inspirational tools to create life balance in your everyday

setting intentions: feburary 2009


This morning I write a belated everyday balance from our new home amidst the vineyards and the pastures of Windsor, California. We moved in this week after leaving our final housesit in Petaluma. This last housesit was one in a long string of beautifully orchestrated homes that were opened to us over the past seven months in the United States. The image above was taken on a rainy winter day in the garden of our last housesit. A couple of weeks ago, I found myself standing in front of this beautiful heart feeling as though this was the perfect picture on the last page of our storybook of housesits.

The generosity of friends and strangers that provided us these homes, gave us the gift of being able to travel and enjoy the beautiful shores of Hawaii, the bustle of San Francisco, the creative suburbs of Marin, the quiet trails of Mount Tamalpais and the languid green hills of Petaluma. In each of the seven homes that we looked after, we were greeted by the warmth and openness of those who had entrusted their most precious pets and spaces to us. This generosity reinforced my belief in the interconnectedness of our lives and of the great importance in being clear in what you would like your life to look like.  My husband, Peter, had whispered all along the way that “If you leap, the net will appear.” In our case, that net was one woven by many generous hands for which we are so grateful.

When we decided it was time to choose where we wanted to live permanently, we applied the belief that in being clear in what we needed, it would appear. We researched the areas that lay within an hour of my family and found ourselves wooed by Sonoma County where the bright green rolling hills and the mooing cows drew us in. In those pastures and quiet hills, we found a stillness in the air and the people that matched the calm and balance that we hoped to mirror in our life.

The journey to this decision was a patchwork quilt of many different emotions and choices and voices. We reached out to strangers as well as loved ones on both sides of the world and allowed their words to help guide us. We had days where we literally drove along foreign lanes banked in fog, unable to see where we were going. Having traveled through this, I now believe that in the most difficult times in our lives, we are only able to see a few feet in front of us so that we don’t become overwhelmed by the many forks in the road.

When the fog slowly began to clear and we decided to live in Sonoma County, I sat at a desk in our lovely housesit on the top of Mount Tamalpais and shook off the obstacles and fears that were presenting themselves. I focused on what I wanted in a home and wrote down specifically the kind of place that I felt we were ready for. I posted an ad on a Craig’s list, an online community forum, and later that week received an email from a couple in Windsor who had recently built a cottage on their property. They weren’t thinking of renting it this soon, but by accident stumbled upon my ad by clicking on “wanted housing” rather than “housing for rent” when curious about the prices for rentals in the area.

It turned out that this couple lived only a ten minute drive from Healdsburg, where we wanted to base ourselves, and the cottage they described sat comfortably surrounded by vineyards, Eucalyptus groves and pastures of cows, horses and goats. At the bottom of one of the many emails we exchanged there was a quote by Kierkegaard that said, “To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one’s self.” Reading that line, I felt a piece of our puzzle softly falling into place.

On our first visit, we fell in love with the location and the cottage, but it was truly the sincerity and integrity of the couple that had built it, that made our experience feel so grounded. Their genuine nature reminded us immediately of the many people who had opened their homes to us as housesitters. There was a intuitive trust that made this leap into a new part of our life feel easy.

A few days ago, we unpacked the boxes we had sent across the seas from Australia. It was beautiful to unwrap our treasures from another time and find the hand written notes of our friend Kristy, who not only helped us move from Sydney, but who then serendipitously arrived in California last week to complete the circle and help us move in.

On Thursday night, in our first evening alone in our new home, I came across an A4 yellow notebook buried at the bottom of one of our boxes. As I turned the pages, I found a passage dated October 2007. It was a description we had written about the home that we hoped to move to in America. I called Pete in from the other room and began reading each detailed sentence of what we had written together in that quiet week so long ago in The Blue Mountains of New South Wales. We looked at each other in bewilderment as I read a clear description of the house we were now unpacking our hopes and treasures into.  In moments like these I can’t help but feel that what separates us in the world is much less powerful than what brings us together.

This February I invite you to experiment with being crystal clear with your intentions. Take time out when you are in a space that allows you to be alone with your journal. Allow you eyes to close and clear your mind. Ask yourself the questions, “Where do I need movement and energy in my life?” Sit quietly until an image or an area of your life comes to mind. When you feel clear, take pen to paper and allow the most positive image of that area of your life to appear. Write down specifics. If you are trying to move closer to having a new job, write down exactly what that looks like. What suburb are you working in? What are your work hours? What are you being paid? What does your desk face? No detail is too small.

The power of this exercise comes from getting a clear picture of what you are looking for. From that space of clarity, you are able to recognize the signposts to where you would like to go when they appear. You will also be more attuned to the conversations around you that help to support this movement to the change you are hoping for. At any point in time there are handfuls of individuals with the same goals, separated only by silence. By coming in contact with your most authentic goals, you are more likely to overlap with the people that are also moving in that direction.

What is equally as wonderful about this exercise is that there is a kind of mystery in it that I cannot explain. It draws on the energy in your life and the lives around you in the most beautiful way. I cannot explain it in words as it is a feeling I can only describe as deeply intuitive, married to the times in our lives when serendipity plays out strongly. I encourage you to simply trust in the process and watch as the opportunities you have dreamed of open up for you. I would genuinely love to hear about your experiences with this exercise and welcome your emails. Enjoy the remainder of February and the dreams that you uncover.

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 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 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. Photo by Chris Adler of  the beautiful garden in our last housesit at Petaluma.

posted under 2009 life balance

training wheels


in another morning
so uncharacteristic of me

and I look around
to find which room
we are in today
whose pictures paint my dreams

this constant
stretches my muscles
new flexibility

is found
for the woman
so stable for years
tucked between the sand and sea

and here
each day I can feel how
we are still on our
training wheels

wobbling down
this lane of our life
not sure of
the bends and bucks in the road

and it is hard
for me to let go of
the back of
your bicycle

even though my legs are tired
from pedaling
and yet

when I finally let
my fingers free
we wobble
side by side

smiles wide
tears near
wondering together
whats around the bend

oh my love
lets linger in
the details

rather than in the giant
for which we could

lets enjoy these spaces
between Petaluma’s
mango green hills

where our thoughts
beat loud
along side
our quiet days

and lets find peace
in the familiar tilt
of each other’s profiles

we stumble and fall
and brush ourselves
and ride on again

planting new roots
in this winter soil is hard
but together I know
that this time

will bloom
that our home
is waiting along
one of these long country lanes

copyright – Christina Adler – 19 January 2009 – Petaluma, California USA

posted under 2009 poetry