“Cógela suave*.” It’s a phrase we learned early in training; our trainers tried to convince it that it meant something like “go with the flow” and would say it allllll the time. In the real world the phrase has a snarkier tone – a little more “take it easy” than “go with the flow.”
Snarky or not, I’ve tried to take it up as a mantra and for a couple months spent my relaxation time stitching the words along with cross-stitched pineapples (design straight-up stolen from Pura Vida; this was also at the time that I got the pineapple manicure, briefly earning myself the nickname María Piña). Yep, I reminded myself to take it easy while doing an activity which helps me to take it easy. Here are a few of the situations in which I have told myself to cógela suave:
- I arrived at school ready to co-teach a class only to find there’s an assembly that day.
- I arrived at school ready to co-plan a class only to find there’s a teachers’ meeting.
- In the middle of class it starts to rain and they let the kids go home.
- I’m halfway through doing laundry and it starts to rain and I have to frantically move all my clothes under the roof.
- I have plans to do anything and it starts to rain.
- I’m planning to do laundry when the water goes out.
- I just got home from rugby and the water’s out.
- It’s 97F and the electricity’s out aka my fan doesn’t work.
- My beans are burning in the pressure cooker.
- I have a cold sore poppin’ on my face and it is uggggggly.
- I really need to pee because I just woke up but someone in the family is already in the bathroom and will be for a while.
- I want to take the pup for a walk, but can’t find his leash. Or the keys to the back door to be able to grab him.
One of the best things that happened to me coming out Reconnect is that I have armed myselves with tools of positivity which help me to cógela suave. I begin my mornings with 10 minutes of meditation. I follow that with a few minutes of journaling. And then I slay the day.
*In the spirit of cógela suave, when I realized that it should be cógela and not cógelo, I told myself “ehhhh, cógela suave y déjala” – take it easy and leave it.