Life for me continues to be hectic, both at home and at work. In the last week I have spent time in Canberra (looking after my twin grand daughters), Wagga Wagga (facilitating an ASIST course), Bathurst (helping my 95 year old mother and un-well sister) and now Glenbrook. Yes, to do that I have spent quite a bit of time driving, battling wind, rain, fog, trucks and cars. To add extra pressure I have also had a vehicle breakdown in Wagga Wagga and also locked the keys in the vehicle in Glenbrook. How do I feel? Tired and weary! Yet my life is not unique, as I talk to people here, there are many just as busy and stressed as me! On top of the need to develop effective self-care strategies the question that often emerges is “How do you find peace amidst the chaos of life?”
Obviously there are no easy answers but after pondering the possibilities, I came up with five STEPS that I am intending to do to get things back in balance:
- Self-care! For me that is about making time this weekend to do some things that restore my body and soul. I plan to get a couple of nights of good sleep, do some journaling, go for a surf, make a mess in my workshop and spin some wool. What works for you?
- Thankfulness! Often when I am feeling stressed I focus on what I don’t have and forget about all the things that I do have. Pausing to consider all those basic things I take for granted can be a humbling experience. What have you got to be thankful for?
- Encourage others! Sometimes I can get so focussed on my self-care that I forget that some of the other people around me have needs as well. If I can recognise that these others are not competing with me, then I could accept that we are all pilgrims together who need each other. Who needs a word of encouragement today?
- Positive attitude! When I am tired and stressed I tend to become negative. At those times I need to consciously change my attitude, and associate with positive people who will give me a reality check and remind me that I am not looking at the full picture. How is your attitude?
- Self-awareness! The key to all this is having the level of self-awareness that enables you to be honest about how you feel and know what STEPS you need to take to assist restoration. All the above steps are inter-related, all with physical, mental and spiritual implications. How aware are you of how you are really travelling?
So, what STEPS are you taking to get back in balance and find peace in the normal chaos of life? A friend of mine put it like this:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not the things to curse… Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”
Phil 4:8-9, The Message
That sounds like what I need – what about you?
Padre Ian Whitley AM