way. He had other work to do and I had to accept it. Yes it still hurts, but he visits me from time to time to help ease the pain. I really love ladybugs!

His untimely death taught me that the greatest loss can serve as fertile ground for growth. I had to surrender to a force so much larger than my simple perception and let is shine light on me.  It can be difficult to have that perspective  all of the time. Especially when things get yucky. But we have to do the work even if it feels like shoveling crap at a racetrack. In fact, that's when it counts the most. Because really who wants to shovel s#%*.

The great news is that things get easier. We get stronger. We learn more. We grow up. And the best news yet is that we have so much more to contribute.

Today, I love going to school. I am a lifelong student.

Lesson Learned

Yours in Yoga ( pants that is)