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Thursday, June 20, 2013

“Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.”
― Rumi, Essential Rumi

I recently listened to another wonderful Inside Out Weight Loss podcast by Renee Stephens in which she said that the most important tool for true weight loss is the ability to self-correct.

Essentially this means that when we engage in an unskillful behavior, like overeating or binging, we don't beat ourselves up, freak out, hate ourselves (which I spent 30 years doing). We make small changes to whatever we are doing, so that we move into a more grounded state. We lovingly bring ourselves back into balance through renewal strategies that work best for us.

I love this notion. Instead of trying to get back "on track" implying I'm "off track" or out of control or bad, I focus on getting back in balance. This subtle shift in thinking is very significant for me. The idea of focusing on finding inner balance or harmony feels like gentle self-care. The beauty and simplicity of this is tool is that I'm really just a deep breath away from balance in any given moment.

This strategy reminds me of the suggestion by Dr Amy Johnson that stress is my friend. When she first suggested this to me, I found it challenging to embrace. But now, more and more, I fully agree. Stress is my friend because it lets me know I'm out of balance. Stress is my friend because it lets me know I'm a breath away from inner peace. Stress is my friend because it reminds me that I'm in need of some form of renewal.

My husband's health has been declining lately. And remarkably, this advice about stress and balance came to me right before his recent struggles. Thankfully, armed with this idea of embracing stress as a reminder to take a breath and the goal to find balance, I've been able to calmly help him and take care of myself at the same time. I'm taking walks in a lovely park near my home as often as I can. And when I can't, I am still just a deep breath away from calm, from peace, from balance.

Yesterday, my husband was in terrible shape. I left for a 10 minute walk and found a lovely Tibetan store in my neighborhood where I bought myself this Om bracelet. Now when I wash my hands or even look at my wrist, I see the Om beads and am reminded to take a breath.

“what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.”
― Mark Twain
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSIFISH 6/28/2013 11:18PM

    I'm sorry that things are tough with your husband right now, but I'm glad that you are full of strategies that are keeping you grounded. I'm in love with your Om bracelet. I hope the journey that you and your husband are on will be made more beautiful by the things you learn together.

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SCRAPBECCA 6/27/2013 10:15AM

    I so related to finding peace and balance by walking in a lovely park. I have one near my home as well and often regain my serenity there.

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CHERYLHURT 6/27/2013 7:13AM

  Thank-you for words of encouragement!

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KATHIC2 6/27/2013 6:42AM

  Beautiful and touching. You helped me.

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FLORIDASUN 6/23/2013 6:28PM

    My hurting heart is entangled with yours! You are a brave and wonderful woman and a huge blessing to your husband. Sometimes the ones we love the most and are the very closest to us are powerful teachers during our most painful of life lessons.

As hard as it was to lose my beautiful beloved son...I feel it would have been a thousand times worse to lose my loving husband. Josh would have grown up and completed his life...but to lose a life partner is in my mind the most tragic of losses. My heart aches for yours it truly does! emoticon

I believe powerfully that the soul lives on and on throughout eternity. While the human body fades and fails the human spirit NEVER does! I also believe that our souls are united in our little soul groups of maybe 10-20 and we find each other repeatedly lifetime after lifetime. Your husband will ALWAYS be with you forever and forever and you will ALWAYS be with him forever and forever.

I know that surely doesn't make ANYTHING easier during these horrifically sad times but hopefully my sharing this with you will bring you a tiny glimmer of peace.

We HATE giving up our routines, our worlds, our life just is SO very difficult but it's comforting (at least for me) to know we are NEVER alone, and we always have the capacity to transform and transpire. And as horrific as pain binds us all through our own reflections as we mourn another person's sadness. We teach our best lessons by reaching out and walking thorough the pain asking for support and wisdom.

You don't realize it...but you are performing a healing and loving experience by sharing your heart with our compassionate and supportive spark community.

We only grow through love, you show that every day in caring for your dear husband!

God bless and keep you... I'm praying for you and yours! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/23/2013 6:36:51 PM

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LINDAF49 6/22/2013 10:52PM

    Gentle hugs for you and so very proud of a lovely woman finding balance in the midst of storm and struggle Going through one of the hardest emotional valleys and yet you are choosing the high road of balance, breathing and better health for you. God bless you dear one and thank you for your faithfulness to share and mentor us as you walk this path. Prayers and respect and love. ~Linda in WA

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_JODI404 6/21/2013 11:48PM

    This blog was just what I needed to read today.

Wonderful, timely words of wisdom to contemplate and embrace:

The ability to self-correct; balance through renewal strategies; gentle self care; the power of a deep breath.

I'm very sorry to hear that your husband's health is declining. Learning to see stress as your friend could not have come at a more important time.

I love your OM bracelet! What a wonderful, zen reminder to breathe!

Take Care and stay strong. Breathe!!



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LYNCHD05 6/21/2013 10:40PM

    I think you are such an amazing woman and it makes me feel peaceful whrni read them. Your bracelet is lovely and I am sure it makes you stop and take those deep breaths that are so,necessary when dealing with stress. I will keep your family in my prayers!!!!!

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CHERYL_ANNE 6/21/2013 7:35PM


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KANOE10 6/21/2013 10:15AM

    You are doing a wonderful job of learning a positive spin to stress. It lets us know we are out of balance. Your bracelet is a wonderful idea and a good support. I like the idea of lovingly bringing yourself back to balance. I think it is totally true that the ability to self correct is a major tool in maintenance.
I am keeping you and your husband in my prayers. You are being such a warm loving support to your family. Hugs.

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/21/2013 9:08AM

    Beautiful blog! emoticon

I love the bracelet. Isn't amazing how when we open ourselves up we find what we need....

XOXO my dear.

Chat me up when you have a minute.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/21/2013 9:09:25 AM

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    Thank you for sharing.
I agree with the "Balance" idea. I think I have felt(?) for a long time, but never put that word to action. I have often said that if everything was always perfect. How would we remember to appreciate how wonderful everything is? Without the valleys would we appreciate the mountain tops?

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KRISZTA11 6/21/2013 2:58AM


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EJOY-EVELYN 6/21/2013 1:05AM

    Such wise advice! I love your blogs and smile when I read, “We lovingly bring ourselves back into balance . . . .” We need to have this positive self-talk.

Your talk of stress reminds me of the effect difficult times can have in helping us grow in the righteousness of God. While the journey may be difficult, it can lead to such beautiful growth in what brief life we have on this earth.

I pray that you and your lovely husband have that incredible peace that God provides during some of our most difficult times: the peace that passes all human understanding. This is yours for the asking when you pursue a greater faith walk.

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LE7_1234 6/21/2013 12:22AM


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WILSONWR 6/21/2013 12:14AM

    Good luck with the stress - sounds like you've got it focused anyway. I'm sorry your husband is having such a bad time - my wife is also struggling. Take care - you and your husband will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 6/20/2013 11:48PM

    Hugs. Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way

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WATERMELLEN 6/20/2013 11:22PM

    What an amazing blog. I like to think of you wearing your bracelet, and I'm going to borrow the idea (thank you!) that it's about getting back into balance gently (not harshly dragging myself back "on track").

You are on a journey you didn't choose but you are making it a journey of growth and expansion -- for yourself, for your family and for us here too.

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PHOENIX1949 6/20/2013 10:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 6/20/2013 10:23PM

    Balance truly is everything on this journey. It's not easy, but it sure makes life less stressful, and more pleasurable.

I pray for peace for your family during this difficult time.


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GINGER_BEAR 6/20/2013 10:18PM

    emoticon You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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SUSUSUZZZIE 6/20/2013 9:45PM

    I could only hope to deal with minor stresses as graceful as you are not just handling but thriving what seems unbearable.

Balance is my biggest goal - and something I think will require constant focus and adjustments to even come close.

Thank you for sharing and wishing you and your family much peace.

Comment edited on: 6/20/2013 9:45:35 PM

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KRISKECK 6/20/2013 9:26PM

    I am so sorry to hear that your husband's health is declining, I will keep you and your husband and daughter in my thoughts and prayers. I am happy for you that you're able to stay strong and is pretty amazing. But I have noticed that you learn what people are truly made of when they face great adversity. You are truly a shining light.

Sending love,

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SANDYL54 6/20/2013 9:11PM

  I am so impressed with your ability to see the big picture in your life situation and maintain your efforts at balance, especially as your husband is experiencing a period of decline. I have been in situations similar to yours and I never found it easy to maintain balance. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you go forward. May you and your family enjoy peace and balance as you go forward. Blessing on you all.

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