One of my favorite films of all time is Beasts of the Southern Wild. A theme running through it is how our greatest challenges are sometimes there to make us strong. How they can be our friend if we stop running from them.
I volunteer for Connection Coalition (formerly Yoga Gangsters) an organization that provides free yoga to youth in crises. Volunteers receive training in trauma informed yoga, and each session usually lasts six weeks. I am currently co-teaching at a group home for teen girls.
Last week we were doing yoga outside by the pool. In the middle of our practice one of the girls noticed a frog had gotten into the pool. Her heart was so big, she HAD to stop her practice, fish it out of the pool and deliver it to a nearby natural pond. She was certain the chlorine would kill it.
A scene from the movie Beasts of the Southern Wild came to mind. Miss Bathsheba, a very rough, straight forward woman who served as teacher to the almost feral children says,
“The most important thing I can teach you? You gotta learn to take care of people smaller and sweeter than you are.”
The young woman who fished that froggy out of the pool had been taught that lesson. Or maybe she was just born with that kind of heart.
Her life hasn’t been easy. Kids in this program have been removed from their families due to abuse or neglect. There are often physical and emotional scars.
But she is kind.
She is the teacher.
It happens every time with these kids. I swear to God.