A high school English teacher once told me that for a woman, relationships are everything in the world. For men, relationships are a thing apart.
Being woman manly (in the words of Virginia Wolf), I find myself trying to strike a balance between my relationships and my work. I am passionate about my relationships. I am passionate about my work.
My mother said to me (through a medium): You have to be softer, don't be such a man.
The last few weeks have inordinately been about my relationships so I have not blogged or worked on my dissertation proposal at all. Sometimes balance means alternating between passions, sometimes it means finding a way to integrate them. Always it means acknowledging that both are important to me.
I become passionate about the people with whom I work. I love them actually. That's one of the reasons that I am passionate about my work.
I share what I am doing and learning and reading about with the important people in my life. I share it with you too and I have not even met you! Actually, my friends read my blog and are very supportive. I was talking directly to the readers my blog stats say are logging in from around the country and world.
My relationships and my work are fusing. My daughter imitates me: "CBITS, CBITS, shamanism, shamanism, do you know what I mean?" Wow, she listens and is reflecting back what I sound like. Not bad. I'll take it.
I used to be a workaholic - it was my "upper" during the day. That is, work activated my fight-flight response. I used to be a food addict - it was my "downer" at night. That is, eating triggered my relaxation response. The body shuts down in order to digest food. Our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems work in tandem to regulate our mind-body.
Now I do paid work part-time. I eat three smaller meals and two snacks per day. I exercise daily. I take naps (instead of drinking coffee). I still have a lot on my plate (so to speak) and it is spilling over, but I know this is temporary. Balls are dropping because I cannot summons the stress response to care too much. I am working on finding a balance. Otherwise, I'll be calling you from jail to bail me out of unpaid traffic tickets. If you call and I don't answer, please know that I am not ignoring you - I am driving safely.
Balance has meant happiness. Left and right brain engaged and communicating. Head and Heart acknowledged and consulted on all major decisions. The negative and positive in life continue to occur side by side. I choose to focus on the good. I go to bed with a smile on my face. I wake up with a smile on my face. I find myself smiling throughout the day and saying thank you to what shows up. People are nicer to me. I am more forgiving of myself and others. I am walking instead of running. I am breathing instead of hyperventilating. I am laughing instead of eating more. I listen to music and cry. I listen and sing along and smile. I enter new work projects and relationships fully knowing it might not work out and I will get hurt. I am not scared. I am open to all of it. I get to be alive. I get to feel. I will be surprised. It will work out. It will be okay, eventually, even if it doesn't work out.
I am balancing being woman manly. Thanks, Ms. Wolfe, what a concept.