Last week we hosted our three nieces (Lauren: 18, Nicole: 16 and Kaye:10 years old) plus one nephew, Will, age 7 from New Orleans. Our household isn't quiet-- Nancy and Lucia are big hip-hop fans and, unlike me, they love loud music-- but our household is generally calm. We're all big readers, we like to take baths, eat home-cooked, sit-down meals, play Scrabble.
Having five kids really takes parenting to a new level, even for one short week. I have all new respect for you parents of the masses. You are the shit. The grocery bill alone could bankrupt us. Besides the fact that the shopping selection has to accommodate all the different palate and dietary needs, there are so many mouths to feed.
On the flip-side, having an almost complete soccer team all the time is super fun. We went white water rafting, to a soccer game, took light rail, jumped off the magic tree in Seward Park, paddle boarded, played 1014 games of Bullshit and, when we weren't cooking huge vats of things to feed the masses, we ate dinner and lunch and breakfast all over Seattle. By the end of the seven days, we were all exhausted, in the very best way.
A few days before the nieces and nephew left, we had a big party to celebrate. The party went late and little Will lost his mojo. We put him to bed while the other kids and grown-ups were still raging. As I rubbed Will's back, talking him through a guided relaxation that I have done for years with Lucia, he seemed like he was drifting off. I started to rub his back more slowly and more lightly, employing my well-honed technique that allows me to leave the sleeping child without them knowing. Just as I thought he was asleep, Will turned to me and said, in a tone similar to something you might hear Danny DeVito's character Louie DePalma from Taxi say, "Y'know what? You're really aggravatin' me." I kept rubbing his back, and within minutes, Will was fast asleep.
The morning everyone left, I took Frani's class. Besides one home practice, I hadn't done Yoga in a week and I was really in need. We've been doing significant of changes in The SweatBox infrastructure and the details associated with this in conjunction with parenting five kids, had rendered me a little bit psychotic and a little bit catatonic. Finding my peace in the Yoga room was going to be tough. As Frani talked us into our first Savasana, I had a flash of Will's proclamation, "Y'know what? You're really aggravatin' me." And I could relate. I could totally relate. The voice in my head that was coaxing me to relax, to let go, to find peace was incredibly aggravating! In that moment of trying to relax, I had literally hundreds of ideas, decisions, negotiations, that occupied every cell of my body. Trying to disengage from that web was going to take more than a few encouraging words.
And then, like I often tell you guys when I'm the teacher, I told myself, "Laura, just keep trying." I did. And I got there. I found it. My peace. My breath. Myself. Remember: the aggravation, frustration, irritation that often accompany Savasana are all part of the process. If your path was always direct, if you could always easily get to a place of relaxation, you wouldn't need Yoga. When you have those days, when you think you'll never get to relaxation, just keep trying. When you finally get there, it's a good, good feeling.