Friday, December 11, 2009

Unwrapping My Present

In my current day-to-day, this magical thing called life balance can be more like "extreme juggling" vs. navigating the balance beam as my blog title suggests. In any case, it's a circus for sure!

So many balls going up, down and around at any given time. Kids, husband, friends, house, the budget, the commute, the corporate job, holidays and more. Plus of course, the stuff I know I need to do in order to take care of myself and stay sane. (P90X fits in there somewhere, though people have questioned my sanity regarding this particular undertaking.)

The "me" stuff can be hard to prioritize when the other balls are flying through the air, demanding and begging me to catch them. Somehow I manage to keep it all going. The real trick is not falling on my arse in the process.  (No applause necessary; just leave money in the hat as you exit. Thank you.  Thank you very much.)

My hope is you're learning some of my "techniques" in the course of reading my blog.  If nothing else, feel free to laugh at me as well as with me. Laughter is the best medicine afterall.

Yes - it can be "like work" to keep the inner foundation secure so that I can handle the many external stressors which inevitably occur.

I'd like to say it comes naturally. That my life feels like one of those "easy, breezy" commercials on TV. Well, sometimes it really does, even when by all accounts, it shouldn't.  Other times (recently), well... not so much.

Still, my overall goal is not to get so caught up in the internal and external juggling act that I miss the real gift of the present.  During the holidays in particular, this is something I find myself thinking about quite a lot.

I don't want my life to be about doing. I want it to be about being. I want to feel the experience of life in a completely fulfilling, blissful way.

But let's face it, someone still has to wash the underwear and do all the other crap which has to get done.

Okay, so I want to have my cake and eat it too. (I'm tempted to make a clean undies v. cake analogy but that could easily go to a really weird place.)

All that said, as I go through the multi-tasking extravaganza which is my life, a big goal for me is to pay attention. As Rhonda Byrne says in her book The Secret, I need to "remember to remember."

Inherent in this task is being fully aware and present in the moment; a related pearl of wisdom which I learned from Eckhart Tolle .

Focus on being in the "now."  One cannot become enlightened whilst unconscious.

A few months ago I started keeping a log of all the times I caught myself NOT being in the moment. Yikes. I should have bought a bigger notebook. Talk about needing to "remember to remember."

Here are just a few examples to which I'm praying you can relate:

MONDAY: Dropped kids off at school; didn't realise I was still listening to "Kids Place Live" on XMRadio until 28 minutes later when I caught myself singing along to "Crazy ABC's" by the Barenaked Ladies. I do love that song and it wouldn't be so bad except that I went almost a full half hour with zero awareness that the radio was even ON.

TUESDAY: How did I get this HUGE bruise on my leg? No idea. I bet it hurt. Humpf.  (Note: Bruise amnesia is a disturbingly recurring theme.)

WEDNESDAY: Hungry. Opened package to my Carrot Cake Clif Bar...took a bite. Moments later looked down. Clif bar gone. Did I eat it? Holy crap, I don't even remember chewing. Need to revisit goal of "mindful eating." Still hungry.

THURSDAY: "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy." Oh wait, that's me.

FRIDAY: Walked into kitchen. Completely forgot why. Walked back into bedroom. Scissors. I needed scissors. Walked back to kitchen. Noticed dirty dish towel. Brought it back to bedroom. Forgot the damn scissors.

Although slightly embarrassing, this excercise helps me to better understand what I need to focus on. Namely, what is happening.... right.... now. Not only my thoughts and feelings, but everything around me.

Like I always say, it's a journey. Thank you again for joining me on my quest to make this circus feel like a walk along a beautiful garden path.

Here's to paying attention, remembering to remember and being in the moment.

And eating cake.  And clean undies.

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Sit10 said...

Man, did I need you when I was locking my keys in a running car. in my driveway. They say a big dose of Ginko will clear this right up, but I think you are closer to the truth. MINDFULNESS. All those things simmering on the back burners, and the spaghetti is boiling over.

And carrot cake really is the best Clif.

2 Toddlers and Me said...

I find myself doing similar stuff - the other day I couldn't find our dog anywhere. I called him and called him, started to panic, ran all over the house looking for him. I started to think he had gotten out that morning when I left. Only after I decided to check the backyard to see if hopefully he was hanging out back there, did I see him lying in the driveway (it's all fenced in) safe and sound. I never remembered letting him out!

SITS sent me by. Love your blog and am now following.

Toni said...

Congrats on remembering to stay present. It's something I still have learned or maybe it's not about learning such as "doing" but instead the "being". And, at this moment, as I type this, I truly am in this moment. Thanks so much!!!

Also, Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!

plainolebob said...

Charlene, sorry I got lost when the cake picture showed up. That lady was really eying that slice of cake, and I just got well err.....kinda lost there.

UberGrumpy said...

Great post! I shall be remembering to remember all day, unless I forget

Plus I like the 'Barenaked Ladies' and 'Clean undies' juxtaposition. Thought-provoking...

Rae said...

I think they call it 'kitchenheimers'. I do it all the time -forgetting what I went to the kitchen for. Here's to you -wishing you an easy breezy holiday!!

Feeling Fit With Dana said...

Great post. I too want to be mindful when I eat and in my daily life! Oh, btw, send me an email. You won the Mary's Gone Crackers giveaway on my blog. I need to get your address so I can put the coupons in the mail. Sorry to post it here, couldn't find an email me button!

Vivianne said...

Really funny! Your days sound COMPLETELY LIKE MINE. I call it "Momnesia" though. (I blame the kids.) I really identified with this line: "I don't want my life to be about doing. I want it to be about being." I would sooo love that.

Cougar Tales said...

Visiting from SITS. I am reading The Power of Now and it is very hard for me to grasp. I have to keep re-reading and thinking about it and have not gotten very far. But, it has something that rings true for me so I will keep plugging along. Stop by for a visit :-)
- Cougs

thatgirlblogs said...

thanks for visiting me on my SITS day xoxo

momnesia is a daily thing over here, I can't pin it on the holidays, LOL

lemonologie said...

Fabulous post!

Thanks for visiting me on my SITS day the other week!

Charlene said...

Thanks for all the comments.

Another one to add to the list... Last night, smelled something burning. First asked hubby what the heck he was cooking. Then realised something was burning and (bad monmmy moment) asked my son if he had been playing with the oven... Walked into the kitchen and realised it was MY pot of quinoa boiling over and burning! DOH!!!

Michelle said...

I'm just visiting those around me from SITS. What a nice blog....I'm going to poke about a bit more before I jet off. And I can TOTALLY relate to the "not in the moment" times of my day....they happen a lot.

Shell said...

Undies and cake...yes, that could go in a weird direction.

I've actually slowed down an awful lot and it's helped me to realize that I actually LIKE my life.

Stopping in from SITS.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

Last week after cleaning out the fridge my sponge was missing and I spent several minutes pulling everything out again to find where I had left the sponge. Hmm, not there. It was in the trash. Do you suppose that was a subconscious statement? Thanks for stopping by my blog!

tvachon said...

did you really read that Eckhart Tolle book? You are a better woman than I! I actually listened to it on my commute, but it is read by the author. He's austrian or german, and has a sort of monotone way of speaking. Talk about not being in the moment, oh, I'm home already, what did he say?

lwamser said...

Great post. I strive to slow down and be more aware of my life, my children, loved ones etc. But here's a thought. Perhaps not being able to live in the moment all the time is a coping mechanism, an essential one. I think it's ok to zone out sometimes, in order to maintain one's sanity. Zoning out is an opportunity to ponder things, another essential exercise. I find it to be re-generative as well.

Charlene said...

Great point Lori - Absolutely!

I just have to remember not to zone out when my quinoa is on the stove. LOL!

But I definitely think you're right... as with most things, all about balance. :-)

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