inspirational tools to create life balance in your everyday

going lakeside


here at the lapping edge
of grey New Zealand waters
my soul sinks to stilling
where i can hear my own beat

and take a step to that
thought pace
that is signature
of my own present moment

caught so
in the daily tidings
my heart could not uncover
this melodic beat

that belongs
to long silences
and misty mornings
on jetty steps covered in lichen and dew

where we are delivered
soft croissant
and cream cheese bagels
surgared coffee and pure tea

which steams from cups
that kiss our lips
with only the paddling
of ducks feet under cold lake water

and the canopy
of privacy
in this togetherness
that slides me back

into my own shoes
to know
to hear
just where I have arrived to

copyright – christina adler – 15 december 2007 – Christchurch, New Zealand

posted under 2008 poetry

2008 – finding everyday balance in january


This week as I take my afternoon walks around the lake, the heat shouts through the scent of pollen filled buds and the busy sound of insects and birds. Summer is in full swing, all sound and colour. I try to stand still, but feel propelled forward as one year ends and we experience the dawn of another. It is the same feeling that I have as I edge towards the last pages of a book. Regardless of how the story unfolded, by the last few pages, that book and I have come to know each other and I feel a sense of connectedness and farewell.

Looking back on this year, it was full of hide and seek between intention and outcome. The path often unclear, a rainforest of surprise. In this, I experienced difficult times and incredible beauty as many of the seeds I planted remain sleepy and safe while seeds planted previous years and forgotten bloomed with such colour, their orchestration could have not have been planned on paper. Years are like this, we start off with an idea of where we will be, who we will become or how the days may unfold and slowly, but surely like a new child, the personality of that year arrives with it’s own energy and feel. What I’ve learned from this is how important is it to honour each year that has passed first and then open the new year like the gift that it is by setting your intentions and allowing what may bloom.

This week I invite you to find a moment where it is just you and your journal and the sound of silence. This might be first thing in the morning, a quiet lull in the afternoon or the moments before you end your day when the house sleeps and you can find your thoughts. Find a place where you can tune into your heart. For some, it may help to take a few minutes to close your eyes and focus on your breath, a meditation to find that inner stillness.

When you are ready, take pen to paper and write down the aspects of this past year that you would like to acknowledge. This may be a goal that you have reached, an unexpected hardship that you experienced, a person that came into your life or a loved one that you had to farewell. Whatever you would like to honour from this previous year, write it down and by doing so, you take a moment to honour your life in all of it’s unique unfolding. In your writing, if something painful comes up, take the time to give yourself space to write as much as you need to or come back to it at another time if you feel overwhelmed. This process helps us to see clearly where we have arrived to today, in this first week of the year, and it helps to acknowledge how deeply our experiences shape us into the people that we are.

After you have finished this writing experience, ask yourself if you have the energy to set your intentions or if you would like to come back to this part of the exercise tomorrow. When you are ready, open to a new page of your journal or take some blank loose leaf pages and number from one to ten. These are going to be your intentions for 2008 and will include activities that you want to experience as well as goals that you want to achieve. Please note that you don’t have to set all of your intentions in this first sitting. This list is one that you have a year to achieve, so the planning can happen all throughout this first month of the year.

Today you may fill in one to three, tomorrow up to seven and so on. Some examples of intentions might include: 1) I would like to be able to run for thirty minutes 2) I would like to visit New Zealand 3) I would like to plant a veggie garden 4) I would like to meditate twice a week 5) I would like to take a cooking class 6) I would like create a photo album of last year. Be creative in your intentions and allow yourself to write not from the guilty energy of “should”, but from the magical place of “could”. Let the child like part of you get involved and really ask yourself “if I could do anything, what would it be?”. Ponder this amazing question for a few minutes or explore different ideas in your journal before graduating them to your list. If you find that you naturally set more or less intentions than ten, that is fine, let your intuition guide you.

When you have set up your list, whether or not you have filled in all your intentions, position it where you will see it everyday. This might be glued in the first few pages of your journal or diary or pinned up in a part of your home. The year that I accomplished the most number of intentions was ten years ago when my husband and I lived in a tiny cottage with a sleeping loft. The ceilings in the sleeping loft were low and I wrote up my intentions in January in coloured pencil on a thick piece of parchment. I pinned my list up on the honey coloured beam that reached above my head. Each evening before I went to sleep and each morning that I woke, the first thing I would see was my intentions. Just this physical presence of my list helped me to stay anchored in the direction that I wanted to move towards. Little actions like “walk three times a week” to bigger accomplishments like “be debt free” got done. I was connected to the place I had arrived to in my life and was equipped with the steps that were going to take me to the place I wanted to travel to over that year.

These past two years, I’ve used a few pages in a special section of my diary. When I open my diary, I look at my intentions and take a moment to feel proud of the intentions I have accomplished and connect with those I am working towards. If I haven’t reached one of my goals, I consider it again at the end of the year and ask myself if I would like to move it on to the list in the new year. Some of my goals have been with me for ten years! This is okay. Our lives move in ways that we could never expect or predict and by setting our intentions and following our hearts we never know what new interests or pathways will be uncovered.

While practicing the act of setting your intentions, it is essential that you also practice breathing acceptance into each day. If you have only the energy for one thing in your life, let this be it. Practicing acceptance and love for yourself on each day that arrives, regardless of where you are at on the journey you have forecasted for yourself, is by far the most important gesture you can make. This is the water for the garden, by which without, the seeds you plant and the planning you took would all be in vain. By taking time out to say, this is where I start from today and this is a beautiful place in all it’s imperfection, you honour the present moment and a past and future that is unique to you. By taking one moment each day, absent from judgment, to completely accept ourselves, we give our authentic selves permission to be just that and to create a pattern of self love, not based on a specific set of circumstances, but simply for just being here. When all is said and done, if this were your only intention it would absolutely be enough. Simply to be here in the present moment and to know and see all of the presents that life lets in.

This is a monthly inspiration piece brought to you by ‘everyday balance’. If you would like to subscribe to this newsletter each month, please send your name and email address to chrisadler@everydaybalance.net or visit this website in the first week of each month. For information regarding meditation, yoga or life coaching appointments in person, by telephone or online, send an email to the above address with your name and phone number or visit the contacts section of this website.

posted under 2008 life balance