It’s Not Easy Being Zen

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Finding and keeping your balance means existing with a connection between your heart and your mind.  When what you desire and what you consciously believe are in harmony, you have peace.  Balance is a fickle, tricky ongoing orchestra of moving parts and effort.  Having balance leads to being happy.  Happiness is having a sense of wholeness, that all your parts have enough attention and love.  Like mothering multiple children, all of your many parts need attention and kindness in different ways.  Each part needs and deserves your undivided, mindful attention and energy to attend to it’s needs of the moment.  But in this busy life, it’s hard to find the time to focus on ourselves let alone separate that time out into finding time to attend to each part of ourselves.  So, balance often remains elusive, but with some reflection you can achieve congruence in heart and mind.

The more you have piled on your shoulders, the harder it is to achieve balance.  Whether weighed down by obligation or caught up in unfounded theories behind why life has handed you certain challenges, a good way to regain balance is to begin by figuratively and literally putting it all down to consider what you need.  Imagine an overly cluttered room.  In your mind, remove every bit of furniture, artwork, clutter, anything in that room to get down to a bare space where you can begin again.  Mindfully refurnish that room with only the things that you need and desire.  How did that room feel before?  How does it feel now?  Which room would you rather live in?

Finding balance may be easiest when you don’t try so hard.  I struggled and stretched inside my box and felt trapped and limited, but when I unplugged and left it all behind for a while I took some meaningful steps farther down my path.  A few recent getaways did the trick.  I took some “me time”.  Now that I’m back from my version of Eat, Pray, Love (blog post coming soon) I feel recharged and ready to step back into my daily routine with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.  Everyone needs a break from their worries and in coming back to life with a clear head we are better able to find our balance.

After taking some time to separate out and care for my parts that needed attention I feel better.  When I let go and let life flow I realize how much unfounded theory I attach to many of my thoughts.  When I unplugged from my routine, my mind was more willing to loosen it’s grasp on those stressful patterns and simply see and accept things for what they truly are.  Instead of living with disharmony, I am able to feel the ease and lightness of a bit more peace.

I put a lot of effort into moving through life more effortlessly…. I see the irony now.  I need to loosen my grip even on that.  Feeling more peace is so much different than searching for it.  There is a significant shift from swimming vigorously upstream to letting yourself float quietly downstream.  The universe still embodies the same flow whether I fight against it or not.

photo above is of my new friend Ken, the frog of karma and zen

Out Loud

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Sometimes I hate being right.  The moment the Audiologist confirmed my suspicion, I knew this was one of those times.  I’m not sure if it was the ringing sound that seems to keep getting louder and more distracting or noticing that I am constantly saying “what?” to friends and family that made me talk to the doctor, but when I finally said it out loud, my assumption was confirmed.  I have to say, I’m still in shock really.  Having worked as a Sign Language Interpreter for 16 years, I never considered that at some point I would be the one with the hearing loss.  So, I guess you could say this is some crazy irony.

My first thoughts went to my heathy body parts.  I’m grateful for things like my strong knees and my healthy organs.  I’m grateful to be approaching 40 this year at a healthy BMI and good cholesterol and all that.  So, all things considered, I’m happy about my body and I remain thankful for how it carries me through life.  But, my hearing…. Not something I ever considered before, I simply just took it for granted.  Even after spending a good portion of my life studying Deaf Culture, Sign Language and enjoying many friendships with people whom I communicate with solely in ASL (American Sign Language) did I ever consider how a hearing loss would impact me personally.  Seeing words written on paper like “hearing loss” and “possible irreversible nerve damage” and finding out that the situation can actually worsen impacted me deeply.  My mind has gone to where a hearing loss would effect me as far as my children are concerned.  That above all else is what concerns me the most.  Will I be able to hear them call for help?  Will I hear them cry out in the night?  I’m used to being able to use this sense, it’s disarming to have it taken from you.

Other changes I notice are with music and communicating with friends and family.  I notice it during tennis lessons, while watching television, during dinner conversations, and in a noisy restaurant.  If I’m talking to someone and they turn away or leave the room I know I’m in trouble.  I had to turn on the closed captions to watch a movie on the airplane during my last couple flights to catch more of the words.  It was amazing how much more relaxed I felt after I did that.  I hadn’t noticed how hard I had been straining to understand speech.  This has all been happening over the last year or so, but when that audiologist confirmed it last week it was as if a series of snapshots played in my head over and over reminding me of all the times I had suspected this about myself before I actually said it out loud.  And now here it is, out loud.

I think we have more than five senses.  Our physical senses may be taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing, but we have so many more.  Consider our additional senses such as our sense of gratitude, our sense of humor, our sense of wonder and all of the senses that we all need to complete this experience in life.  You can experience these other senses without all of the main body senses.  You don’t need to necessarily touch, taste, or smell something to experience it’s sense of wonder….  I don’t need to hear every bit of a song anymore to still feel gratitude for it.  So I’m going beyond my five original senses to discover more senses to explore since there is so much more to life.  I’ll be able to adapt to this new challenge, but it may take some getting used to.

myhappypromise

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