Often, I wonder if I am doing enough. Am I working enough? Am I playing enough? Am I spending enough time with my family? Am I practicing enough? I don’t lead a conventional life. Elliott made a joke the other day about the difference between “conventional” produce and “organic”. I would definitely fall into the organic category. Not organic meaning chemical-free although I try; more organic like, letting things happen organically. It is probably easier in some ways to have society tell you how long to work, how long to relax, how much your kids should learn and what they should learn. That is not how I live.
I don’t have hours to keep or a boss to answer to. That said, I still have plenty of work to do. My kids don’t go to school but they have a ton to learn. Living this life is incredibly freeing but also can be incredibly scary. What if I am not doing this right? What if I am not making good choices or spending my time wisely?
The concept of being centered is about the physical body but also the emotional/mental/spiritual state. I need to know what is at the center of my beliefs, what is truly important in order to make good choices. Just writing this makes me feel a bit clearer. I think this is really less about knowing and more about trusting.
I have had many experiences in my life that forced me to have to conserve my energy and really be selective about how and with whom I spent it. I was attacked and almost killed when I was in my 20s. It changed everything about how I saw the world. Many years later, I think that experience among others shapes the way I see my life and chose to spend it, or maybe better said, savor it. It didn’t make me trust less, in fact, it was part of my “recovery” to trust and believe in the good of the world.
Along with an appreciation of time and energy also came a strong sense of fear. Trusting that each day I lead will not include violence is a daily struggle. I have made a choice to not see violence in every situation. If I did, I would be paralyzed by fear and unable to experience my life to the degree that I would like.
I guess it all comes down to balance. Balance between work and play, concentration and unfocused energy, fear and great joy. There just isn’t a perfect recipe. I will say that spending time with my family and friends, being outdoors, writing about, teaching, and practicing yoga, traveling, cooking vegan food, and reading good books all center and ground me in the present moment. Being in the present moment feels less chaotic and less scary. It is when I slip into the past or anticipate the future that the fear creeps in. It will be a life long struggle for me to find this balance, however, I have made a commitment to myself that I will not give in to fear and doubt. And so, I get back on my mat, breath in, breath out and do it again, again, and again.