Balance & Focus

Confession: I haven’t been meditating.

I am maxing myself out. I had to go back to 40 hours at work because I am a month out from  our biggest fundraiser of the year and there are just not enough hours in the day to accomplish all I need to get done. Yesterday I worked 10 hours. That is fairly typical. I come home late, exhausted in my soul, missing that thing people commonly refer to as “free time”.  I didn’t get to my Monday night yoga class because I was writing speeches in a dark, lonely office. I don’t have time to cook. I don’t have time to even IM or check Twitter with any frequency during the day as every single second counts. I am sitting here blogging when I should be getting ready. I have to leave in an hour to meet a youth speaker to help her practice her speech and the only mutually agreeable time that worked with both our schedules was 8am on Tuesdays.

I am a morning person and yet, even that, feels too early.

I’m still cramming in as much exercise as I can- yoga 3x a week, Nia or Zumba 2x a week. It doesn’t feel like enough. I took a Nia and a Zumba class back to back on Saturday. I basically was useless the rest of the day- it kicked my ass so hard. But I smiled the entire 2 hours. I want to work out every day but I am finding it hard to get enough sleep and find classes that work in my schedule. The should’s have started- I should wake up earlier than 6am to work out at home. I should tear myself away from work to walk around the block a few times. I should. I should. I should.

I should tell my shoulding mind to shut the fuck up lest I punch it.

I’m doing the best I can with minimal time. Working out 5x a week is not failure. I’m just tired- waking up at 2am most nights thinking about my event and the 4+ page to do list. I both love and loathe event planning. All thoughts of starting my side business are currently on hold because I have no brain power to make it happen right now. Adding one more thing to my “Things To Accomplish” list will definitely make me crazier.

The point being, there is one thing that would likely help me cope with all this madness. Meditating. Taking 20 minutes somewhere in my day to sit still, quiet my mind and just be. It’s 20 minutes! Why am I so resistant? It’s as if I can’t stop moving in fear of collapsing. And yet, I’ll likely not be able to keep going if I don’t nurture that core part of me that helps me re-enter the world again and again, whole-heartedly.


18 thoughts on “Balance & Focus

  1. It seems to me that 20 minutes may, on some level, feel like too much time considering your schedule right now. Start small. I’ve been recommitting to meditation the past couple weeks and seriously, with everything going on in my life (and heart) right now, I can only handle three minutes alone with myself. I know I’ll eventually get back to where I was, but right now I just need to be gentle with myself, as do you…

  2. Why don’t you start with 5 minutes of meditation? I know when I’m crazed, I can’t find 20 minutes. But, everyone can find 5 minutes. And then, you can build it up to 20 minutes over the next week or two.

    Oh and working out 5x a week? Dude, that’s amazing. Awesome. I wish I could do that.

  3. I could have written this. I COMPLETELY understand this feeling – the idea of leaving work and doing ANYTHING becomes overwhelming. This too shall pass, and we’ll both return to the world of the living in a few weeks (16 days over here!), but until then, just know that I’m empathizing from afar. Love to you!

  4. I read this post a little while ago this a.m. in my reader. Then, something occurred to me that I want to share. I keep these Inner Peace cards on my desk in my office for cheezy inspiration. I keep one up on my wall board until I feel like I’ve either absorbed its message or until I get sick of looking at it. I just pulled down and it reminded me of your post. It says: “Forgiveness is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself on the spiritual path. If you can’t learn to forgive, you can forget about getting to higher levels of awareness.” I know, I thought it was a little harsh, but …true. That being said, when you’re in your car before you leave the office tonight, or at your desk, take five minutes–just five–in your chair/seat/wherever, close your eyes, breath and just repeat a mantra – “I am light” or “Om”, or just sit quietly with your breath. That’s something. It counts. Meditation doesn’t need to be so formal. 🙂 xo

  5. Just remember everything you would tell any of us re: self care first & not being too hard on yourself. 😉 I’m rooting for ya!
    (I made a “vision board” with some friends for New Year’s and at the very center is a picture of a woman in a field of flowers, arms outstretched, with the tagline “Don’t forget to breathe.”)

  6. Um, 5 workouts a week is just freakin’ FINE. I am firmly in the camp of The Body and the Brain need days off from purposeful workouts. You’ll find your way back to a calmer state, even if it feels like a long tunnel now. You will.

  7. 5 a WEEK! i’m so impressed! i feel all high & mighty when i go THREE times a week. which is, uh, not often.

    i’m not a meditator (meditater? uh.. one who meditates) AT ALL, cannot shut off my brain long enough. but i HAVE been meaning to get up at least once a day and walk around the lake by our office. how many times have i done this? ZERO. terrible.

  8. For what it’s worth, I know a lot of event planners. I work with them. Closely. And none of them have families, exercise regularly or eat right. It’s a hazard of the job, I guess. What I’m saying is, what if you stopped feeling guilty about what you’re not getting done and started thinking about the kind of lifestyle your job affords you? And then decide whether the “balance” you now have is where you want to be, based on your job, or whether you want to make some professional changes in order to make lifestyle changes. Just a thought.

    Wishing you peace and clarity. These things are hard. I am going through a huge job change right now for just these reasons. I decided I was no longer going to blame my job for life issues. Either they will change (because my job is changing), or I get to fess up and own it all and realize I have chosen it all along.

  9. The folks above have hit on what I was thinking: 5 minutes. That’s about all I manage most days as part of a short yoga practice and I do feel better for it.

    Or maybe even smaller. Just focus really on what you’re doing for a minute or two, say when you’re brushing your teeth. Just be there for it. And be kind to yourself. I was so distracted today my meditation was very cluttered. But it’s better than not doing it.

    And working out 5x a week? Brava! That’s something to totally be proud of. Hang in there, Sizz!

  10. Do you usually feel better when this fundraiser is over?

    It is hard to take time for meditation, especially because you will probably just keep making a to-do list in your head. I hope you can squezze it in though!

  11. Nilsa took the type right out of my fingers… I was going to say “start with 5 minutes, every little bit helps.”

    I totally understand the frustration of the never-ending to do list and the feeling of having NO downtime. It sucks ass. I think the only way to cope is to force yourself to work in some joyful activity (honestly, the quickest route for me is doing something creative, even if it means feeling bad about not working out). Creativity is meditative by nature, too, I think.

    I also think you can stop for one minute or two minutes during your day and just feel the blood pumping in your body. Get loose and breathe. If all else fails, try this website:

  12. I too feel like you’ve summed up how I’ve felt these past few weeks. I dream of the day where I have an extra 20 minutes to get something done. I am constantly multi-tasking. I play “Words With Friends” at stoplights for fucks sake! I can’t even remember the last time I was bored. Last months trying to cut out the internet was the closest I felt to getting back a huge chunk of lost time and yet… here I am.

  13. Act as if you are taking a smoke break. I get jealous of smokers sometimes. They get a few minutes a day to take deep breathes in and out and in and out and they make time for it. I need to make time for my version of a smoke break and so do you!

    Also, I want to come to Zumba with you. Where are you taking it? How much? When? etc? Can I come play too? I need it as I am pregnant again and all 🙂

  14. I agree with everyone who says to break it into smaller bits. When I drive to work (10 minutes from home), I practice meditating at the 2 red lights. Every bit helps to calm my soul.

    Good luck. I used to do those fundraising events for non profits, so I feel your pain.

  15. Meditation was one of the best things I learned when I used to do martial arts. I hope you squeeze in the time soon, and thanks for managing to still write amazing posts despite your uber crazy schedule!!

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