Right after I finished college, armed with a degree in Cultural Anthropology and a lingering travel bug, I got a job teaching English in Singapore. It was a great opportunity to try out teaching and a fabulous launching pad from which to explore Southeast Asia (not to mention four national religions translates to a lot of holidays!) And hands down, it was the best place to eat.
The one thing I didn’t love, though, was the humidity. When I arrived, I naively thought it would feel cooler/less humid in the evenings, and I could run then. Hah! That lasted for about a month until this West Coast girl realized she wasn’t built to live on the equator and reluctantly joined a gym.
Squeezed in the middle of bustling, cement high rises of Singapore, LA Fitness represented everything I wasn’t seeking — blaring music, blasting air conditioning, clingy spandex, a well-used elevator (yes, at the gym!) — yet I was grateful for a cool place to exercise. And it was there that I met a yoga teacher who taught me a lesson I’m still learning.
I don’t even remember his name now, but I distinctly remember his presence. He was calm, centered, soft spoken. In this sea of tank tops and lycra, he stood out in loose, cotton pants and a long beard. He moved and spoke slowly, with intention. He created a sense of quiet, calm and peace in his class, despite the blaring music and muffled voices that emanated from outside the yoga room walls.
“At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou
One of my last images of him is slowly peddling off on his bike after class, between the tall buildings, car horns and throngs of people, he went at his own pace. He brought his own weather with him.
Living in Silicon Valley (and with energetic, noisy little ones), where life often feels too busy and loud for me, I often think of that yoga teacher and how he brought peace and calmness wherever he went. So I’ve been thinking about the weather I bring. How can I create more calm and peace not just for myself, but for those around me?
What weather do you bring?