I’ve been feeling stretched too thin lately, overcommitted, in need of balance and rest. Errands, the house, work, freelance projects, finances. And as diabetics know, health is a full-time job. Doctors, diabetic rituals, record keeping. And when I’m zonked from a full day, I top it off with a few hours of television. I don’t consider this to be a good remedy. And so I’ve been wondering: Is this really what life is all about?
I just want to rest and when I’m not doing that, I want to have some fun. I want life to be about living it to the fullest – not tracking my carbohydrates and basal rates. Be with friends and family. Discover new places. Learn new things.
So yesterday, I took a break. I went with a friend to see Eat Pray Love, the movie based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert where she goes for a yearlong journey in search of herself. She spends the first four months of her year in Italy indulging in pasta and pizza. She simply wants to enjoy life’s pleasures. Then, she spends the next four months in an ashram in India praying, living an austere life, meditating every morning, and dealing emotionally and spiritually with the hardships she had faced in the past. She wraps up her year in Bali. This is where she learns how to balance spirit and pleasure through the teachings of Ketut, the medicine man, and falls in love with a Brazilian ex-pat living in Bali.
She finds herself at the end of the year - through balancing her spiritual self with her life in the outside world.
My friend and I just had to sit afterwards to discuss. We were disappointed in the Hollywood-ness of the movie itself, but the story of Eat Pray Love, no matter how it’s told, drives home the point. Living a life from your true essence and finding balance. How can I translate it into my everyday life?
I told my friend about how I’d been feeling overwhelmed lately, like I don’t have time for myself. I have been feeling stuck in a rut, as though I’m chained to my mortgage, my to-do lists – my life.
And that’s when she gave me the best piece of advice I’ve heard in a long time. We all have little moments of freedom in our lives. Bring attention to those moments of freedom, she said, and savor them.
Since her words of advice, I have noticed that I do have quite a lot of freedom in my life. I noticed the peace and quiet I was feeling this morning as I drank a cup of tea. I didn’t turn on the TV as I normally do. I sat and ate breakfast in complete silence. I also savored the walk and pilates work-out I did this morning – just for me. And then, when I moved onto a freelance project - aka work - I found myself in the zone, totally flowing. I felt free.
I believe life flows better when we don’t feel trapped. This week’s conscious thought: Trapped, overwhelmed, and stuck are all feelings we choose.
Today, I chose freedom. I took the time to savor those moments of freedom, and then I found that the rest just fell into place.