|Giant sculptural twig ball in ultra-modern |
concrete planter outside a Madrid hotel.
I love the alignment I'm feeling these days and I love numbers lining up as well. So today's date just sends me. I wasn't sure I'd be working today. I'm already doing a MWF thing in one school, so I slept in a little and made preparations so that I could get out the door on time in case the little substitute robot called. So kind of late, I was called to a school way across town to work in an EGC (Emotional Growth Center), where kids who have behavioral or social adjustment issues spend parts of their day. I got there a few minutes late, couldn't find the room right away, so got there just as the bell rang. But the cool thing about special programs is that the support staff really knows the ropes and generally runs the show and the teacher of record is sometimes there just as window dressing. The main gal is someone I'd worked with in the past and I knew she was good with kids so I was pretty happy.
It turned out better than I'd expected; this was a day filled with gifts initially disguised as scowling teenagers. I got to work one-on-one with several young people, one of whom had intense activation patterns that look like severe obstinance, excuse-making, loudness and rude behavior. (I'm using the non-Abraham vocab that you might see or hear about such a child.) Because of my two passions, Abraham and Somatic Experiencing, I tend to see kids very differently than many educators and even quite differently than I saw them in the past. PTSD causes people to feel overwhelmed, angry, hopeless and frustrated. They also become controlling and overly sensitive and able to find the negative in any situation. Put all that into a teenage body, add hormones and then try to get them to do work that overwhelms, angers and frustrates them, which then makes them feel hopeless and you've got quite a day ahead of you. I could see that this place had their own way of dealing with these issues and I could sense that maybe things had gotten a little stale. I decided to observe and step in where I could. I won't go into too many particulars, but I got into the Vortex while reading "Animal Farm" to a generally pessimistic young person who had an avowed aversion to reading or being read to. This student subsequently wrote a short, clear synopsis of the first chapter and read the second chapter in English class. I hear this is unusual. I used my connection to Source and my functional autonomic nervous system to "hold" a space for these kids to be who they really are. I didn't react to cussing, rolling eyes or various other behaviors that many people can't stand, because I know how utterly wonderful these kids are and how much contrast they've already experienced. And perhaps the coolest thing I know is this: THESE KIDS ARE DOING JUST FINE. They all have their own Vortexes (Vortices, I suppose). Just ask them about their:
You will see lit-up faces and smiles coming from within as they talk about what they love. Oh, they are precious.
At the end of the day, the woman who runs the place said, "We didn't have to send one kid out into the hall today for poor behavior. Everyone was really on-task."
One beaming heart coupled with one stable nervous system is just so powerful. And I find it energizing. And fun. And satisfying. Hooray.
It was snowing at the end of the school day, so I canceled an appointment that would have left me on possibly slushy roads in rush hour. I had that "snow day" freedom feeling and stopped for a cup of tea and a snack. The place I visited is known for its wholesome young staff and when I walked in the cashier was protesting as her cute guy co-worker was loudly and repeatedly referring to her as "from the Bay Area".
"Where are you from?" I asked, and she answered that she was from Northern California.
I told her I'd lived in Redding and her eyes widened. She hails from Ono, a small town near there, and I was living, breathing corroboration of her NorCal identity.
He (cute co-worker) wasn't giving up so easily. He yelled Bay Area at her a few more times. She and I used facts about mileage and distance to combat him. I got my tea and sat down near some of the cashier's college classmates deeply embroiled in a wedding discussion. While she did sidework in our area, the cashier began describing the hunter green frock she was due to sport at an upcoming wedding. Yeesh, hunter green, I thought. And the cut of the dress sounded awful, too. I sympathized with her and got involved in the conversation. Yes, it really did sound like a bad dress and when you added the poufy lace at the bottom you had to wonder what the bride was thinking. Hunter green, I asked. Really?(Turns out the family is very outdoorsy.) At least it's not camouflage, I offered. We hooted and hollered over even more bizarre possibilities that made a satin hunter green lacy A-line with a horizontal detail across the widest part of the hip a preferable alternative.
Then cute co-worker told a story of messing with the heads of some middle-schoolers who had come rushing in earlier shouting, "SNOW! SNOW!"
"What snow?" he asked them.
"Can't you see it? It's snowing! Just look out the window!"
"I don't know what you guys are talking about," he dead-panned.
And so on. For quite some time. To the point that one girl went outside to collect snow on her clothing (it was Oregon-style, non-sticking snow so she couldn't actually pick it up).
Then after they'd gone through middle-schoolish caniptions to prove the snow and were on their way out the door, cute co-worker yelled, "HEY, YOU GUYS, IT'S SNOWING!"
I realized I'd been swept into the Vortex and thanked all those wonderful young people for the fun.
I hadn't had time to meditate before work and I found myself eager to get to Day 3 of the "Getting Into the Vortex" routine that Abraham recommends. I fed the cat and hurried to the living room to plug headphones into my Blackberry and listen. There are four 15-minute meditations: General Well-Being, Financial Well-Being, Physical Well-Being and Relationships. Abraham asks that you read the section in the book on General Well-Being before you begin to use the CD. And that the first week you should listen to the four meditations in order, one per day. To be honest, on the previous two days, I had felt that my breathing was a little forced. I read that the breathing was very important and that it was carefully timed with the music to be a shorter inhale followed by a very long exhale. Abraham says "Breathe in. Breathe out," throughout the CD. I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but today I got the rhythm and began enjoying that aspect. They say that it's not necessary or even desirable to concentrate on the words. It's about allowing and letting go of resistance. I do recall Abraham saying that evidence of alignment and lowering resistance would begin to show up immediately. Scowling teens, bad bridesmaid dresses and messing with middle-school heads sandwiched between layers of laughter and positive regard are perfect signs of my own personal alignment. Cuz that's just how I roll, people.