I am writing this Musing on what, according to my own calendar, is a “vacation day.” My energetic beau and accommodating houseguest are outside doing chores together. It feels somewhat covert to be slipping off to write this letter in my cool office, as they toil outside in the 90-degree heat. However, what I’m noticing the most is the nagging thought that I am cheating myself by working on a day I had blocked off for relaxation. My thinking goes like this: “It has been a busy week, trying to squeeze a week’s worth of work into the first three days; I did not succeed in that, so must work some this morning; writing my Musing will allow me to play the rest of the day with a clean conscious; the guys won’t even notice my absence for an hour; my clients are eagerly awaiting this Musing, and I must not disappoint them!” Yes, I am laughing now, too. I realize how silly that last part sounds, yet acknowledge that is a real driver for me. Then I look carefully at what is underneath the rest of my train of thought: the way I place demands on myself, keep a wary eye on what others might think, bargain with myself.
Another thing that occurs to me as I write this is that there is still plenty of room to grow in support of my 2014 theme of “Lighten Up” (see January 2014 Musing). The part about being kinder and more compassionate towards myself can be trumped at times by demands I place on myself. Clients benefit from my strong work ethic and commitment to serve them as a powerful coach. They also are entitled to a coach who knows how to set boundaries, have balance in her life, and manage her energy. I’m working on that each day. Life – and work – is always about balance, flow and rhythm.
One area of my efforts to lighten up that is going well is around taking care of my spirit and body. After living on the water for eight years, it recently occurred to me that I could do my morning yoga and quiet time out on our pier. So now I get up at 5:15 a.m., make my tea, grab my journal and my yoga mat, and head for the pier. The gentle lapping of the water, the murmuration of the geese paddling by, the calls of the osprey…all soothing sounds of nature that melt away my stress as the sun climbs over the horizon. My yoga poses seem to draw power from the vast, beautiful sky. This has come to be such a restorative practice for me, one that starts my day off with a peaceful heart and quiet mind.
So it is…the learning to be kind to myself, to work hard and play hard, to reflect on how I am investing my precious time here on earth. I’m grateful each day for having good work, clients that challenge me, and the chance to grow in mind, body and spirit. Thank you for being a part of my journey. I hope that you have a wonderful 4th of July holiday weekend.
Sharon Keys Seal