When I was a freshman in high school, my locker was in the basement next to the girls gym. There were only a few lockers since the hall was short and it wasn’t a busy hall. One afternoon near the end of the school year, I was standing at my locker with the door open getting what I needed to take home. I don’t remember hearing anyone walk up probably because I wasn’t paying attention or there was too much noise with the outside door open.
Suddenly my metal locker door slammed shut just missing my fingers. There, only inches away from my face, was an upper classmen, Debbie. I did not know her. She stood there yelling and screaming at me up close and ready to beat the crap out of me. She wanted to know why I was spreading lies about her in school. I, of course, had not done what she was claiming.
Somehow I was able to stay calm in all the fury of Debbie’s accusations. This was partly due to my confusion of not knowing what the hell she was talking about and partly because I just had to. Debbie was trying to get me to get angry back at her, but there was no way I was going to show any anger or fear towards her. Other wise, I’m sure she would have knocked me down. Screaming in someone’s face and or fighting was not who I was then (or now) in any situation. So, I just stood there waiting for her to stop.
Finally after what seemed like eternity, Debbie stopped and was quiet. I think she was dumb-founded at my silence and calmness. Since I didn’t know how long she would stay quiet, I quickly asked her, “Are you done yet?”. She looked so bewildered. I calmly told her I had nothing to do with what she was accusing me of and turned and walked away. My heart was in my throat as I quietly walked out the door and headed for home.
I don’t remember who I told about the incident, but by the time I got to school the next morning the incident had spread like wild-fire and everybody knew what Debbie had done to me. All day many friends and classmates I didn’t know very well, came up to me amazed at what had happened and asking if I was alright. A few girls asked me if I wanted them to “take care of Debbie”. I nicely said thank you, but it wasn’t necessary since I had handled it my way.
I don’t remember seeing Debbie again, even passing in the halls between classes or at lunch time. But, about a year later something interesting happened. I had been working for several months at a local family owned children’s clothing store in town after school and on Saturdays. I worked in the infant and toddler department in the back of the store. The girls department was on the same level at the front of the store. One afternoon while waiting on a customer, who should walk in the door but Debbie. She went downstairs and shortly came back up with the store’s owner. Mrs. N. introduced Debbie to the staff and said she would be working in the girls department. My mouth nearly dropped to the floor in shock. But Debbie came up to me like she was my long-lost friend and said, “Hi Steph, how you doing?”. Nothing was ever mentioned about the incident at my locker.
Weeks later after the locker incident I found out, but couldn’t prove it, that the rumors had been spread by my closest and best friend for all of freshman year who had suddenly “dumped” me. I never found out the why’s to so many questions nor did I ever speak to my former friend again. I never placed blame on anyone, including myself, but just chalked it up to adolescence behavior.
This story is one of those that has stayed with me always. I’ve asked myself many times how did I hold it together and how did I look at Debbie in her eyes so nonchalantly and say without hesitation, “Are you done yet?”. I don’t remember being scared or even unsettled until I walked out of the school and took a deep breath. But something or someone gave me the inner strength I needed that afternoon that is still with me to this day. Guess you could say I was in a higher vibration than Debbie. At the same time, maybe I helped her to raise her vibration as well.
Sometimes we have to dig down deep and pull up that courage we all have. For some, it’s harder to get at then for others. I’ll give a hint….it’s found deep within your solar plexus, the third chakra, and can be drawn up with the breath. The breath is our best tool for handling all situation and even better, it is always with us. I’ve always been a deep breather, but since I started teaching yoga I’ve discovered that many people just don’t know how to breathe. We all did as babies, but somehow lost it while growing up.
So, my suggestion to you is to practice breathing deeply and fully. If it feels awkward, then there’s a good chance you are a shallow or reverse breather. Take a few minutes each day to breath deeply into the belly and work at consciously becoming more aware of your breath throughout the day. Before you know it, the practice of deep breathing will stay with you without thinking about it. And, I’ll bet you’ll feel a whole lot better in general because you’ll sleep better, have a clearer mind, and raise your vibration for better health.