Mind - Freind of Foe?

Life can throw you a curve ball once in a while and sometimes more often than not. About 7 years ago I had 2 major curve balls thrown at me. They really shook me up but I persevered and stayed strong for my kids. It took me about 3 years to recover and get back on track. At that point in my life I focused on routine, consistency and what I perceived to be balance in my life. I also knew that I wanted to experience more in life. To do that I would need to stretch my limits and make conscious decisions to go beyond the norm as opportunities presented themselves. I have slowly stretched those limits and done and experienced some pretty amazing things.

I have:  Spent 3 weeks travelling through India (much different from a vacation, but loved it)
             Floated down the Ganges River in a row boat (not a fan of water or small boats)
             Walked across a large suspension bridge (heights not my thing)
             Flew in a four seater air plane and even flew it for a few minutes
             Took apart a toilet, rebuilt the inside and reinstalled it in my bathroom
             Joined Kung Fu and the I Ho Chuan ( completely out of my comfort zone on so many levels)

There have been other small victories and I am looking forward to many more. Life is for living not merely existing.

I try to always ask myself will I regret not doing something when the opportunity presents itself. Some things only come around once. You may not get a second chance at another time. I remember a couple of years ago asking myself that same question in regards to getting into a kayak. I got in and pushed myself off from the shore, wobbled around a bit, (wasn't any more than waist deep) and started to panic. I promptly said enough and was helped back to shore. I was OK with that because at least I had tried and my son also saw that I hadn't let my fear keep me from trying. Not everything is for everybody.

To me balance is all about family, friends, health, work, community, activities, continued learning, and feeling good about yourself. Joy and passion in our lives can come from one specific thing or even the whole of everything put together. Individually each of those components can vary and not necessarily be equal. The weight or importance that each is given can not be expected to remain constant. Expect and embrace the changes as they occur.

My biggest road block is my mind. It is my enemy at times, but it can also be my best friend and keep me motivated. I can't even begin to describe my journey so far. Hundreds of thoughts and feelings go through my mind every week. Some are positive and some are negative, but the routine of performing the basic requirements help to keep me grounded. Coming to classes and meetings no matter how difficult keep me engaged and on track no matter how I'm feeling. The path and journey that I have set for myself is moving me steadily towards having true balance and joy in my life.

Michelle Ward