19 October 2009

life stories: seeking the creative balance

new routines have become a part of my daily rhythm. lessons come, but with time between to ingest. among my favorite new routines are those from days past, now picked up again. i've come to believe that to achieve balance, you must begin with your body. both what you do with your body and what you put into your body. using concentric circle imagery, these attitudes toward balance are stacked on another, flowing together in the pursuit of wholeness and peace:

be-ing. attention is given to how breath & presence through previous posts. so, so important. to be in my own skin. to be still and aware. breathing deeply brings so much awareness to my moments. the present moment is here and i am aware.

breath work + exercise. daily pilates and/or walking. when i didn't give myself enough time to exercise before heading out to set up for an art show last thursday, my energy & attention wasn't so hot. i exercised a little later in the day, but wasn't quite myself come the evening's bereavement support group. my body's rhythm was "off". learning, i built in more time on friday morning before dashing to the show. there's new rhythm to my body's workings: my attention, my appetite, and my energy. over the last 6 weeks, exercise has said: "i'm here to stay. you've made room, and there's no turning back." while i've said for years that i couldn't run/jog because i didn't know how to breathe. now i'm learning: deep breathing in meditation plays into the way i breathe in exercise. connections.

listening to my inner wisdom. do you have those moments where you're aware, so aware of a choice you should make, or a move you should pursue? then, for some reason you don't go with that wisdom. well, each time i find that i learn to trust my inner wisdom. each chance to listen is a deepening of understanding. hopefully i'll find more balance with wisdom's call.

attending to my 'gut instincts'. while i think i was once one to say exactly what i thought, to be with those who were most in tune with me, and to attend to my own needs, i'd lost some of that over time. i think we clergy can forget ourselves in the pursuit of caring for others. in this attempt to find wholeness, i've had to strip off some of the layers of caring what others think. i've needed to move into borrowing something of Empty Space Coaching's question: "does it love me?" while heather explores this question surrounding food, i'm exploring it around people and attitudes. does everything or everyone have to love me? no. should i expect to surround myself with only love? well, given the choice i would, but is it even possible? not everything or everyone will love me. but here's the trick: i only want to hold onto the images, people, and comments that do love me. the negative thoughts, critical comments that don't produce good energy or deepening thoughts or welcomed work within shouldn't hang around. nope, nada. gone. even those comments that i may have mis-understood and held onto are getting tossed or challenged. i'll just ask that person if that's what he/she meant (something i heard as negative or uncaring) and move on.

friends. i love surrounding myself with my friends, but as friendships change and i adapt to new rhythms, i'm learning that's OK. i have not been investing as much energy into calling, scheduling, & running around. there's need for balance in relationships, and i've been noticing when it's not present. i don't mind work, but a new way of working is in order. so i'm making efforts to balance energy-giving with energy-receiving relationships. we'll see where these go.

food. i'm eating good food, but only what i need. i'm not as hungry. i'm more disciplined in the types of foods i am eating, and in the timing in which i eat. my husband and i talk about the power of a good breakfast. wow! you mean what nutritionists say is true? maybe so.

by caring for myself, giving myself time for exercise, breakfast (i skipped this most of the time), sweeping the floor (yes, it's on the list), and all the projects between i'm feeling good. i'm feeling closer to wholeness, closer to my core self. it's a good feeling.

there's a search for balance and re-balance. a search for wholeness and peace. while each day brings promise, i am aware of life's challenges, too. many of my sweet friends & clergy friends say that my facebook/twitter comments are so upbeat and cheerful. we'll see how that goes through the gray days of winter. for now, these crisp fall days bring hope. i feel good and i want to share those good feelings and energy with others.

time for self, family, and art + spirit restores me to the core of me. i'm ready for those friends who just "drop by" and brighten my day. i'm ready with tea and baked bread (some days) and mostly, i'm ready for the good times ahead. i'm getting to know myself all over again. i just hope that as you know me, well, like anyone, i hope to be accepted and loved for who i am. i will be hopeful and upbeat all the while the same truth-teller and pastoral support that i am.


  1. This sounds pretty great, Suzanne. I'm so glad.

  2. this is such a great post! thanks so much. i too, have found that excercise, breath, creativity, eating, and ministry are all intimately connected. it sounds so strange, but it's true!