“There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.” – Willa Cather
This has been a rough two weeks. Two different schools, new teachers, new friends, new procedures and even our non-school-attending youngest is in a new stage, going from baby to toddler. Through all of the happenings, I find myself joining in random conversations (and consequently getting strange looks because I'm laughing during an apparent serious moment), blindly agreeing to whatever is being said, or committing to things to which really aren’t going to work. I say silly things and feel like a bumbling idiot, not quite knowing what I’m saying or what I mean and wondering to whom I said what. My head is in a fog and I am just going through the motions to stay afloat.
Our days have been chaotic to say the least. All of these changes, and I need to find my grounding. So what to do when I feel like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, my world spinning around and around beneath my feet, images of random teachers, school forms, lunches, schedules, tuition checks and the faces of new acquaintances, in the surrounding funnel clouds? I need to go inward, and ground myself to get back my peace.
Back to the Basics
I can get so caught up in what is going on everywhere else, with each child, what to make for dinner, that I forget to ground myself first. I (momentarily) forget that ultimately, I am in control. Yes, I there are outside people, places and things, to which I am responsible, yet I still make the choice to prioritize those elements over my own needs. And that's where my priorities need to be reset, where I need grounding.
I can choose myself first. Much like the guidelines on an airline to secure my own mask before helping others, I need to get my mask, my serenity back before I can expect there to be any serenity in the people and world around me.
When things feel a little overwhelming, it is a time to take a step back, take a few things off of the calendar. We are a society that rewards being busy, fast food (via a drive-thru or prepackaged items while on the run), and keeping our minds occupied with tomorrow. The busier we are, the harder it is to get a quiet moment to think, to reflect, to reset and remember what we know to be true for ourselves right here in the present moment. A cup of tea and 5 minutes of quiet, a family dinner at home, spending time in nature – whatever brings us back to ourselves and allows our innate wisdom to permeate our entire being. These are the basics that allow us to regroup and find our bearings.
We can remember that life can be as busy as we let it. It can take feeling overwhelmed and feelings of being lost in chaos to realize we need grounding. We need to be deeply rooted to be able to stretch our branches wherever we may go, and still know from where we started. Just as Dorothy realizes from the whirling tornado, we, too, can take chaotic times to remember what brings us peace and grounding, then let go all else.