May 31, 2012 at 6:06 am, by Carl
The past 3 months have been intense. I can’t tell whether my feelings of being overwhelmed are due to being involved in too many things, increased pressure at work, the speed of technological change or stress from relationship crisis. Can you relate?
I watch my older daughters (14 and 17) try to keep balance between academic classes, extra curricular activities like drama and dance, church and the pull of Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. It is nigh impossible and at times, I worry about them. I worry about each of my students, my clients, the people in my church and those who read this blog. The entire reason I have been speaking to people just like you for 25 years is to help you live well, to show you things you may not have seen before, to point the way to a path for success that perhaps you have overlooked.
Sometimes though it feels as if we are walking in a fog. Do you remember the movie Snow White? Remember after she ran into the woods when the Woodsman chose to not kill her? She runs into the woods and then begins to see things, images, hints of danger. Before long, in the fog, in the fear, she turns trees into demons, floating logs into dangerous crocodiles. At the end of her terror, she collapses with the eyes of her enemies all around her….except, they weren’t the eyes of enemies but merely of innocent forest animals.
Life is like that. You think you know your path. Then pressure and stress rises, and before long, you feel as if you are racing through dark woods, a fog having descended on your path. In that fog, nothing seems right and every where you look lurks danger. But, typically, it’s not like that…you simply need the light to help you.
For me, the light starts with centering my mind on what is true…Jesus Christ. After that, I seek to find time daily to unplug, sit quiet and meditate. Almost every day I take my dogs for a walk just to be outside, to feel the air.
Slow down…don’t race through the darkness but rather stop, listen, be still. Determine a plan and work the plan, one step at a time. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed at the enormity of the plan or how many steps there area…just focus on the next step.
Finally, lower the stakes. While my urging is always aimed at a successful life lived well, too often the people I work with have raised the stakes far above the reality. Few things in life we confront really are truly “life threatening.” Relax and take a deep breath.
In the end, the light comes and the fog lifts. You can keep your balance as you go forward.