Yesterday was a frustrating day at work. We had to cancel a fun activity for the kids at the last minute due to weather. Now, I am sure this will come as a complete and utter shock to you, but middle school students do not react well to change. Especially change that requires they attend classes they thought they were going to miss. They were upset and they were not afraid to share it. All day long there was a negative undertone as the kids dealt with their frustrations by grumbling about how unfair it was and the teachers dealt with their frustrations by complaining about the kids. It was a fruitless and circuitous endeavor that felt impossible to halt. One thousand eighth graders are a formidable force. Especially in May.
My monkey mind did not respond well to the negative energy. Instead of relying upon his prior lessons in mindfulness and breath, he began to run around his cage, shaking the bars, and flinging poo at all who dared approach. It wasn’t pretty. I tried to meditate to soothe the agitated monkey mind before I took him out for a planned meeting with friends. He just pointed and laughed at me. Apparently this would require a tool of a different sort.
I attended the gathering and had a wonderful time. The monkey was distracted by all of the conversation and he behaved relatively well. No poo was flung, much to the appreciation of all in attendance.
Although my monkey mind had been somewhat calmed, his agitation was still simmering just beneath the surface. As mediation had proven itself unable to handle the task yesterday, I decided to try to pacify my monkey with sprints. As I ran those 100 yards full-out, my monkey mind was silenced, holding on for dear life and unable to screech his disapproval. They were mini-meditations in intervals. All I could think about was that moment. That breath. That step. The frustrations and negativity floated away like the dust kicked up from under my feet. It was a great big cleansing breath for the soul. And a reminder for my monkey mind that it’s not nice to throw poo.