For those of you who know me well, you may know that I cry VERY easily. I cry at almost ALL movies, many commercials, books, performances, etc. Ask my family because they find it humorous. When we are watching movies, they will be watching me more than the actual film. I can even cry just watching a unknown child do something or watching a loving couple interact. I have come to understand that I am very sensitive and interact with my world through feelings. I can also be overwhelmed by other people’s feelings, spoken or unspoken. (Yes, I am an empath.)
Couple my panache for crying with a few days of intense and engaging seminars at my New Teachers Collaborative and you got a bad (or quite funny) mix. Today, I think I cried ALL day. My poor new cohorts being exposed to such emotions at this early phase of our relationship is not what I would call the greatest way to start out. But it is what it is. I can’t change who I am.
So, why did I cry so much today? Well, for one we started our day with quiet, almost meditative practice where no one speaks unless they want. There is no conversation, only the opportunity for us to speak about what is on our minds so we can let it go and start our day fresh. It’s a way of transitioning from home to work and honoring what’s going on in our lives and minds. For me, going silent bring emotions and feelings to the forefront. Silence and meditation has allowed me to work through many issues. Dang if it didn’t happen this morning.
While in this moment of silence, I expressed how tired and foggy I was feeling with all the information and work hours which were longer than I was used to. I was not accustomed to this schedule and mental demands yet. Because I was feeling “off”, I was looking for a way to explain this in case anyone noticed. I wanted them to know that nothing was wrong, I was just tired. Done, right? NOPE
In the remaining silence, I started to write these thoughts in my class journal. Well, this led my thoughts down the path of why I was tired and into my feelings about my family. I realized how tough it was to not be able to be there for my children, as I had for the past twelve years. For the past 2 days, I had been tired and had too much reading to do to help out much. For example, my daughter has been asking me to a schedule yoga class and other things she wants to do over the summer. The only response I have is…”Not this week. Please wait until next week to expect me to do these things. My mind is not capable of doing it this week.” For one this is establishing some boundaries and expectations. I only need one week to focus on my seminars and then I have most of the summer free. I just cannot think clearly enough to handle her requests. I know I will mess them up.
So, I decided to share this line of thought this with my cohorts. Queue the waterworks. I immediately started to cry. For me it was important to share what I was going through because we are going to be sharing a lot of tough times. These emotions are part of my journey. I know they all have their own fears, complications, and distractions too.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of my crying. I got teary eyed all day. Sometimes over a very personal and uplifting story or the sharing of some fears or pride. Then we watched the previous NTC cohorts present their personal reflections from their past year of learning and teaching. I will not go into details but I will just say, I wasn’t the only one getting teary.
By the end of the day my eyes hurt, my makeup was gone and I needed to regroup. I have learned that I can also be extra teary when I am tired or stressed or have a build up of emotions (like fear, frustration, anxiety). Crying is a great stress reliever but it wasn’t enough for me. Today, it was a signal that I needed some exercise. I knew I needed to work out, get my heart rate up and burn off this energy because it was getting in the way.
I went for a run. Boy, did it feel good. That’s saying something because I do not particularly like running. When it feels this good, I know I really needed it.
When I got home from my run I was able to read my homework much more efficiently than yesterday, I cooked dinner, and actually found time to write this entry. It’s amazing what exercise can do.
Next time you are feeling stressed out try exercising, instead of that drinking or eating. You may be amazed at how everything falls back into place with a exercise-induced perspective.
PS: My daughter just came in with eye make-up down her face from crying over an episode of Gray’s Anatomy. Yup, she got the crying gene too.