The last six weeks have been a blur with the new house, new job, new friends, and new routines; while simultaneously carrying on with life. Caring for a loved one in a nursing home. Connecting with my son long distance. Finding time to exercise, rest, and eat well. Squeezing in a myriad of home projects. Getting the laundry done.
Finding (and sometimes losing) my balance like a tightrope walker crossing a wire while carrying a chair, umbrella, and bowling ball. Looks like a fall is imminent, but somehow the high wire artist makes it across the span with grace. They didn’t just jump up there and go, though. They practiced a few inches off the ground at first, gradually increasing their height, span and staying power.
The practices that have sustained me for nearly twenty years have provided grounding, nurturing and peace during this transition time. They include: yoga, meditation, Epsom salt baths, gardening, healthy foods, and friendships. Talks with loved ones, belly laughs, candle light, and chocolate. Rocking on the front porch, furry friends, and autumn leaves blanketing the mountains.
As we are tossed about by life’s challenges, our deepest traits become more prominent, along with the lines upon our face. We wear our character like clothing for the world to see. My work brings me into contact with ordinary people of great character. Like the niece who paid off her elderly aunt’s bills after she came down with cancer and couldn’t work. And the woman my age who is nursing her recently widowed mother and a sick grandchild while trying to hold down her own job. The social worker whose phone rings off the hook while connecting the elderly with community services. The man who lost his mother and his child in a car accident, yet gets out of bed in the morning to get on with his life.
Each day, I witness stories of tragedy and triumph. Trauma and testimonies. And I count my blessings, giving thanks for the experiences, teachers, and practices that over time have honed my strengths and softened the sharp edges. For the ability to balance despite the weights carried over the chasm.
Think: What priorities are you juggling right now? Are you able to balance them all? Are there any you can set down?
Say: Make a list of your current priorities, in order of importance to you.
Do: Tear your list in half. Focus on the items in the top section, and set the rest aside for right now. Find ways to renew your spirit, body and mind on a daily basis. These practices will help you to balance your load.