Balance

I have practiced yoga for many many years and have had my ups and downs with my confidence level. When I was younger, I was more agile, stronger and flexible. What I never really had a problem with was balance. Man, have times changed!

I was never great at tree pose where you balanced one foot against your thigh and raised your arms up high and strong like branches. Some days I would hold the pose for a long period of time without wavering and other times I could barely keep my foot stable for a few minutes.

But now even the simplest poses seem to allude me. I find myself falling over and feeling like a klutz. How is that possible after practicing for forty-eight years?! I feel weak. Not to others but to myself. I am reminded that my body is not what it use to be. I am still a size six and climb forty-seven steps up to my house numerous times on any given day. But balancing from right to left can be ridiculously challenging.

When I find I can’t practice the way I use to it reminds me of how other things in life are not as easy. I don’t mean physically. I mean the day to day living. The balance of life.

There are days when my balance is totally off. When no matter how I remind myself of my good fortune, I have doubts as to whether I will be able to handle all of the unknowns that await me. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming. All the self-help books, affirmations, and meditations just don’t seem to alleviate the restlessness I feel. I can tell you I don’t know all the answers and wonder how other people swing the life balance in a positive direction.

One definition of balance is a condition in which different elements are equal or in the same proportions. So my goal then is to try to balance the quiet with the noise. To counterbalance the worry with the same amount of security knowing that everything is going to turn out ok. In fact, even better than ok. Because at the end of every yoga session is Shavasana. It might look like a nap at the end of your yoga practice. But it’s actually a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed. Now that’s my kind of balance.

2019

It’s been one whole year. 365 days. I can’t believe a year has gone by since I wrote a blog for Styled Inside Out. I’m not sure whether I should be very grateful I have been so busy working or if I should realize that time moves so fast and I feel like it’s been a blur. I have had the gift of having some down time where I have continued to fix up my house (never ending!), started painting, caught up on a lot of reading, joined up again at my beloved gym and organized my much neglected personal life. I have caught up with friends I haven’t seen in years and discovered I’m going to be a grandma. Wow, who says life isn’t busy? And that’s just since January!

However in my mind I feel like I’m not doing enough. I feel at the end of the day I have been slacking. I feel like I am slacking. I feel like the garage should finally be completely organized and every drawer almost empty. I have the time but I just can’t bring myself to fold my clothes like Marie Kondo. I don’t care how much time I have. I could only do that if I have a bottle of wine next to me. That is a full time job.

You know what else is full time without getting paid? Eating healthy. I went away for a week to learn how to cook more “vegan” and realized that is also an unpaid full time job. I know it’s better for you and I do feel better (and eight pounds lighter) but it doesn’t replace a hunk of brie, a baguette, butter, a pile of red grapes (seedless), and a beautiful glass of red wine. Do I feel great after eating that? Not so much. But it is magnificent while in the process. So I cheat every so often and tell myself life is short and time flies by.

One of the best things about going into 2019 is that I have had the luxury of being in my own home in my own bed. Watching the sunsets from my deck and even enjoying the rain we have desperately needed. The jasmine on my arboretum is about ready to bloom and I haven’t experienced that joy in a number of years because of being out of town. So here’s to you Marie Kondo. Spark joy!

Depression

depressionThis is a tricky one.  A real slippery slope.  It isn’t easy to spot just by looking at someone.  It’s not like a disease that, although may not be curable, doesn’t suffer in silence from the unknown. You can diagnose cancer pretty quickly but depression has its own timeline.

I have known people who couldn’t deal with the voices in their head and finally checked out.  It wasn’t pretty and, in their own way, they were asking for help.  Those who loved them were trying to give them everything but in the end, it wasn’t enough.

There are the drugs that are given which have been created to try to ease the pain.  One person told me it was like they had fallen down a hole and were trying desperately to climb to the top only to slip back down again.  Some research states a lack of zinc can cause a chemical imbalance of serotonin in the brain which can cause depression. Pfeiffer Medical Center in Chicago has worked for years in the study and treatment of depression.  They use vitamins, minerals and other nutrient supplements in treating biochemical imbalances.  This may be a better alternative for some which do not want to go the drug prescription route.

For years depression was hushed and still isn’t given the assistance it needs to find a cure.  In recent times it has reared its ugly head and resulted in harrowing results.

So where do we go with it?  How do we help those so desperately in need?  I am no therapist but I feel like we really have to start to listen and watch the telltale signs.  Depression doesn’t care where you come from or how wealthy you are.  It strikes with a vengeance.  It’s not a topic many are comfortable dealing with but knowledge about the symptoms and the care are vital now in order to help the ones dealing with depression and with ourselves.