Lately, I’ve struggled with something in class, and I thought I might as well go ahead and write about it. It may seem pretty simple or not that important, but for whatever reason it is driving me crazy. Here it is:
What is it with people who plop their mats down directly in front of me?
Seriously, what the heck is going on? I can go into the room, set up my mat, leave, and return to find someone has set up directly in front of me. This is not because the class is crowded. A crowded class I get – we all have to work to get ourselves set up and make space for each other. But if the room is 50% full (or less), then I just don’t get it.
And I think the thing that drives me the most crazy is when I come back in the room to discover this the person will sometimes say, “Oh. I’m sorry. Am I blocking you? Do you need me to move?” Yes, yes you are. You are right in front of me. You already knew this. Don’t make me be the one to say yes, please move. Just move a tad to one direction and we will be fine. Of course there are people who don’t seem to give a crap if they are set up in front of me as well.
I don’t really think I need to understand why this happens. At first, I spent some time generating theories. One is that the spot the person set up in is their spot. You know, some people really like their spot. I’ve been there. And I am pretty sure some people will do just about anything to squeeze into their spot at the expense of others. I don’t think this is super common, but I’ve seen it happen.
A second theory I have is people who want to practice next to each other. These are friends/family, they came in together, and gosh darn it they are going to practice right next to each other. I saw that within the last week.
But again, I think my efforts are wasted trying to figure out why people do this. If I had an answer, would it really matter? Of course not. It wouldn’t change a thing.
What matters is how I respond to it. So when this happens which, as I said, seems to be a common event for me in the last couple of weeks, I pay attention and think through how I want to respond. And I learned a few things.
At first my response was annoyance. I find the behavior to be rude and selfish, but so what? I sat with that for awhile and did nothing. I just sat with it. Another one of my initial responses was to move. This involved very little effort on my part as it meant sliding myself just a teeny bit in one direction.
But then, one day, I did nothing. I did absolutely nothing. Class was getting ready to start when someone came and sat up directly in front of me. My area was a little tight so I couldn’t move to one side. I would have had to pick my stuff up and move to a completely different part of the room. Someone near me turned around and gave me an “Oh my God I can’t believe this person did that” look, but I shrugged it off, and I stayed right where I was.
Could I see myself in the mirror? No, not really. Did I care? No, not really. Somehow, I managed to find a way to let it go and explore what it was like to take class when I had limited vision of myself. And the answer to that is it’s very tricky at times. I do use the mirrors to help with alignment. I am listening to the dialogue, but I wasn’t always able to determine if my alignment was correct without a clear sight line. It was a class that brought some different challenges.
In the end, I learned how to be ok with people setting up in front of me. I don’t like the behavior. I don’t understand it, but that’s also ok. I’m learning that I don’t need to understand everything even if I find something problematic.