The Parent’s Drama Club
As actors, my son and I have a love affair with drama. The fiery action, explosive suspense, the smoldering fall from grace and the transformed phoenix rising from the ashes. Life itself is full of the fire of drama, but even when it is not giving us one fire to tend and another to put out – we go looking for a spark. And then we blow. Why? Because the adrenaline rush of drama is exciting, familiar, and although agonizing, it makes us feel safe.
Tend fires? Any parent can do that. Put out fires? No problem. Start fires? Think about it. Do you ever spark issues where there are none, solve problems when you’re not responsible, accept work that is unnecessary and aim for impossible standards just to keep yourself on the edge of comfortable discomfort? If not challenged by drama, a lot of people don’t feel fully alive.
For Type A personalities, lack of adrenaline (some might call it peacefulness) equates with boring. But have you ever wondered what it might feel like to sit by the gentle campfire of life as witness rather than as flame fanner or fire extinguisher? Close the stage curtain for intermission. Let’s have a rest.
After several years of upheaval and change, I stopped saying yes to every project, took myself out of therapy, and started relaxing more. It felt unnatural, but then it dawned on me that the sensation I was feeling was not my usual collapse from exhaustion or overwhelm, but rather something bordering on boredom. (I mean peace.) My son mellowed out and was less reactive to everything I said and actually seemed happier. Had we really left the ring of fire?
As a Yogi attempting to live Patanjali’s Eight Faceted Path, I have spent years working at the practices of simplicity (saucha), contentment (santosha), moderation (brahmacharya) and introspection (swadhaya). By allowing myself to rest, these spiritual practices began to gel in my consciousness. There was less and less compulsion to fuel the drama fire by analyzing, changing, improving, or escalating. The more I rested, and let my son rest, the more my overbearing need to direct life subsided.
But the truly exciting play began when I realized the pure joy of watching the colorful show before me. I began to enjoy each moment, even the unknown finale. Boredom evolved into peace and now I refuse to blow – no matter how familiar the drama fire. In this way, my son and I share simple contentment watching the magic of our story unfold.
Jennie Lee is a Yoga Therapist and retreat leader with over 6,000 teaching hours and 20 years of experience in Yoga philosophy, practice and meditation. Through her teaching and writing she applies the ancient science of Yoga to facilitate self-awareness, higher consciousness and healing. She has been published in Yoga Therapy Today, Common Ground, My Yoga Online, Yoga Finder, and Living the Truth. Her next Yoga and meditation retreat will be held in Hawai’i in February 2012. She can be reached at www.stillnessinmotion.info