I love October, and not just because I was born in this month.
I love the feeling of change in the air. There is a freshness and crispness like no other season. It makes me think of chili and chocolate (though chocolate is always on my mind) and pumpkins. The sun glows differently too. Lower, and it feels softer on my face somehow.
The leaves are slow to change this year, it seems. Maybe because we’ve enjoyed some Indian Summer days these last few weeks. Hands down, watching the trees burn bright is one of my very favorite things.
Most of all, October signifies change to me. Do you feel it too?
I have noticed a change in myself recently. I am doing something, on occasion, that I never used to do. When asked for it, I am giving my (honest) opinion. And I am not doing it all the time. Baby steps.
In times past, my response to a question like “How did you like it?” might result in an enthusiastic gushing if I liked/loved whatever it was. If I had a negative opinion, I would respond, “It was good.” or “Fine.” Something extremely simple.
[If you are sick of hearing me talk about yoga, bear with me for a minute because I am baring my feelings here, and it is part of my change, I promise.]
After every class I take, which is usually 5 a week, the instructor asks for feedback. I sure hope they are asking because they really want to know because I have started to provide an honest assessment of how I felt about the class. After all, didn’t we just spent 60 minutes listening to him/her instructing us?
I am diplomatic. I choose words carefully. I believe in “it’s not what you say (usually), but how you say it (my kids are still tired of me relying on this phrase, though it is so very true)”. Plus, I am not a mean spirited person.
My problem is…
I think I got someone fired for giving my opinion. Well not fired fired, but removed as an instructor of the more advanced level Monday morning class. I confidentially provided honest and constructive feedback to the studio manager when she specifically asked what I thought of the class I’d just finished. Very nicely, but firmly I gave my honest opinion, which was the teacher in question did not instruct the class to the level expected. Not even close.
The instructor has never been on the studio schedule again. I feel more than a little crappy about it. My hope is she is at another studio teaching the level with which she is more suited. Still, I feel crummy.
I am going to continue taking baby steps toward speaking up when asked for my opinion when it’s negative, and I haven’t figured out a really good way to apply this change outside of Core Power Yoga in my “real” life, in particular, because I never want to hurt the feeling of those I care about. And forget about giving unsolicited advice. I will just keep quiet.