When Life Strikes …

I’ve recently been called away from “life as usual”, called to travel many miles to be with family. Three and a half days away from home, away from the things that I do here – everything from daily self-care practices to mowing, laundry, bills, watering the flowers. Add the packing and unpacking that a trip calls for and the net impact is that there is more on the “to-do list” today than can possibly get done.

At times like these, my mind tends to switch into over-drive and absolutely wants to be in control, at the wheel of my human vehicle.

Does this ever happen to you?
Do you ever feel behind even when you haven’t been away?

I’m guessing there are many YESes out there to both of these questions. I’d like to suggest a few simple steps that work for me:

  • Pause. Breathe. Stop long enough for your mind to stop spinning on to-do’s and your body to relax. The degree to which this is difficult or impossible is very telling. The harder it is – the more I need it!
  • From this still place, notice that all is well even as nothing “out there” is getting done.
  • From this still place, notice also that what IS getting “done” is you slowing down and honoring your human vehicle – body, mind and spirit.
  • From this still place, ask and listen gently for the answers:

What does my physical body need?
What does my emotional body need?
What does my spiritual body need?

Commit to some action(s) that will honor what you hear. Only then, continue:

What MUST be done today? (careful, MUST, not *should*)
What can wait?
What really need never be done?

Let me give you an idea what is happening for me today:

  • From the stillness, I know without a doubt that my physical, emotional and spiritual bodies must be honored. I dare not push through and get to the doing without stretching and movement, emotional ease, and a connection to the spiritual truths which guide me.
  • The must be done items include preparing for my clients and truly being present with them. For me this means that I must be centered and at ease and energetically available, all of which imply some self-care MUST happen! Even if I hadn’t chosen to honor physical/emotional/spiritual bodies earlier, I would have heard the call here!
  • Another kind of MUST happen today item are activities where others are depending on me – like preparation for a group meeting that I choose not to cancel.
  • Yet another MUST for today is the likes of grocery shopping, critical items only, so that proper nourishment for my physical being can happen.

What can wait? Mowing the lawn, dress clothes to the cleaners, e-mail that arrived during my time away from friends who are not in crisis, putting up pictures that have been sitting on the floor for two weeks, laundry. You get the idea!

What need never happen? While today I didn’t put anything into this category, often I do. There are ideas which “seemed good at the time” that didn’t materialize and the time has passed. When I allow gentleness to guide me, some things just don’t ever get done. And that is SO okay!

The next time life strikes, dare to be with its impact differently. Dare to step away and pause, then choose with intention what does – and does not – get done.

What is YOUR wisdom?