Posts tagged ‘balance’

November 18, 2010

practicing peace

by Hannah

“No” Seth screeches again. This time there is no obvious reason. I lift him up- my arms have gotten stronger as he’s grown- and breathe deeply before calmly asking him (once again) what the matter is. This happens so very often throughout the day lately- the breakdowns interspersed with the joy and wonder of this little being. We’ve been battling teething pain and the frustrations that accompany toddlerhood. He wants to do everything, yet he can’t. He wants independence, and yet he afraid of it too. Aren’t we all?
My patience level seems to correspond closely with my sleep patterns, which have not exactly been ideal. Aside from that, though, I have found that the times I get most frusterated are when I’m interrupted from something else I’m doing- or when I’m trying to focus on more than one thing at once.
I long to be a pillar of calm and peace in Seth’ life, never yielding to frustration. I want to respond to everything with love and gentle discipline, but sometimes I feel my peace slipping. Okay yeah- sometimes it completely flies out the window and I break down right along with him.

Peace is not something I feel often right now. I am always, always being pulled in multiple directions. I am mom and business owner. Working from home while raising children is… well, a bit crazy sometimes.

In the midst of it all, I am trying to make sure that I am truly present for my son when he needs me. While my work and home lives are so deeply intertwined, I am intentionally separating them when I can- taking some time to give each my undivided attention for a while, on a regular basis.
Peace is not going to come naturally here, but I am learning to create it- to practice it and incorporate it into my home, my life, my parenting and my business. A huge part of this is being present in each moment. I am a planner, and I need organization to function, but I find that if I take it to an extreme and am constantly looking ahead or  mentally reviewing my to-do list, I get anxious.
So when I’m working, I’m working, and when I’m with my family, I try to put work out of my mind and focus on them. Then I no longer feel so pulled, so divided. I can handle each situation more calmly and rationally because I am not simultaneously trying to focus on something unrelated.

There is more peace everywhere in my world.

October 19, 2010

The thing about balance…

by Hannah

It’s a process. A journey. A practice that you must approach with the knowledge that you will most likely never actually feel that you’ve “arrived”, and if you do, it will probably only be for a few minutes.

I always feel like some aspect of my life is suffering. If I am giving my family all of my attention, my business to-do list becomes overwhelming. If I spend a day focusing on getting the house completely cleaned, then Seth gets cabin fever and everyone is irritable. If I am keeping with all of my work, then the dishes and laundry seem to pile up and Seth has watched far too much television for one day. It can be so, so frustrating to feel like there is never any balance. And I tell myself that it is my fault- that I should be handling it all better. I think I know that is not true, deep down. It is the image of super-mom that is highly esteemed in our society, but is it anyone’s reality? I always wonder if anyone has truly found the balance and maintained it.

But maybe it is my definition of balance that is actually off. Maybe balancing it all would be accepting that I will lack in one area while focusing on another, but each important part of my life must be given its time and place. Maybe I need to stop beating myself up about where I am lacking, and focus always on what I have in front of me now. Maybe balance is more about my mindset than how I actually do anything, and the fact that no area suffers for very long is proof that I’m doing alright after all.

Be kind to yourself. A balanced mind leads to a balanced life…

May 14, 2010

Balance in daily life- some observations.

by Hannah

There are certain elements in my life that are necessary in order for me to feel centered and at peace. If there is balance, then I am happier, and my son is happier. If I don’t include these elements into our day, it is usually a hard one.

1. We have to get out of the house. Sometimes I feel like I have too much to do at home, so we stay in all day, but in the end I get less done because Seth and I both feel trapped and restless.

2. In connection to the above, we have to spend to in nature. Sometimes it’s just our backyard, or maybe the park or beach, but when I make sure we get outdoors and explore the natural world for a while, there is so much less stress in the day. Seth thrives on time spend outside, and I think I am realizing that I do, too.

3. At least every few days, we need interaction with others. Specifically, I need time with friends every one in a while in order to feel less isolated and more understood. This is something I am trying to work on making a habit, because right now it is too infrequent. We mamas need other women in our lives.

4. This is probably the biggest one for me: I have to make times to be creative. Taking pictures, making art-  and sometimes blogging, dancing freely in the living room, or baking something does the trick. If I haven’t created or allowed my artistic mind to take over in a while, I feel lifeless and frustrated. Taking that time makes me a better mother and wife, and a happier person.

5. Finally, I just have to take care of myself, physically. If I am not sleeping enough, getting enough good, nourishing whole foods in my diet, and staying physically active, my mood is very much affected. If I am taking the time to nurture myself, I feel much more balanced emotionally.

These are the things I am making an effort toward right now.

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