Once again I find myself here on the patio. There is a gentle breeze and all of my whirligigs are happily spinning and mesmerizing.
My newly fixed umbrella is providing shade and as I laid my head back I watched this beautiful large Red-Tailed hawk coasting on the updrafts from our trees. It just hovered there enjoying the moment. Dip one wing and coast one way and then dip and float to the other.
There was very little work it needed to do. The wind kept it aloft and it was just amazing.
I love these moments.
The little ones.
I think this is as much self-care as drinking tea or walking the labyrinth.
The wind chimes sing and I just let go.
This is heaven.
This is joy.
Someone asked me once, “How do you stay joyful or happy all of the time?”
My answer was, “I don’t.”
I don’t believe we’re meant to be in a constant state of joy, peace, or bliss. I think they are moments to be cherished. I believe we are supposed to find a balance.
The visions of a couple of children on a seesaw. It’s fun to go up and down. Every now and then you’re able to stay up a little longer and in others, you’re on the ground. Being up all of the time can feel great in the beginning and eventually you want to come down. And being grounded can feel wonderful for a time unless you find you can’t bring yourself back up.
I prefer to be somewhere in the middle. I enjoy those fabulous moments of being filled with joy and awe. The excitement of new experiences and old. Gathering with loved ones, planning a trip, the first bite of a favorite dish, a surprise visit, I’m sure you can come up with your own list of moments that cheer you and raise your spirits.
As odd as it may sound, I also enjoy the grounded downs. The moment of expressing pain or grief, the cleansing sigh releasing pent-up emotions, sitting with an emotion just to acknowledge the humanness in the moment.
I used to experience fantastic highs and the deepest lows. I remember crying for days, unable to stem the flow of emotion through my body. Any kindness expressed began the weeping anew. It was a struggle to understand myself and what was going on. And so, I didn’t. I just expressed. And felt. And flowed.
My highs consisted of immense energy. I was inspiringly productive and achieved great things. My energy seemed endless and I lit up rooms with my presence. I was bubbly and filled with life. Hold on tight because you never knew what would come next.
I relished the achievements and dreaded the next wave of exhaustion.
And now, so very many years later, I find peace.
I often feel like that soaring hawk.
Let me just be.
Let me experience this moment and relish the balance I have finally found.
I celebrate the joys of little things, I weep when the emotion strikes and I hold sincere gratitude for the work I have put in to understand myself and my rhythms.
I learned self-care.
I learned how to check in.
As I began the downfall I would ask, “What do I need?” “How can I help myself?” “Who can I reach out to?”
The lows weren’t so low. I’d take a walk. Eat some ice cream. Call a friend.
And while I still experienced the highs, they weren’t as intense either. Which meant I wasn’t exhausted as I came down and I began to balance out.
I needed self-awareness and understanding. I found a counselor to help me look at the why causing the what. I searched for unhealthy patterns and habits. And then I learned how to change them.
I pass my tools along to others. I help those ready to learn how to take the updraft and enjoy the wind raising them up. A dip here and a dip there. Finding joy in the simple moment of just being.
I pray you’re able to feel the beautiful balance. Embrace the gift a joyful moment brings. Gift yourself moments of self-care and compassion. Allow the highs and lows as they come and seek out the support you need to be healthy.
I embrace you and encourage you with all of my heart.
- When was the last time you were down?
- What made you feel better? Were there activities/foods/people which brought you joy?
- What can you do the next time you need a little boost?