Navigating the Currents

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When I am moving through days or weeks with a very demanding schedule - a myriad of tasks to accomplish-

frenetic energy often carries me from place to place - usually ineffectively as I trip over my shoes on the floor or wash a full load of clothes on a small setting.

My body clearly reflects the continual forward momentum as I lean into the day, rarely allowing my shoulders to meet the back of a chair or even rest upright above my hips.

My thoughts consume most of my attention, negotiating ways to manage the expectations of a culture focused on achievement and image.

I carry on with the illusion that I am navigating the currents without injury.

But as I ask myself to step back for a wider view, I more deeply experience the agitation that consumes the lion share of my energy.

I notice the discomfort in my neck and the shallowness of my breath and become acutely aware of the depth of my fatigue.

My sterile checklist boasts a multitude of completed tasks, but lacks the messiness and unexpected that bring substance to my life.

Even the unwelcome surprises, a lost suitcase, a struggling child, a serious illness - all vastly beyond my control, awaken me to the generosity of connection and engagement. 

I step back even further and allow myself to feel the loneliness of my rapid pace and telescopic focus. 

I gently bring my shoulders upright, welcome the support of the ground under my feet and quietly scan my inner and outer world.  

My awareness of community - the relationships that connect and sustain us - expands.

The expectations that pushed me into high gear loosen their hold on me.

My next steps are slower, more flexible, less urgent - with my shoulders upright, I can now lift my head and be with the world.