I’m submerged deep in the Italian south right now, relishing in the delightful nature of the Salento people. Every day I try that little bit harder to speak their language, and every day I’m reminded of the insignificance of words.
Oh yes, and I’m a language graduate.
A mop moment
The end of last week was hugely challenging for me. I was physically spent, and in a little bit of a quandary emotionally. Towards the end of my shift, Daniella, one of the ladies I’m working with, asked me if I was okay.
Well, I started to speak and, hell, it all came out. There we were for, perhaps, twenty minutes, mops in hand, as I gave the restaurant floor a proper going over with my tears.
And this beautiful Italian soul heard me. She didn’t say a word; she didn’t understand a word; she simply held a space for me to release. And then she gave me one of those come-here-and-wrap-yourself-up-in-my-arms-while-nuzzling-close-into-my-generous-bosom kind of hugs. Blimey, don’t we all love those?
What a beautiful understanding we shared, without fathoming more than a handful of the others’ language, simply tuning into energy, pitch perfect.
I found more wordless joy floating around a cluster of Italian and English children as they played this last month. All under the age of ten, and happily speaking in their native tongue, the children formed an intensely tight bond without knowing the literal meaning of the words that tumbled from each other’s mouths.
Every day they raced to each other’s side, hungry for together time. Language, as we know it, became redundant. Effortless communication happened through that simple childhood zing, and the shared knowledge of what makes a darn good game.
These little beauties shared genuine happy times that fly right from the heart… swoosh… right into the heart. More of that, please.
Should I emigrate?
So, let me share what’s now butterflying in my belly – could I teach yoga without being fluent in the language of my students? Mmm, perhaps.
Every good yoga teacher I know does their best work when they’re not speaking. It’s when they’re working with their intuition, and sharing their teaching with their own body, that they shine. And it’s this emotional intelligence that encourages students back for more.
Tapping into a student’s energy field, sensing what’s going on for them, and feeling for whether there’s an invitation to pop ourselves into their space, all lead to skillful demonstration, assistance and learning in yoga. I’m working on this, as an aspiring teacher, and it sure is gorgeous homework.
Empathy, play, teaching – when we fully engage in any of these, we do it with love. My time in southern Italy keeps showing me the wonderful ways we communicate love, and each time love speaks on an energetic level, it sure doesn’t need words to be understood.
So how do we master this wordless language of love? Real life relationships, I reckon, that’s learning dipped in chocolate with coconut sprinkles on top.
That’s me signing off then, I’m off to find someone to love.