Saturday, December 12, 2009

Contemplation and Balance

Finding balance.  What we all seem to struggle with in these hectic days.  I think of parents trying to manage busy families and jobs and I'm in awe.  I don't know if it is just because I'm getting older and embarking on a new life, but balance has been a difficult one for me in this last year.
Because I work from home mostly, I find that I get pulled onto the dance-floor of life very easily which takes me away from all the real work I should be doing.  The phone rings, the laundry is there, the dust beckons to me, the dog excitedly reminds me she wants to walk. 
Publishing my own book was a massive project and putting every ounce of creative energy into it for 9 months created a huge sigh of relief when it was finally in my hand back from the printer.  It was very stressful for me, working out the final details, and I think once it was done - I just let go. 
I have always thought of myself as a pretty healthy individual although during the creation of the book I definitely wasn't walking much, breathing fresh air much, or visiting with friends, or eating well.  Heavens, I live on a lake and I couldn't force myself to leave the studio to take a dip on some of those lucious hot days.  I just worked and worked and worked. 
Finally though it caught up with me and I got very ill.  In fact, three times in the last three months!  Never before has this ever happened to me, in fact I was always the one who never took the flu shot and never got the flu.  Even when I was working with sick patients as an RN.
In the not too distant past I simultaneously went back to school and got my Bachelor's degree, ran a multi-million dollar facility and staff, and managed the remodel of our home without as much as a sniffle.  I guess things are different now. 
The result is that these illnesses have been a wake-up call and I realize the status quo will no longer take me where I need to go.  I've found that the stray dog we adopted, who demands my attention for walks, has actually been a gift.  She and I get outside every morning for a long brisk walk, regardless of the weather.
While I was sick I also lost my appetite for two things: alcohol and coffee.  These are two things that were a big part of my daily life for many years.  Morning coffee is now substituted with tea and evening wine - well I just drink a lot of water now.
I find tea to be an inspiring drink and it has a different sensibility than coffee.  To enjoy the experience even more I've brought out some old teapots that my grandmother gave me years ago and I feel her spiritual blessing as I begin my day.  While drinking my morning tea, I am writing again - every day.  It helps clear out the cobwebs of fear based thoughts and often I move quickly towards gratitude I have for life.  I flow into inspiration and the words just stream onto the page.
I also meditate.  The meditation isn't new and it's an important part of my day and I am renewed in my commitment to the peace and joy that it brings. 
My day is now beginning with such enthusiasm I feel ready to dive right into what the universe brings to the table. I am ready to embark on the creative journey again - refreshed.  Balance is being restored and I realize that my body tells me that my old ways will no longer be effective for this new creative life I want to live.  I must listen, and in my desire to live boldly I know that every moment is asking me to choose. Peace, health, and creativity demand I make the better choice.


Beverly Ash Gilbert said...

Carol, I found myself saying yes, mmm hmm, yes... to all that you wrote. I feel as if I am on a parallel path to yours and I too have become so run down (especially in the throws of my book) that I'm getting sick way too much.

I too need balance and thanks for the wake up call for more exercise, meditation and good eating! Here's to a big glass of H2O on ice!

Carol said...

Oh yes Bev, and you are one of those that I am in awe of. Your life from a distance with kids and family responsibilities, building a new home, remodeling a home, your creative life, travel and teaching - it all seems quite amazing to me. We definitely all have our point where we realize we need to take more time for ourselves to be the best we can be.

Joie Moring said...

Carol, you've got amazing gifts and are living the mom would say. The choices and changes you've made along the way have carved such an interesting, full experience and they - with a renewed balance and pots of tea with grandma's spirit - will grow and bend and enlighten your future.