living in the balance

Last Monday, my car was keyed in broad daylight whilst parked in my neighborhood. When I discovered the fresh, shiny scar running deeply along two panels, the tears that brimmed up were a mixture of anger, frustration, and lack of having anyone to blame. Without being able to point a finger at anybody in particular, I blamed “this stupid state” and “this would NEVER have happened in Washington — back home, we leave nice notes if we want someone to move their car!”

Fast forward to yesterday, another Sunday catching up on chores. I needed to drive twenty minutes to Lynnfield to exchange a pair of trousers, which was all fine and dandy. After I exchanged them, I spent an hour in a cafe having a nice lunch and then drove home… only to find the security tag was still attached to the trousers.

I immediately flew into a frenzy, which brought up that negative, angry voice within me. I aimed daggers at myself for “being so stupid that I didn’t notice as I was leaving the store” and at the girl at the register for “not doing her job!” Whilst I drove back to the store, the voice was still going — “I can’t believe that I have to make this drive again! I was so looking forward to chilling out with a cup of tea, and now this happens!”

Later on that day, after the dust had settled, I took myself out for a beer and a slice of pizza (such a treat!) and journaled to reflect. Because these aren’t the first moments in my more recent memory that I have flown off the handle at things that used to be like water off my back. I got to wondering why that had changed — the alarm bells were ringing and something was wrong.

As I reflected, I began to notice that when I was in Anake, I was spending significant time in nature. I was not only feeling nurtured emotionally, but I was also more able to tap into a place of peace during tougher times. I noticed that in my current life the balance was off — that somewhere in the last nine months I had started spending more time inside, worrying about paying bills and cleaning the house from head to toe, than exploring outside. I realized that I had been coming up with a million excuses to not go on walks — “I miss home,” or “I used to be able to roll out of bed into the park, now I have to drive,” —  but that these excuses weren’t positively serving me.

I had a conversation with my yoga teacher about balance (which, as well as ‘dance’, is one of my words for 2018) and how to be kind to yourself, even when you notice you’re angry or upset. It’s one thing to fly off the handle, but it’s another thing altogether to then reprimand yourself or guilt yourself for it afterwards — “I should have never parked there on the street,” or “I should have checked the trousers before I left the store,” and on and on. Would you ever talk to a child or a friend that way. Of course not!

As this month rolls to an end (already!) we can notice that it is the polar opposite of December — from abundant family time during the holidays and then back to the daily grind in January with the rest of winter looming ahead. This awkward time of year is for softness and introspection: similar to that ‘4am’ feeling. I invite you to notice where you might find an imbalance in yourself, emotionally or physically, or to just be kind to yourself if something feels out of whack. After all, it is the season of rebirth and cocooning.

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