I have a confession to make. I got way out of balance twice in the last couple of days. After weeks of feeling pretty good about life, I was thrown a couple curve balls – one was generally positive, the second completely unanticipated and a little destabilizing. Both the “good” and the “bad,” however, escalated my stress. I quickly realized I had gotten out of kilter and both times I knew I needed to find my way back to center.
I think finding equilibrium in the face of all that comes our way is a balancing act. Everything from minor things like traffic jams and spilled coffee, to major things like cancer and the death of a loved one, can throw us off. I think we need to continually re-evaluate our mental/emotional/physical/spiritual state and when we feel out of balance it would certainly behoove us to get back into balance as quickly as possible.
We are all different, so what works for one may not necessarily work for another. What works for me, almost every single time, is immersing myself in nature. Sometimes a walk is just right. Other times I may need to find a place that feels slightly more special. I may need to sit on a log or lie on the grass or dangle my feet in water. I may need to utilize a few more of my senses. I may need to slow down more.
I have a second confession to make. I am not the most disciplined person in the world. Sometimes I go for a week or more faithfully doing my spiritual practices of prayer, meditation, and singing. But then sometimes I will be tired, or I’ll be traveling, or I’ll be a bit down for some reason, and then I slack off. And today it really hit me that during these slack times, I am particularly vulnerable to “bad news” or other unforeseen upsets.
I was blessed to be in a class a few years ago with meditation teacher, Scott McBride. At the end of his lecture, a student asked him what he did when he had a particularly hectic schedule, which was often true for him. I will never forget his answer. He said he woke up earlier and meditated longer.
Me? Not so much. I have yet to master this wise advice. When I get off-kilter from busy-ness, tiredness, or stress, my tendency is to go for comfort of the fast food variety. I’m not necessarily talking literally here (although sometimes in desperation I will go for some ice cream,) I mean I go the easy route. Instead of sitting in meditation for a while or journaling or walking, I may watch a movie instead.
Today I really learned the “pay-off” in doing things right. After last night’s upsetting news, I knew that I had to be outside this morning. I had to. I had to walk the labyrinth and I had to spend time with the nearby stream. I had to get back into balance. After a couple hours of Nature’s medicine, I was feeling not only renewed, I was downright exuberant. And amazingly, (but not) everything fell into place with essentially no effort on my part. I simply had to get out of my head and my stress, and move back into a place of grace and faith. Absolutely amazing.
How do you come back into balance? Do you meditate? Garden? Play some music? Go for a run? Pray? Spend time outside in nature? Take a long hot bath? Read inspirational books? Whatever works for you, I encourage you to learn from my mistakes and try doing these things on a more regular basis. It’ll make it much easier to handle the curve balls that sometimes get thrown at us.
May you find happiness and peace in your daily life.
Abundant blessings to you!