lessons learned: balance and sneezeweed

About a week or so ago, I had hit my limit–spiritually, emotionally and physically. Broken ribs, cluttered home, never ending projects, new transitions–all a part of life, I know, but my soul couldn’t wrestle with another thing.

On the way home from an event across town, I took a detour up to Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I needed space and air and light. I wanted quiet and peace and solace.

When I long for these things, I head outside. To paraphrase John Muir, to the mountains I must go.

Sitting with the flowers, trees, and sunset, however, I still felt restless–I couldn’t seem to find my breath or my center. I decided to spend some time with the bits of nature at the edge of the picnic area–the bee balm, the bitter sneezeweed and the mountain angelica with the evening sun and sleepy bees resting on their petals.

In one patch of sneezeweed, I found a series of weedy vines, reaching up with tiny tendrils and choking several of the wildflower stems and flowers. In a rush of emotion, I realized that’s how I felt–I was choking. Even though I knew in my head that this time in my life was a “season,” my heart struggled with the grasp of those tendrils of transition and injury.

I needed balance.

In the time since that epiphany, I have learned some important lessons–

  • when my world gets topsy turvy, I need to be more intentional about finding spaces that offer silence, solace, and sabbath, even if it means that I put everyone and everything aside and leave for awhile
  • if I think of a challenging time as a “season,” then I can see it for what it is–a period of time with a beginning and end
  • giving up my small daily routines, like morning devotion or evening yoga, make a sizable impact on my centeredness and balance; even the small routines have a steadying force when challenges or transitions come along
  • asking for help when I am emotionally choking is no different than someone asking for help when they are physically choking; sometimes, you just can’t go it alone

As I headed back down the mountain that I night, I settled into the peace of a cleared head and heart. I was able to return home, not necessarily re-energized but definitely feeling a little more hopeful and having a little more perspective.

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