Though I am not much of a new year’s resolution person, I did spend some time pondering how best to uphold my daily commitment to honor the greater good of all beings, starting with myself. Intentional! And, sustainable! Those were the words which felt most important. As 2018 unfolds, I am finding that both play a valuable role in my ability to achieve and to maintain balance in all facets of my life.
The curious thing about balance is that it is not a static experience. It is ever changing. Like that of the swinging of a pendulum, there is constant opportunity to assess and re-assess. Intentionally honoring a sustainable balance about my day-to-day does not come naturally, or easily. The truth is that it takes daily work.
As a healing practitioner, my default tends to be one of over-extending. At times I feel as if my clients/students may have me – unreasonably, in my opinion – placed upon a bit of a pedestal. “Josette, you are so even-keeled, so compassionate, so attentive, so calm, so dedicated, so wise, so strong …”
Ahhhhhh! Even as I type these things, I can feel my blood pressure rising. I am flattered. And, I want you to know that I am human being, too. Much like you, the human experience which I have is certainly not devoid of challenge.
Allow me to share with you a real life example …
Last weekend I co-facilitated a workshop with my Gestalt training classmates. For a number of reasons, this workshop was particularly challenging for me. In an effort to yield to the aforementioned attributes – to remain strong for my group, and the workshop attendees – I found myself losing sight of what was most important for my own well-being. I leaned over to one of my classmates towards the end of the experience and whispered, “I can’t be strong anymore!”
Believe it or not, I make mistakes. I don’t always make the best choices. I have weak moments. And, I hit walls, too. As I stared squarely at my wall, I was grateful to receive a gentle reminder from a dear friend, “Walls are good because they teach us what we’ve been doing is not working!”
This wall served me. It served me because it forced me to re-assess my schedule. I had intended to continue on the path of going … going … going! Instead, it provided me with an unexpected, but oh so necessary, mid-week pause. It seems that already – less than two weeks into 2018 – I’d been losing sight of my commitment to myself to proceed in an intentional, and sustainable manner. And so goes the swinging of the pendulum. Slightly too far off to one side … Divine opportunity to re-establish balance!
As I continue on the path of integrating the concepts of Gestalt into both my life and my work, it is the relationship which I have with myself that I know creates the foundation for everything else. Being true to this relationship requires me to remain curious, willing to proceed fluidly with the dawning of each new day, and open to yielding in an intentional and sustainable manner to whatever lies before me.
Daily practices of self-care rooted in Ayurveda, gratitude, mantra, meditation, movement, and conscious fueling and hydrating sustain me. These practices are non-negotiable.
So when my pendulum swings slightly too far off to one side or another, it becomes an opportunity to check in with these foundational practices. Have I truly been honoring them?!
In the case of last week, the answer was NO! And so, I turned inward. I did not beat myself up. Instead, I slept. A lot. I created nourishing meals for myself. I bundled up and I took myself to Valley Forge mountain (pictured above) to reconnect to the loving frequency of Mother Nature!
Interesting to reflect upon how very quickly I’d gotten caught up in the vortex of life, proceeding in a scarily unsustainable manner. And, how quickly I was able to re-calibrate by taking an intentional pause.
I challenge you to notice what it is that keeps you feeling balanced? What supports you in re-calibrating your pendulum when it’s gotten a bit too far off to one side or the other? That which comes to mind is invaluable information to know, and to re-visit often. Why not take a moment for yourself to identify a few words that will support you in showing up as the very best version of you in 2018?!