Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Touched: today I got rocked to the core...

I taught a Nia class today. Well, I actually taught two classes.
But the first class is the one that I want to share with you - it was a career first.
Yeah, it reminded me of why I strive to do what I do.
It made it all real.

I welcomed a woman into my class tonight and I made this initial judgement.
I thought she was really not happy to be there, that her presence could be explained
by one of those "New Year's Resolutions".
Before the class, I addressed her several times by name, each time worrying
that I'd gotten her name wrong (I'm famous for mis-remembering names).
I realized quickly, though, that it wasn't that she wasn't tuned in to me,
it was simply that she couldn't hear me.
A combination of my uncertainty about her name coupled with a mild hearing loss
was what left me feeling a bit uneasy about how she'd react to the class.

So I taught the class, all the while thinking I was turning her off.
Certain that I was setting the bar too high and that she would be turned off her
"I'm going to be fit in 2008" resolution.

That was until the end of the class.
When I led us out into our individual paths, asking everyone to "step out" into their evenings.

She walked over.
She took both my hands in hers.
And she cried.
Cried. Just cried.
The words came softly from me. From a place that welled with understanding and compassion.

"You've found something you didn't even know existed", I said.
She nodded, the tears of relief flowing freely.
"It must feel like such a relief for you".
The tears of appreciation intensified.
"This is a safe place to move through whatever you need to move through", I reassured her.

She gathered her words and told me, "I didn't think I could do it. I did the whole class".
Overflowing emotion caused her to pause.
"The rheumatoid arthritis...I found the door I was looking for. Finally. I could move my shoulders. I could do it!"

The welcomed emotion lasted, reminding me of this gift. This gift of health through movement that I have
been given. This gift named Nia that invited herself into my life and begged me to share her with the world.

Thank you Nia.


  1. Wow! This makes me realize the ability that each and every one of us has to impact the lives of those around us in subtle and positive ways, even when we are not aware we are doing so. I think it's just an added bonus when someone tells you (or in this case let's you know in non-verbal ways) you've impacted them. Very inspiring for me as a teacher, because I rarely get that feedback and need to constantly remind myself that I'm getting through to some people. Thanks for sharing!!! I'll take this into my day and see how I feel.

  2. Jennifer, this gave me goosebumps. What a beautiful and touching story!