Dianne put us through the paces with a written midterm test. Ten pages. She just wanted to see how we were doing at understanding the information as she’s been presenting it. More of a test for her than for us, she said. And we were reminded that no one would fail out from writing it. That just gave perspective to the whole thing. Writing a test puts a lot of people on edge. Makes us nervous. Creates anxiety. What’s the moral of this story then? Dianne said that it’s not what we know but, more importantly, that we’re ready to serve the greater good.
I remember when I wrote the mandatory board examination for my veterinary license. All 110 of my classmates were ushered into the foyer of the local Knights of Columbus Hall to await entry into the testing area. Some people were busy reading through their study notes. A few were chatting to pass the time. A bunch stayed outside to have a smoke. My vet school roommate and I had been study buddies with a few other colleagues over the last 4 months. But we were all out of steam for any more studying. It was time to write and get’er done. We could feel the stress around us and then, I don’t even remember why, we started to laugh. We laughed so hard that we were crying and people were looking at us like we were crazy. It felt so good! That was the best laughter yoga that I’ve ever done. It’s a legendary moment that I like to recount whenever I get together with her. By the way, we both passed.
To add more humour of the situation, the other half of the hall was rented out to the Women’s Auxiliary Group of the Knights of Columbus for their annual Christmas party. I remember laughing again (quietly and to myself this time) when the ladies burst out in Christmas caroles halfway through the 4 hour test. There was no way to drown out the sound through the thin, retractable partition walls that separated the two areas of the hall. Yep, those were good times and good memories.
As stressful as a test can be, the motto “do your best” does apply. There will be times when we pass or even ace the the exam. There will be times when we fail. How we react to each outcome is exactly what it means to live our yoga in everyday life. How we go on to serve the greater good, using the wisdom gained from these experiences, is what keeps yoga real.