The other day I was with my middle school students getting ready for the relaxation portion of our yoga class when all of a sudden we heard the fire alarm. We were all extremely flustered and confused. Half the students ran down after putting on their shoes while the rest held them. I tried to get everyone out of class so I was in the back of the line until the principal told me I needed to go in the front of the line.
When I took a look at my students they were giggling, embarassed and confused. After the fire drill we were told we were unprepared, we disappointed the school and we did not take this drill seriously. I was mortified and upset for both my students and myself. My heart dropped to the pit of my stomach, I was trembling a little and felt my cheeks flush.
The first thing I did was point blame. Why was I, a teacher, not informed of the fire drill? As a teacher I have always been informed prior to a drill! Why did no one explain to me the fire drill protocol during orientation? Why were we not given time to discuss where to place our shoes and practice what to do during this type of situation.
I felt I had let down my students. I was embarrassed that I messed up, let people down and had been reprimanded.
Then a light bulb went off. Blink, Blink! We do this all the time! I have done this to loved ones and students! We tell people that we are disappointed in them but we don’t set them up for success. We don’t tell them what they need to do and provide them with the tools and practice to get it “right.”
I was so grateful for this teachable moment. I sat down with the girls and we practiced Mindful Breathing. As they focused on their breath, I apologized for not preparing them for this event. I told them they were beautiful and amazing students and were not given the proper tools to succeed but that was going to change. I asked them to tell their inner selves that they were successful students who made choices that could have been better.
The next day we discussed what could make the drill easier, faster, quieter and less overwhelming. We got over the embarrassment of having to hold our shoes as we practiced. We supported each other and created a Fire Drill routine.
My kids were given tools to be successful. I give them space to make mistakes and to learn from them. I listen to their point of view and we work together and learn from our experiences. It was amazing to celebrate our learning experience and take our mistakes and the emotions that were tied to this experience to become better students. We were all students, including myself, learning from our mistakes.
Momma No’s Special Tea With a Twist by MaryJo Johnson, Acupuncturist and Herbalist
A couple weeks ago Sora and I were talking about taking Chinese herbs, and how bad and bitter the decoctions often taste. I commented that in fact, many of the ancient formulas actually taste pretty good, and have an herbal base that makes you wonder if the Dr. Zhang Zhong-Jing, the sainted grandfather of Chinese herbalism who recorded them, perhaps had a thoughtful sympathy for his patients in this regard. When I saw the recipe for Momma No’s delicious tea (highlighted below), I couldn’t help but notice the shadow of one of the formulas that he used most frequently:
Cinnamon Twig Decoction (gui zhi tang) 桂枝湯
Cinnamon Peony root
Fresh Ginger root Chinese Date
Gui Zhi Tang brings the body energy to the surface and balances yin and yang. Zhang Ji instructs to give with porridge and then cover up to induce a slight sweat, which is helpful in resolving colds.