Renewal: from Burnout to Balance





Today is one of those days that started with the thought: “I don’t want to.” I’m trying to build a practice of Rune reading and Art in the world, and the idea of committing time to job, household, meeting the demands of the winter months, et cetera, when I really wanted to cocoon with the sketch pad just seemed too large this morning. So I did what I often do. I grabbed my Journal and my pen and committed my feelings to paper.

The Rune reading for the week ahead predicted that this would be a challenging week requiring time to go within and to work on those emotions that arise in response to difficult life circumstances. And it has been. Today my personal Rune draw was Thurisaz reversed. For me in recent years this has meant confronting my own negative emotions as they arise and not giving vent to them. Today I recognized my feelings of impatience and anger and I chose to deal with them early. This is a good thing, because my day job as a school bus driver requires I be patient with traffic and energetic children.

So how did I transform these negative emotions into positive ones? The first gift I gave myself was the act of listening to myself. I responded with a plan. I know I have no outside commitments this weekend, so I will commit to giving myself a minimum of two hours on Saturday and two hours on Sunday to draw. Anticipating this mini-vacation will sustain me through the next three days of having to be responsible to the bills to be paid and my contribution to my household.

The second gift I gave myself was a gratitude practice. When I walked out the door in the dark of the morning I breathed in the beauty of the stars twinkling overhead, the crunch of the snow underfoot, and a car that reliably transports me here and there. I sent my awareness out to the Beings of Creek and Mountain and breathed in the essence of their calm-abiding presence. On the way to work I thought about all the supportive things my husband Alan has done to sustain me through last week’s nasty episode of sciatica. I have a great chiropractor. All of these things contribute to keeping me functional.

The third gift I gave myself was the gift of mindful presence. For me this translates into being aware of my body, my sensations, and my stance in the world. My stance is slightly crooked now as I am still hobbling about with a sore leg, but this is daily getting better. I find that the act of driving becomes a meditative practice and helps me to stop my thoughts. When the thoughts stop, those things that trouble me stop, and I find a quiet joy in the rest of the day.


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