THE SUCKIEST ONE IN THE ROOM (AND IT'S NOT THE LASAGNA!)
FIND RECIPE HERE!
With a few “odd” ingredients (like wantons for noodles) it definitely takes a classic and turns it into something interesting, and yet, equally delicious.
Do you want to know a little secret about me?
I sometimes feel like that weird, oddly thrown together lasagna.
Like the time I walked into a new yoga studio in our quaint Southern California town. After moving there late one summer four years ago, I finally got settled and wanted to catch up on my fledgling yoga practice. I had taken a class or two prior to my arrival, but was nowhere near a guru – or even what you might consider a beginner.
And I am not very flexible, much like a lasagna noodle BEFORE it is cooked.
Determined to add yoga back to my routine, I carefully edged my way into the refurbished garage complete with large gong and quietly claimed a back corner for myself. Yoga Shanan Harrell (Check out her book: Stumbling towards Enlightenment) soon entered the room and lit it up with her strong voice and undeniable presence. The other students followed from inside the house (her home was open to all who entered). The gregarious women were mostly older than me which translated to encouragement in my own mind.
That is, until they started catching up on their recent accomplishments.
With each personal vignette, dread filled my body. As they told their tales, the breadth of experience and physical prowess in this room started to sink in.
One woman had just returned from a trek through Nepal.
The other had recently climbed Mt Kilimanjaro (yes, in her 60’s) and was wearing the t-shirt to prove it.
The third woman was about my age and had just cycled her recumbent bike from the Northern to Southern tip of California. That was after her husband (who joined us intermittently) had cycled across the country. He wrote a book about it too. (The Winky Eyed Jesus)
The level of my perceived inadequacy in this yoga room, with these women, cannot be conveyed in mere words. Escaping was not an option at this point. My safe, in-the-back corner had become my cage. Bricks, bolsters and blankets littered the studio along with the imposing gong that blocked my direct route to freedom.
Compare and despair!
“Hey, we’ve all been the suckiest one in the room!” she laughed.
Well, that’s one way to put it.
Yoga Shanan’s lightheartedness and the unconditional acceptance of the other women ultimately made class enjoyable. There really was an atmosphere of embracing your own practice here, whatever level it happened to be that day. While most of the ladies did headstands for minutes on end, I rested comfortably on my bolsters conjuring how I had gotten over the hump of feeling ridiculous and abecedarian. Yep, being the suckiest in the room wasn't so bad after all.
In fact, I am getting really good at being “the suckiest one in the room”!
Recently, I took an aerial acrobatics class. You guessed it! I was the oldest and most gravitationally challenged one in the room. Those ribbons flowing from the ceiling might look innocent enough, but pulling my middle aged frame onto those suckers was a feat of modern day physics. Unlike the witches in the Wizard of Oz, I do not defy gravity quite the way I did twenty years ago. Furthermore, my vertigo often limits anything to do with an inversion.
But I don’t care. I show up, do what I can and I ultimately improve.
At sign up, you are told unequivocally that when you are booked with your vehicle you should be very comfortable driving backwards and in tight spaces. That really doesn’t describe me but roles are hard to come by and I was very eager to begin my "acting" career so I took the leap. I was completely out of my element, felt a little like throwing up, and feared I would maim a television celebrity that day. Practically hyperventilating, I drove my bookable truck through LA traffic at 4 a.m. (no small feat) and arrived on set completely clueless about the dos and don’ts of successful background actors. It is an entire culture with a slew of unwritten rules.
By watching intently, listening to cues, and asking polite questions, I was able to figure everything out and had a blast!
With great relief, I was asked to park my vehicle on a street, had impeccable wardrobe (it’s HUGE to be approved by wardrobe), was in several scenes, met some great friends, and Jennifer Love Hewitt is still alive!
While it was nerve wracking at first, background work is the most fun I’ve ever had – and I was paid for it!
I hear from them all the time how self-conscious they are and how they can’t find rhythm. Trust me, as the instructor I miss a beat all the time. I’ve actually kept track. I have had, in over six years of teaching, exactly ONE perfect class where I didn’t miss a step. And that's probably because I just didn't notice the misstep.
Honestly, what I have learned is to embrace and love being the “suckiest one in the room”.
The experience will be delicious – and possibly hilarious.
So go ahead and try it – whatever IT is.
But first you might want fuel your body with this delicious lasagna.
It is NOT at all sucky.
In fact, it’s pretty healthy and delicious!
Peace and Light,
The Busy Buddha
Talk Back to the Trio!
What positive came out of the experience?