Balance is important in life.
Most days I spend time interacting with people, lots of people. Some need coaching help and ask for it, some don't. I meet new people every week who have a great sense of themselves, and I meet others who are lost. I've learned (sometimes the hard way) that a coach's job is not to "help" everyone they meet -- it is to assist those who are ready to find what is missing in their life.
Part of being a good coach is being able to operate from a calm place; which is hard for someone like me who not only gets energized by others, but who energizes others. I can get incredibly fired up just talking to someone. Watching a growth moment unfold for someone else is like opening a present for me. Those moments of watching another person's eyes glow with self realization are among the best moments of my life. Helping others find clarity makes me feel alive, but the converse is also true. The ability to connect dots and draw conclusions quickly can be frustrating when you encounter people not quite ready to move forward --- it can be draining.
I am slowly learning that I need to keep my emotional distance and retain my personal balance in order to be fully ready to assist those who come to me for help.
One of the ways I have found to restore my sense of balance is to get outside and be among the trees. Trees soothe and ground me, and reconnect me to my center of peace and calm. It is unhurried time for me, I need it, I know it and yet I have to work to build it in my schedule. Time with the trees has become a necessity for me.
My fascination with trees started at a young age when I would head north every weekend to our family cabin. It is surrounded by trees, sits next to a river and has virtually no human neighbors. As a first born I was often alone in the peace and quiet of the forest. The trees were my friends, and since it feels really natural to "talk" to them now as I walk amongst them, I am pretty sure I also did that as a kid. My love of trees has stayed with me all my life even though for years my control freak self took over and drowned out their effect on me.
This summer of stepping back from that controlled life, and not working a full time job, allowed me to be among the trees again at my own cottage. It was there that I realized how much I had missed quiet walks (no mp3 player) listening to the magic sounds of the trees rustling in the breeze. It was there I rebalanced.
Teaching yoga I almost always add tree pose to the practice. I find it personally grounding and believe we all need to learn balance. When I talk a class through tree pose I remind them of the beauty of trees, how they are solid, and remain stationary at their roots yet flexible in their branches. Tall and strong from the ground up and yet able to bend with the flow of the wind and the elements or the weight of a squirrel in their uppermost branches.
When I mention that trees speak to me, I am not exaggerating. I chose the photo for this post because it is a beautiful representation of nurture. Look at how the big tree is cuddling the little tree (with the long legs). Reminds me of a momma and her baby. I cannot see this as just trees in the forest--it is an example to me of life. Whether I see a stand of trees or a forest of trees, or one tree standing alone, I see them as representative of the people I encounter daily and their challenges and strengths. So many lessons to learn from them, so much clarity to glean from their wisdom.
I will be closing my cottage this weekend and I will miss my trees. Knowing how important they are to restoring my balance, I will either find others closer to home to "talk" to and learn from this winter, or I will make the drive up to see mine. They are necessary to balance me and keep me operating as the best version of me.
Question of the Week #43 / Where Do You Go to Restore Your Balance?
If you haven't found a place, I encourage you to do so. We all need to create time and space to renew, rebalance, and recharge. See you in the forest?