Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Calm (emotionally)( 09/13/07)
Mrs. Chillsome Chills Out
By Joanne Sher
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"Umm... Mrs. Chillsome?"
Sarah Chillsome groaned almost silently (almost). "Yes, Amy?"
"It's Amanda Lynn, please."
"Okay, Amanda Lynn. And you can call me Sarah. What do you need?"
"I can't sit cross-legged."
"I am physically unable to sit Indian style. My limbs don't bend that way."
Sarah forced the corners of her mouth up. "Okay, then. Why don't you just sit in whatever position makes you most comfortable? Does that work?"
Amanda grinned, her eyes sparkling. "That sounds great. I'll just be sitting here with my knees bent in front of me. Would that be okay?"
"That's perfect." Sarah widened her gaze from Amanda Lynn to the other students in her class. "Now rest your hands on your lap."
"Mrs. Chillsome, I don't really have a lap right now."
Half the class snickered.
"Well, then, Amanda Lynn, you could always rest them around the front part of your legs. It should give the same effect."
"That's a great idea, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll just do that."
"Wonderful." She took a deep breath. "All right now, class, close your eyes."
Sarah paused, waiting for an objection. After several seconds, she continued.
"Now take a deep breath through your nose and let it out slowly through your mouth."
"Mrs. Chillsome? I have decreased lung capacity."
"You have <b>what</b>?"
"Decreased lung capacity. If I take too deep a breath I could start hyperventilating."
"I see." Sarah spoke slowly and deliberately. "I would recommend, then, that you only take as deep a breath as you can, um, safely."
Amanda Lynn hit herself lightly on the side of her head. "Now why didn't <b>I</b> think of that? You sure are helpful, Mrs. Chillsome."
"Thank you. Now, shall we get back to our relaxation techniques?"
"Sure. Sounds good to me."
<I>That was a rhetorical question, you dingbat!</I>
"Great. Return to your position, Amanda Lynn, dear, and we can continue."
"Okay - all set."
"Wonderful. Now continue with your breathing, and picture a peaceful place in your mind. Imagine yourself at the beach, on your porch swing, in a meadow: anywhere that you can just let go of all your stresses and worries. Focus on that scene, and let all your troubles flow out of you as you breathe out."
Sarah gritted her teeth. "Yes, Amanda Lynn."
"The hole in my mouth is too small. All my troubles won't fit."
"Why don't you just let them out a couple at a time, dear? They'll all escape sooner or later."
"Well, they keep sneaking back in up my nose."
She stifled back a snicker. "How about if you open your mouth a bit wider? Maybe that way more will get out than come back in."
"Thanks, Mrs. Chillsome. I'll definitely give that a try."
A couple minutes later, Sarah glanced at her watch and sighed. "Okay, class. Slowly open your eyes. Unfortunately, class is over. Thank you so much for coming. I hope this was helpful for you."
Sarah stood at the doorway and shook hands with each student in turn, apologizing with her eyes. Amanda Lynn was the last to exit.
She grabbed Sarah's hand eagerly. "Oh, Mrs. Chillsome, I just can't thank you enough. I feel so relaxed and calm now. That was such a wonderful class, I think I might just sign up for another!"
"Wonderful, Amanda Lynn," Sarah mumbled. "Just wonderful."
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