As sunny season here in the Pacific NW gears up and the days begin to fly by, I'm reminded again how important it is to keep my balance. Grief especially takes its toll on our bodies, minds, and spirits in ways that can knock us off balance. There are times when grief is so all consuming that it can seem to just eat up days and days. I find it especially important then to keep the idea of balance front and center in my life.
Balance doesn't mean making everything "perfect." It doesn't mean "getting better" (whatever that actually is!). Rather, balance simply means being mindful of your whole being and looking at the whole picture of needs.
For example: Our minds spin when grief hits. We can't make sense of this new world without our loved one or whatever our loss circumstances are. Many people need to have brain input to be able to make new meaning of life again. But at the same time, grief taxes our sense of concentration, so it can be hard to read or pay attention. So balance between needing new information and lack of concentration might be:
- Take it slow.
- Read things in sound bite form.
- Open a book or magazine to a random page and just read one sentence. Mull that sentence over for a whole day, and see what comes of it for you.
As always, be as gentle as you can with you. Take whatever pace and time you need.
As part of your exploration of what balance means to you, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Though you may not have anyone in your immediate network who can be of support, please know that there are good people out here doing awesome work, willing to communicate with you and offer support. Try one of these:
And you are always welcome to check out my personal, small group Grief + Creativity classes and sessions to join us for support, too!
[Originally published in Radical Creativity, July 13, 2007; resources updated April 2017]