Being in Balance

31 Oct

Balance.  Ah… that elusive pendulum… moving from side to side.  I think at some point, afraid of losing my balance…I just stopped moving at all… tried to stay very still.  Frozen.  This is not a good strategy for balance.  It promotes something that is a little more like… I don’t know… a rock…  Unmoving.   Unmoving rock=no balance.  I don’t recommend it.

So here I am starting to move and sway just a little bit in the locomotion of the balance of me… in Europe… in Wettenbostel.  For me, part of being in balance was just taking the leap and buying a ticket to come here over five months ago.  The beginning of motion…. of moving the rock.   A much-needed shift that was somehow essential for me.  I can remember not too long ago in New Orleans sitting at a Tom McDermott concert in City Park listening to his smooth sounds on the piano partnered with clarinetist Evan Christopher… and although I was enjoying the music… I also felt a creative yearning in me… that was somehow denied.  Not just denied, but that I felt like I had lost access to.  I asked myself, my greater wisdom… I know I am creative, but right now I don’t feel anything like creative.  What can I do to access my creativity again?  The answer I got was… leave the United States.  A little more fertilizer for the seed that was already planted.

I have learned that balance for me starts with simple thing… like getting a good night sleep, walks outside and being connected to nature, doing my regular healing practices like yoga and Reiki.  Drinking plenty of water, not eating sugar and eating healthy and balanced (not always easy for me here at the Seminar Haus!…) And remembering simple things like just listening to music makes me feel great… Some areas of balance for me are still being revealed.  When to go out and play.  Learning to set good boundaries with people.  Connecting to and listening to my heart.  Staying grounded.  Learning to work again… with persistence, fun and quality… and learning when, if no-one else will, to give myself a break.  Ah, there is a way.

My bicycling traveling German friend here in Wettenbostel, Jörn… who for the time being is not traveling and really not bicycling either… but still German, has been a good example for me about work and quality.  Somewhere programmed in his German being he has an immaculate work ethic, working thoroughly and diligently on every last detail.  It is really quite something to see.  Now don’t get me wrong… I have tried to influence him with some of my Big Easy, Laissez les Bon Temps Roulez attitude… but there is a time and place for everything, for all of it.  Balance.

Back in New Orleans, even before Hurricane Katrina… I took some time to make a big change in my life.  A move toward balance.  I took myself off of anti-depressant medication after being on them for ten years.  Paxil.  And in that experience, that rebirthing into me… I found there were many things that were no longer that easy for me anymore.  It was hard to concentrate.  Challenging to work.  Challenging to think clearly.  I got overwhelmed and anxious easily and found people and crowds sometimes too much to take.  I was moody.  Emotionally volitile.  At that time I found comfort in a friends who somehow understood or could relate to the intensity of the experience and transformation… one was a recovering alcoholic who had nearly killed himself drinking and the other had a stroke.  With them I shared an unexpected but shared experience of relearning some basic things and getting a new understanding of who I am and how to function in the world.  One day at a time.  One step at a time.

I had a nice conversation with my host while preparing breakfast for the seminar this weekend.  Some of his past experience includes work as a therapist with amazing experience in the healing and therapeutic worlds.  I shared with him my experience with getting off Paxil.  He acknowledged me for getting off of anti-depressents and shared that, in his opinion anti-depressents can really change the chemical balance of your brain and even damage it.  And while I aspire to create healing and wholeness for myself, I do feel impacted by the experience of being on Paxil.  The painful brain synapses that felt like electrical jolts in my brain while going off the drugs were a small indication of that.

So balance.  And learning, exploring and seeing ways of working and living again.  Trusting spirit.  Living today and letting things unfold.  So for today, after a busy weekend of work, I will relax.  Be in nature.  Maybe paint a little.  Just a day in Wettenbostel.  My life for now in Germany, in the flow.  Seeking balance.

Photo by Michael Hartley

One Response to “Being in Balance”

  1. Elizabeth Ohmer Pellegrin 10/31/2011 at 15:24 #

    I remember that Tom McDermott concert in City Park. Tom’s music has certainly inspired me as well. How could it not?!!

    I’m very happy to see you growing & flowering!

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