There are times in my life (and I would guess in yours as well) where I have booked myself so full of things that occupy my time that I can barely find the time to catch my breath. It seems that life is full of these times of busy-ness and it can become a way of daily living that can pull us out of balance. I know that Spirit and my own Soul energy often are the root of providing the opportunity to fill my time with more classes to teach and clients to assist – for the benefit of both myself and others. For these times of being booked completely full, I am truly grateful. I also know that if these stretches of being focused on outward activity go on for a long period of time that my body, mind, energy, etc. all start to call out for a space of stillness and the opportunity to pause, reflect, reconnect and breathe.
In order to maintain balance our system requires these down times to relax, rest and recharge. It is a time to evaluate the lessons learned in the busy times and to incorporate the knowledge and wisdom into our heart and mind for use in the next upswing of activity.
I also find that when these periods of activity stretch me to my break point then I am no longer at my best. My body, being the great message giver that it is, always gives me clues when I have reached my limit. It is always important to pay attention to ourselves and manage our time and activity level to ensure we do not arrive at a place of burnout. If we do not keep our own light bright and our own bucket filled, then we have precious little of quality to offer to ourselves and others.
I believe this tendency to over extend often applies to those of us who are involved in care giving, teaching and those aware of the great need for healing and transformation. However, our first priority is to ourselves to give care, heal and transform – then to offer these qualities to others. In order to be the most effective it requires placing our needs at the forefront, ahead of others – to be a strong example and to come from a more graceful place when interacting with others.
There are also times when the busy-ness of life is full of problems needing solving, crisis that calls for our attention. The circumstances in these times of difficulty often can be full of stress and worry. Even in these times of grappling with resolutions, of coming to grips with occurrences, it may be necessary – even vital – to pause for a moment. Taking a break to breathe, set down our burdens and seek a calm shore for a moment will bring greater ease when we do take up the burden again. We will have a clearer head, calmer heart and a rested body to bring to the process.
I have read the phrase that says, “our compassion is not complete unless in includes ourselves”. I believe that finding the balance between being externally busy with the times of rest, reflection and restoration to be a part of the art of giving ourselves compassion. In so doing we are able to balance the external with the internal, recharge our batteries and be a more graceful example in the world.