Back To School…
Live Meaningfully – By Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A.
So it’s that time of year when the world takes on a different pulse. Whether you have children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or just see the neighborhood children at the bus stop – September brings with it the appearance of yet another beginning. What a wonderful opportunity for those of us no longer lucky enough to be part of roll call in the morning.
The beginning of the school year creates a distinct shift in the tide of the populus and I encourage you to ride the wave that’s offered.
What begs for reflection? In which arenas of your life do you need a new pattern, rhythm, or routine? Which areas call for complete abandonment of that rigidity altogether?
I find myself so often presented with people who are desperate to feel “better” or longing to be “more” … no matter their slot in life. They are often the most brilliant, beautiful, and accomplished people I know, feeling a sense of malaise over not having yet gotten to the place or achieved the piece (or peace) they so desire. They find themselves mired in the losses and longings of time passed or activated by the anxieties and the desires of that which has not yet arrived.
Why is this?
More importantly, what is the cure for this curse that ails us?
From where does this deep unrest rise up within us?
If I had a hard and fast answer to this, I’m sure I would have a much larger readership than I do at present… I’d also need a much longer column to get into my theorems as to why I believe it occurs.
So, for now, let’s triage a bit.
Where are your feet now… exactly at this moment.
No, I mean literally.
Are they up on the couch after dinner?
Are they nestled inside your slippers under the breakfast table?
Are they crisscrossed (applesauce) in your chair?
Look down at them.
Don’t judge them.
Place them both firmly on the ground.
(extra points if you can put them on the grass or a piece of the earth)
And feel the sensation of the world beneath you being as sturdy as it is.
Straighten your legs, lift your spine, pull your shoulders back and raise your arms to the ceiling (extra points if it’s to the sky.)
Look up and stretch and lengthen your body to as strong and as straight a profile as it can be.
Just for a moment.
Be. here. now.
Take a deep breath and inhale the growth and possibility and gratitude of this very moment.
It doesn’t mean everything has to be perfect. It doesn’t even mean that you’re ok with everything as it is right now.
But that stance, that deep oxygenating moment, can mean that you are ok with you as you are right now.
No matter the curl of your shoulders or the spread of your hips – in this moment, what if you are strong and brilliant and beautiful and enough?
What if life may always be perfectly imperfect and that is ok too?
What if focusing on just this very right now is the antidote and what if gratitude is the salve?
It’s ok if it doesn’t last longer than a moment. But knowing when and how to offer yourself these moments is key.
So, with this next roll of the tide, take a long deep breath and feel the new year/season/month/tide/shift wash over you. Find the ways in which the moments matter and the views that make it feel meaningful.
Til the next time,
Be Well; Live Meaningfully.
Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A. practices at 2150 Park Avenue North as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and can be reached at www.livemeaningfully.net or 407-796-2959.