Until Then

How often do you heed your own advice?  It can be so easy to offer our input to others, but yet, when it comes to ourselves, and following through on what it is we need for ourselves, we drop the ball.  It seems to boil down to perspective.  When we are submerged in the nitty-gritty of a situation, or our attention is myopic, or we are too stressed to know up from down, it makes sense that we might struggle to recognize our needs, let alone a plan on how to tend to them.  Over the years, I have presented many mindset awareness and practical offerings that one can make in their lives to recognize the patterns we’ve fallen into, and the way to expand our menu of life options that lead us toward our greater desires and goals.  

I want to practice what I preach because, to me, these are not just articles I am sharing, they are the lessons I’m being offered on my journey.  Ideally, they are the lessons that I give ultimate respect and appreciation for, that inspire my mindset and my actions in each new moment of life, and that helps me define who I am and who I am becoming.  My column is titled ‘Living in Presence” because that is what I aspire to do each and every moment of my life. A large part of maintaining that presence requires balancing our tasks, our mindset, and our intentions to ensure we are consciously choosing what it is that we need to ebb and flow within our lives to maintain balance and presence.  For me, in looking over my life the past couple of months, I came to see that I have too much on my plate at this moment to reasonably maintain my life balance, which compromises my presence.  To me, presence is everything.  It is our connection with a greater being.  It is our service to others through that source.  It is our gratitude, our awareness, and our inspiration.  We are shaped by how we are able and willing to engage with life, and how we are able and willing to be of service.  

As many of you know, I have a visual condition.  However, over the past four months, I have been working with my specialist to understand some additional visual losses that I have experienced.  In those efforts, I have significant medical appointments to maintain, as well as layers of acceptance that I am still processing.  As always, I trust in life, that has not changed; it is the acceptance of the changes within my day-to-day life that have required my attention and emotional strength.  The outcome is unknown and thus not the focus of my presence, however, I do recognize these possibilities, and they too require acceptance.  

I am also a full-time graduate student studying Clinical Mental Health Counseling.  There is no hiding in a curriculum such as this.  We are made aware of our intentions at every step and asked to process and refine or develop them. I invest over thirty hours per week to my studies, am exceptionally organized, and often still am left with that drowning feeling.

I am in the process of selling my home and tending the repairs needed to accomplish that.  As well as purging, which you all know requires one to let go.  Not just let go of the items we are surrendering, but let go of the emotions tied to those items.  And I am doing all of this to then move across the country to take in the mountains, the trails, the fresh air, and a smaller city that does not present the same intensity as Chicago.  These events are being sandwiched with my school semesters and my on-campus week-long intensives that will occur on my university campus in June.  

When you throw into this three jobs, two senior dogs, a reactive adolescent dog, and a boyfriend who is the absolute love of my life, it is easy to understand how essential finding balance and maintaining presence truly is.  So, I have asked Andrea, our beloved owner of the Hometown Gazette, if I could please take a short leave so that I can get my condo sold, our family moved, my school intensives completed, settled into a new job, my practicum counseling hours established, and have a chance to learn a new public transportation system.

I will look forward to returning on August 7th to continue our conversation.  Please know you are always welcome to reach me through my website, www.balancedpresence.com. Until then!    

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