Finding Room to Breathe

I recently heard an explanation for why some people feel overwhelmed in large crowds of people, and others don’t. Some people get frustrated about having to fight their way through all the people on a crowded street, or at the mall right before Christmas. They see all the people in their way, as obstacles to maneuver around.

But there are other people who face the same challenge, and instead of seeing all the people in the way, they see the spaces between the people – gaps they are aiming for so they can slip easily through the crowd, almost like a dance with complicated but graceful steps to learn and enjoy.

Sometimes, my life has the same energy as a shopping mall on Christmas eve – lots of hustle, bustle, bodies everywhere, trying to get something done with obstacles everywhere, feelings of joy, feelings of frustration, lots of noise, lots of chaos, lots of busyness. I have three people talking to me at once, more often than not, and the introvert in me starts to go crazy, even though I love almost all of it.

But there are also times when my three angels are playing together so sweetly, it almost makes me hurt because I feel so much joy.

Everett wraps his little arms around my neck, Anika and I explore the depths of fantastic conversation, and Kaylia bares her soul during the quiet moments before bed. These sweet moments make the times of chaos completely worth it, and I start to see there are gaps to aim for.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed and all I can see are the obstacles. But things always balance out, and I find the spaces between the craziness – not because we aim to avoid the hard stuff, but because they don’t seem as a big a deal when we’re not focusing on them.

This morning, I was making granola in the kitchen, and I suddenly became aware of how peacefully quiet and content everyone was. Kaylia and Everett were playing together, and Anika was doing her schoolwork. The house smelled heavenly, it was cleaner than usual, everyone was fed and satisfied and happy. I stood there by the oven, and just breathed it all in, because in that moment, everything was…perfect.

And then the moment passed, and things got crazy again, but that was also wonderful, in a different kind of way.

I’m trying to remind myself to look for the gaps where we can slip through easily and breathe deeply, and slide along through the tough spots, because the obstacles and the gaps together make up my little world right now. We need a balance of both.

So here’s to a beautiful life that slips easily through the tough spots, and we find the gaps to enjoy, as well as the obstacles to challenge us.

 

Advertisements

Replenish: Sneak the Good Stuff in Through the Back Door!

I received an advanced copy of Lisa Grace Byrne’s new book, Replenish, for reviewing purposes earlier this summer, and have been wanting to share my thoughts on it with all of you…

A few months ago, I read that the best way to add a healthy habit into your life is to stop focusing on the junk you need to take out, and focus instead on how much good you can bring in. That way, as you fill your life with goodness, the junk will gradually get squeezed out, and will happen with less pain and discomfort!

The example used was eating more vegetables, and less junk food. When we focus on the guilt of how bad we’re eating, and make strict guidelines, we’re constantly thinking about how deprived and depressed we are. Instead, we could be choosing to celebrate all those awesome, healthy choices, and feel really good about what we’re adding to life, instead of what’s being taken away.

ReplenishSmallBoundariesThe thought has stuck with me, and so when I started reading Lisa Byrne’s new book Replenish, I was fascinated with her use of this strategy for moms who are feeling stressed, depleted, and exhausted. She suggests the need to bring balance in “through the back door” – instead of trying to get the stress under control, let’s rather bring in tools that grow a sense of calm, balance and rest. As we do this, we’ll equip ourselves to deal with the craziness, and eventually it will start to diminish. As we take steps to bring the calm in, we will notice the stress ease without needing to fight it head-on.

She writes about small, manageable steps that are easy to take, and she makes them sound so easy, so attainable, that I found myself willing to try strange, new things I’d never considered before. Suddenly, Lisa Byrne has me breathing in lavender oil to calm myself, or trying to get to bed a little earlier each night.

She writes about seven different ways in which we can bring in more balance: a calm mind, sovereign thoughts, a nourished body, restorative rest, joyful movement, anchored quiet, and authentic connection. As she focuses on each of these topics, she provides a list of simple, helpful, practical steps which can be easily included throughout the day.

I was really looking forward to reading this book, as I’ve enjoyed Lisa Byrne’s blog and many webinars over the last few years, and I was not disappointed with Replenish. Loved it.

I would recommend it to any mom who’s feeling tired, and needing some fresh ideas for getting rested up and refreshed!

Are you a fan of Lisa Byrne? Check out her blog here if you haven’t before!