Sara wrote earlier this week asking me where I find my "center" when work is crazy - darn good question, that one. I'm wishing I had a really good answer.
I do have answers, of course. Answers like:
I walk myself through my tasks at work one step at a time, avoiding the temptation of falling into sheer panic about the workload. If I do just one thing, with full attention, each bit falls into place.
I sit regularly, and use my zazen practice to keep me balanced and steady.
I make sure to keep my sangha commitments without fail, because I know that showing up for others takes me outside of myself, and somehow that giving replenishes me in a way that no other activity can.
I am gentle with myself, cradling the critic like a cranky child instead of sending her to the corner for a time out.
I get enough of the basics (food, sleep, exercise) without overindulging in any of them.
I turn to those I trust (my wife, my friends, close family) and allow them to hold and comfort me through the hardest days.
But (and this is a big "but") - when things are falling apart for me, as they have been in recent days, all of this seems to fall by the wayside, and I completely forget everything I have ever learned.
So, thank you, Sara - for reminding me to conjure up that list once again. There is always a new day, always a fresh start. A chance to find center.