Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Joys of Reflective Parenting

I'm not a parent, but I'm taking a "Reflective Parenting" class to learn more about my blended family-like situation. It's one and a half hours of biting my lip, mainly to choke back peals of laughter. I'm about the worst kind of student in these situations, because I can't be completely serious. Sarcasm rears its nasty head, and it's all I can do to hold back the smirks.
Each class starts with a meditation. We're trying to be more "mindful" and leave our stressful days behind. When directed in meditation to focus on a peaceful image, I quickly reject the instructor's idea of focusing on the sounds of children playing outside. That is not calming to me. What I hear out there is something akin to what I imagine a musical group might sound like in Lord of the Flies. Piggy, Ralph, a conch shell, a drum, a xylophone made of bones. If I listen closely, my impulses to run might kick in.

Instead, I envision myself in Palm Springs. I'm at the Tropics, sipping a Mai Tai poolside. There's some Martin Denny or Les Baxter playing in the background, and lounging beside me is a Hawaiian-Speedo clad Huell Howser circa 1988. (That's amazing!)

As the instructor leads us through the exercise, she continually reminds us to focus on our peaceful image. If our minds wander and we have a diversion, go back to the vision. Here's what my internal meditative monologue sounds like:

1. Ahhh...drinking poolside in Palm Springs. So relaxing and rewarding...


2. I have papers to grade! My butt hurts! So much laundry...

3. Wait! I'm supposed to be thinking about drinking in Palm Springs. It's good for me.


4. Do people know what dumbasses they look like while wearing Crocs and Uggs?!

5. Drinking!! I'm supposed to be focused on drinking!!

So, as you can see, Reflective Parenting makes me want to drink. The end.

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