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Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Balance is a strange word…it has multiple meanings.  My sense of balance isn’t great, ask anyone whose walked beside me and I careen into them.   The balance I’m talking about is life balance.  I am my own worst critic and my own worst enemy.  I am harder on myself then anyone else has eve been, and I’ve had some critics and enemies.

The still small voice gets loud at times and tells me I’m worthless, useless, lazy, stupid, etc.  The well part of my brain tells me to ignore the voice, or fight back against that voice.  The sick part of my brain says “See?  Told ya!”

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  I find winter difficult for many reasons.  So knowing I’m already emotionally “down” in the darker months, why set myself up for failure with promises I mean when I make them, but don’t really think them through…so for this year, as I was sitting at home with a glass of wine and a purring cat a word came to me — BALANCE.

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  It can be both/and.  I can be conscious of my health and still enjoy a lazy day at home or an ice cream when I’m out.  I can walk 10,000 steps some days and 3,000 another.  I can sleep a full night and have a nap, or work through the night and sleep part of the day.  Balance.

I am many things to many people and I believe I treat everyone the same.  Or that is my intention.  I am drawn to the underdog…to the one who feels invisible.  That is the story I seek.  And in most cases as trust is earned and stories are shared, there is a great deal of similarity.

There was a funeral for a gentleman from the congregation in early January.  He was a much-loved member of the congregation and the community.  The Church was filled to capacity (and then some) and we laughed, cried and remembered him.  I have another funeral on Monday for a gentleman I knew through visiting and services at a local retirement home.  He has a similar story to R.  But a very different story as well.  Isn’t that the same for all of us?

Our stories overlap with others, our experiences are similar until they are not.  We make choices that don’t seem to matter hundreds of times a day.  And on occasion we make choices are that more difficult.  There is always choice.

I eat as well as I can but on occasion I like to treat myself.  I like to eat something that I don’t usually have at home…or enjoy dessert.  I’m beginning to learn that food is not punishment or reward…it’s simply something with which to fuel our bodies.  I just re-read the first sentence in this paragraph…and I’ve got some work to do with my relationship to food.  BALANCE.

I love the way my body feels when I move it.  I joined a gym and go when I can…which is not often enough.  I walk as much as I can and sometimes that’s just around the block or across town and back.  I do yoga and I meditate, focusing on breathing.  I will not be an extreme athlete or run triathlons because I don’t want to.

My big purchase this Spring will be a bicycle.  One with a few gears that I can use to get around town.  Not off-road or in the bush, but on the trails and streets of town.

For the first time, likely ever in my life, I’m feeling good about who I am and how I look.  I’m working on lowering the numbers on the scale, and I’ve realised that those numbers do not define who I am as a woman of God, as priest, as a friend.  I may be fat, but I’m also kind, generous, loving.  I am respected in my vocation and in my community.  In my own small way I make a difference in the lives of others, in this community and in the world.

I am me, because that’s the only person I can be.  Everyone else is taken.

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When I was recently away for two weeks I read a book that changed my focus and, in fact, my life.  Since that time I’ve been back at work, working as hard as before, but with a better sense of peace.  I am able to recognize things within my control and much more often, things outside my control.

I no longer feel the need to micromanage everyone around me.  My house is a mess, there is dog hair everywhere, but instead of fretting about it, I go for a walk, meditate or pray.  I watch a movie or read a book.  And then I vacuum or sweep the floor.  My “must do” list is much shorter than my “may do” list.

I’m eating healthier, drinking lots of water and moving my body every day.  I no longer race around, I walk, sometimes at a good clip, other times barely above a saunter, and take in my surroundings.  I stop to smell a flower or say hello to a dog (always with permission of the dog’s owner).  I say yes to meeting a friend for coffee and then walk to our meet (if at all possible).  I’ve stopped taking responsibility for other people’s actions and reactions.

In short, I’m regaining control of my life and letting go of the things that have cause me distress and devastating unhappiness.  I have finally realised that the only person responsible for my happiness is me.  Those two weeks away meant I could unwind and simply be.  I reordered my priorities and now I’m quite near the top of the list.

The realisation that I’m a priority, and by spending time doing things that make me happy is not selfish, but necessary.  Doing that helps me remember my balance and priorities.  I’m worth it.

I will never be an extreme athlete.  It’s not something for which I strive.  I will never be a cover model.  I will never be the size I was in high school again.  And that’s okay.  I’m overweight.  Or maybe I’m undertall?  Either way my goal is to be happy, not because of a dress size or numbers on a scale.  More than happiness I crave peace and calm.

I still have a riotous sense of humour that can come out in unexpected and often inappropriate places.  I’m unique.  I’m quirky.  I’m weird.  I’m different.  In short, I’m me.

My choice is to seek the good in every situation.  And in every person.  Every day I give thanks for something…it may be something small or something huge.  But it’s something.

I try not to take anything for granted.  I try to celebrate something in every day.  Yes, there are times when I will be hurt.  Yes, there are times when I will hurt other people.  But I truly believe if you speak the truth in love, you will always find the strength to speak the truth.

This next year will be about changes.  Some internal, some external.  All good.  All healthy.  All God-given.

Look at me go!

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Today is my last day of vacation.  I headed out two weeks ago today to have lunch with my friend B in Woodstock.  We hadn’t seen each other in nearly four years.  We lingered too long in the restaurant, laughed too loudly and generally enjoyed ourselves immensely.  Before we parted, we made a date for our next time together.

From there I journeyed to visit my best friend L in St. George.  From there I went to Dyers Bay to visit S & D, then to Port Elgin to visit J, home for a night and then off by train to visit R in Toronto.  I got home last night and almost immediately unpacked.  I washed my face, looked around my house, greeted the dogs and felt like I was home.

On the train there was a tremendous sense of peace and serenity.  I just finished reading the book “Sabbath” and have begun to follow many of the teachings in the book.  Sabbath is a way of being, it is a state of mind.  And it is something I have been lacking for a long time.  Truth is, I spend too much time in front of a screen.  I need to unplug and get outside.  This morning I decided not to get dressed, but I likely will this afternoon so I can take a Sabbath walk and may decide when I get back to put my pjs on again, I don’t yet know.

Today is not about chores.  It is about meeting my basic needs.  Reconnecting with my family.  Giving thanks for safe travel.  It is about breathing, slowing down.  Meandering, not rushing.  It is about priority.  And today that priority is rest and refresh.

I am glad to be home and to bring what I learned while away back into daily practice.  I didn’t realise just how thirsty I was for living water until I tasted it.  And now I want more.  Not too much.  Just enough.

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