inspirational tools to create life balance in your everyday

old blue coat


I once was so allergic to
yet now
like a child

with new found courage
I am drawn
into the closet
and I reach for the most

unfamiliar coat
I turn it round and round
in my hands

if the sleeves will be too long
if the colour is too bold
if I’ve grown into this
and I hold it close

against my heart
and I can feel
the weight of it
and with my face against a sleeve

comes a scent that reminds me of
pine needles
and redwood bark
of days when this coat was soaked in fog

and I feel clear suddenly
that it will fit
knowing how
I’ve worn this piece before and

I close my eyes
slip the sleeves over my bare arms
my hands slipping through the old silk lining
and with ease

they come free at the ends
and I stand there
draped in blue
feeling oddly more myself than I have in years

contently I reach into the deep pockets
and find my hands are full
for in each carefully sewn square
are the memories

and the Australian voices
and my fingers run over and over
the shapes of the letters in the words
that were gifts from so many loved ones

that I take with me
that tell me so much of who I am
and I step out
finally in the direction of home

copyright – Christina Adler – 12 April 2008 – Narrabeen Beach, NSW Australia

posted under 2008 poetry

2008 – finding everyday balance in april


Today it was as if the wind and the clouds and the everyday clutter of life went off to another part of the world to play. I was left with a day full of stillness, colour and clarity. The ocean was so blue that it reminded me of the darkest blue in the Crayola crayon set. Not normally comfortable in the ocean’s open water, I looked out and was delighted to see my perfect surf day. Without a ripple interrupting that dark blue sea, we went out with towels and into the ocean we slunk. In that water, out farther than years ago I would have dreamed of going, I could feel how so many of my decisions had led me to this moment. The joy that I felt bobbing up and down to the ocean’s breath was so simple. This felt like the page in the story book where it says “and they lived happily ever after.” I felt stillness and contentment climbing deep into my soul to have a nap.

In times like these when the heart is content and the soul is quiet it is easy to wonder “what was all that drama about?” And cherishing these moments where the heart and the head rest is such good practice. These moments teach us about the balance we can create and how it was achieved. In recent years, there have been times where I’ve felt like I was riding a rusty old roller coaster that I wasn’t sure if the technician had remembered to put in all the nuts and bolts. My boots were so heavy that much of the time taking steps forward took so much effort that it was much easier to slip a few steps back. These changing seasons of our moods and feelings are something we will all experience in a day, a week or a month. So how do we learn from the weather in our lives?

I suppose it is different for everyone and something that we need to contribute to each day. We all have our own recipe card that helps our equilibrium click back into place. For some it is financial security, family and community. For other’s it is constant change: new jobs, lots of different friends and not knowing what vocation waits around the next corner. What intrigues me is that if we know how different we all are, why are we constantly looking outside of ourselves to read the next page in our own story?

Floating in that blue water, the only word that came to mind was trust. Trusting more in that inner voice, unique only to you, to make the decisions that suit the weather of your everyday. Practicing trusting ourselves re-teaches us to look within first rather than looking out. In our day to day lives, we spend so much of our days receiving advice from colleagues, family, doctors, friends and teachers. In the confusion of so many opinions we forget to check in with ourselves. When we lose this balance between what we think and what they think, whoever they are, the skill of our intuition and self knowledge loses its strength. To start to exercise trust, the key is to start small.

Fortunately, our everyday lives are the perfect place to start. All day long we are making decisions. We make big ones, small ones and life changing ones. Decisions are the steering wheels to the direction of our lives. Each day, each decision alters our course in its own unique way. What is interesting is that often we continue to make the same decisions even if they lead to the storybook pages where we are hiding under the covers with a flashlight trying to figure a way out of our own mess. By starting to listen in to the decisions that you are making each day, you take back the curve of that steering wheel under your own hands.

Of course in this we need to acknowledge that the world has its own section of the steering wheel as well. Events out of our control alter our course in a myriad of ways that are delightful and chaotic. But when those wild storms blow, if it’s your hands on the steering wheel and not someone else’s, you’re going to know which direction you’d like to steer the ship. So we start small. Enter your daily interactions with awareness and energy. Instead of asking everyone else what they would like for dinner, start by asking yourself. Where would you go? What would you choose? What would nourish you?

The wonderful thing about stretching your decisive muscles in this way is that the people around you will love it. There is nothing more attractive than someone who knows what they want. There is magic in knowing what you want because chances are you will find it. When I was in eighth grade, I was chosen to deliver a speech to my graduating class. I remember pacing my parent’s deck underneath the redwood trees with only the Blue jays and the squirrels to keep me company. I wasn’t the most popular kid in school nor the least, I hovered somewhere in the middle. I was unsure of a hundred thousand things and terrified of so many of my peers, but I cared a lot about those kids around me. I had been painting, singing and learning with them from age five. I searched my parent’s bookshelves trying to find a quote that would finish my speech with a message bigger than my thirteen year old pen could explain. I found a quote by Goethe and let out a sigh. He wrote “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” This is how I ended my speech on the lawn that sunny day. It rang as true then as it does today. When we own what we know and we act on it, magic happens.

This month, I invite you to rediscover your own decisions and in that your own magic. Start by noticing how many decisions you make each day. Be curious. Notice what influences your decisions more, your feelings and thoughts or how you think other people around you will choose. Then start to experiment. Check in with yourself before making those automatic decisions that we all take for granted everyday. Do you really want that morning coffee or does the Moroccan Mint tea look interesting as well? The grocery store is a great place to practice your decision making skills. Often for years we buy the same brand because we always have or even because our parents bought the same brand. Ask yourself if you like it and why? If it still suits, throw it in the shopping cart, if not try something different. If you get it wrong on the three dollar peanut butter, your life won’t run off course but you will have strengthened that muscle for the bigger decisions that come along in the future!

By working with decision making in your everyday, you allow yourself the opportunity to know where you have arrived to in this present moment. You will no longer be making decisions for the person you were last year or when you were ten, but for the person you have become today. There is no need to judge what those decisions mean. Simply act as the observer and be honest with yourself. If you want to paint instead of watch TV, honour that. If you want to start your own class instead of going to someone else’s, listen to that. By listening deeply you begin to steer yourself to the part of the story that you are most interested in.. The life where you graduate to the days you had dreamed of. A life with all of the boldness, magic and power that you can imagine.

This is a monthly inspiration piece brought to you by author Christina Adler at ‘everyday balance’. If you would like to share your experience with these tools or subscribe to this inspiration piece 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 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

stillness has a sound


these days
between seasons
everything is so still
the sound soft as dust on mirrors

pockets of stillness
even on city streets
as if the wind forgot her whistle
and the clouds cried all their tears

today the cars drive slowly
as if on an old town street
the people driving seem to have remembered
they are fine exactly as they are

the calm is contagious
strangers at the supermarket
smile for no reason
and hand each other fruit

we marvel at the sound of grapes
eaten by small children
these details can be heard
between seasons

this pause at the end of the exhale
so unique
with the absence of sound
and yet the inhale of Autumn

so intoxicating
that it won’t be long
before leaves crunch under feet
and crisp cold apples fall on windy days

but take heart and save some stillness
keep it in your top shirt pocket
and reach for it again
when you need to be reminded

that stillness has a sound
and souls need to rest
if even for the moment
at the end of each breath

copyright – Christina Adler – 30 March 2008 – Narrabeen, NSW


posted under 2008 poetry