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Shrink Rap: Finding balance

Health & Wellness Last updated

We need balance.

How many times have you heard that lately? I know it’s been running through my head for weeks now.

As a spouse, a parent, a business owner, a professor and just a plain ole’ human being, I am feeling yanked in every direction, nearly constantly.

If I’m not planning a birthday party, I’m trying to email something to a new client or grade a paper or exercise or plan the grocery list.

Having it all? Find a balance? Is that even possible with the tiny blinking computer next me as I type on the larger blinking computer? I’m not always confident.

I encourage finding gratitude in situations.

I once encountered a family whose daughter had cancer. I never met Jonnae Taylor personally, but her life touched mine in a way that is difficult to measure. Jonnae was able to say “get to” in relation to things most of us usually say “have to” about.

For instance, Jonnae would say “I get to” have chemotherapy, recognizing that there were (and are!) many people in the world who would give just about anything for the opportunity to have chemo.

She understood it was a gift—an offering of hope and healing.

Jonnae was 13 years old when she passed way.

The sixth anniversary of her Heavenly Birth (that’s what her mother, Denise Taylor, calls the end of her earthly experience) occurred this month.

This same month that finds me frazzled and with a seemingly never-ending list of things to do and places to be.

I am probably just like you. A lot of the time, my life feels chaotic and exhausting. Few are the moments when I actually sit down to reflect on ways to have more balance. Sometimes that doesn’t happen until I’m near what I call “the edge” (which translates to “let’s leave Traci alone for a while).
I’m trying, however, to reflect more often and to find gratitude with more frequency.

Today, Joanne’s words resonate with me.

I get to feel frazzled because my life is so full of busy-ness. I get to plan a party for someone I love. I get to manage a thriving business while having the opportunity to run to a convenient grocery store and purchase food for my family. When I focus my energy on “get to” instead of “have to” it leads to feeling less stress, more gratitude and an overall more pleasant experience of my life.

I also recommend finding gratitude in every day experiences. Getting gas in your car, doing laundry for you and your family or paying bills. There is often gratitude in the most unexpected places. Where can you find it today?

Will this work for you? Can you try it? Let us know what works for you!

Now, back to the little blinking computer…

Dr. Traci Lowenthal is the owner of Creative Insights Counseling, a counseling agency in Redlands serving individuals, families, and couples. She can be reached at 909-240-7833.

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