Monday, April 12, 2010

Finding Center

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.


  1. Hey Michelle, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading your missive, especially the one of the rescue of the Golden Retrievers. My heart goes out to the boy, who I hope finds help. That was a great post. I also happen to be a fan of Blake, so putting in those four lines and then doing a nice lit analysis of it would have made him proud. But what really got to me was the situation with the school board. Argghhh! It's a microcosm of the problems in education today, heartbreaking because it's always the kids who suffer from the behavior from the adults. As a former photojournalist, I sympathize with your situation: darned if you do and darned if you don't! Keep your head squarely on your solid shoulders and don't forget that "this too shall pass." Keep being honest and trust your instincts, and your reporting will continue to be fair and unbiased, whether that's recognized or not. I've bookmarked the blog, so I'll be back. In the meantime, I'd love to see updates on all of the above, especially the pooches! And hey girl, blog-wise, you ROCK!

  2. Yes! I totally agree w/ Victoria! zt

  3. Victoria, welcome to the blog, and thanks for your comments. Good to get feedback. I am currently struggling with communication with the school superintendent, who has decided to avoid all phone calls from me by returning calls only after hours (and after deadlines) - so that remains a challenge. Will have to do some kind of repair work to restore a working relationship, since she is clearly on the defensive because of the community reaction. I will let you know what I hear about the dogs. Two batches of puppies on the way!