Saturday, December 4, 2010
As we move from summer into fall, we are moving into a different rhythm of life. Those with school age children are getting into the juggling of schedules for school and homework and activities. It seems that life revolves around the children's world, and we just don't have enough hours in the day to get everyone where they need to be. Dance, tumbling, sports, parent teacher meetings, open houses take up our evenings. The mornings are a rush of getting everyone up and out the door, decent and fed and ready for the day. Those who work outside the home are off to the job, stay-at-home moms are working too.Now we add the holiday season! Seems as if the to-do list just grew exponentially, and the time, well that shrunk exponentially. It all revolves around the family. That family may be mom and dad and one or more children, or may be just mom and a child or two. No matter what the family looks like it is a family, and it is the sun that our planets revolve around.
So, there we are juggling as fast as we can to keep all of the balls in the air. Oh, wait, there is a ball sitting on the floor, not being tossed in the mix. Which ball is that? Oh, yeah, it's the ball that represents the time to care for ourselves. Well, that's just not as important, we think, all these other balls are higher priority. We're wrong of course. That ball sitting there on the floor should be our highest priority. Taking care of ourselves should be job one. BUT, we start, The kids, the husband, they have all of these needs. I just don't have time.
So, we keep juggling, and we get so tired, and we get kind of frustrated and resentful, and we get burned out. Oh, we sigh, what is the answer? The answer is that we need to pick up that ball from the floor first. We need to find time to take care of our needs, and as my son so eloquently says "Time to refresh your soul". But how? Well, just like every part of our journeys, it starts with one step. The first step is to find time to just breathe.Time to find a few minutes to sit still, and fill our lungs with the gift of the wind. It is time to find a place that is just for us. Doesn't have to be a big space, can be just a chair in the corner of the bedroom, or a place on the deck. Any place that we can claim for our needs. It needs to be quiet and comfortable. Place an item or two that please you next to the chair. I have a knick-knack that represents a mother sitting in a rocker. It was a gift from our son and Mr. Bill about 10 years ago. I have a worry stone that Mr. Bill bought me on our family honeymoon trip to the Black Hills.
So, once we have claimed our space all we need is a bit of time. If we are claiming a few minutes at the end of the day, we might start by making a cup of tea. Use the time while heating the water and brewing the tea to start claiming the time as your own. Telling yourself that this time is sacred. This time is for you! Now you have your cup of tea, my favorite is chamomile, since it helps me relax and sleep better. I sit down with my cup of tea, and breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. As I breathe in slowly, deeply, I draw in strength. As I breathe out slowly and fully I let go of the stresses and tensions of the day. Breathe in strength, breathe out the toxins of stress. Now I can sip my tea for a moment and pay attention to my breathing again. Breathe in, breathe out. Each inhalation and exhalation can become a prayer. This is why I say for me to breathe is to pray. As I take a long slow deep breath, I breath in the wind, which is the Spirit, and allow Spirit to bless me and refresh my body and soul. As I breathe in I express my gratitude for the day. As I breathe out I pray a blessing for someone I love. All of this in a few minutes at the end of the day. A perfect building block, a brick to build on as you start to take care of you. Taking care of you is the most unselfish act you will perform because as you take care of you, you become more able to take care of the others who depend on you. You become a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, and you have placed a brick on the pathway for your journey.