“I expect you to have a lesson plan for every day,” Steve says following his first observation. We’re sitting across from one another, awkwardly, in children’s desks, in a third & fourth grade open classroom.
I find Steve attractive, both in face and form, particularly on Fridays when he wears jeans, and often when he is arrogant.
“I mean, if you get home, and your husband insists on taking you out to dinner, then of course you might miss a day’s planning, but don’t let that become a habit.”
I take in the dimples on Steve’s face, the snug fit of his pants, and consider whether I want to tell him that I have never arrived (and never would arrive) unprepared, and that this has nothing to do with his expectations (or my husband’s.)
If I had been more than 29 at the time, I would have understood that Steve liked his teachers subservient. Female. Uncertain. That he accomplished this with carefully measured combinations of charisma, charm and intimidation.
I remember a real-estate agent, who was also a board member, showing me the available apartments around town, and saying proudly: “Steve keeps his teachers in line.”
I leave at the end of the year.
I am a planner. In fact, I still have the index card onto which I penciled a timeline of my life: Wedding. Relocation. House. Baby.
It didn’t work out that way. Instead it went like this: wedding.. miscarriage…relocation…miscarriage.
Lucky for me, I burnt out working for Steve. Burnt right through my masculine approach to life which allowed the feminine to finally force her way through.
Twenty years later, as I instruct Let Your Yoga Dance instead of fractions, I begin to notice that when I leave space in my plans, spirit conspires in unimaginable ways.
With this growing awareness, I explore new rhythms of preparation and release; and each time I am rewarded with greater inspiration and an unfolding, effortless ease.
Back when I worked for Steve, I expected myself to know everything and do everything well, and I drove myself to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion in this pursuit; But at 50, I find myself drawn to endeavors that I’m unable to master, knowing that I will be forced to bask in imperfection and to seek the alliance of spirit to see me through.
This past week, at the last moment, both a class and a retreat had to be relocated to spaces that wouldn’t accommodate what I had carefully planned.
I had a choice to make.
I could reinvest time and energy–nose to the grindstone–in fairly unpredictable directions, or I could release my tension and show up, open-handed, letting spirit guide the way in the pause between the in-breath and the out-breath of me.