Category: Balance

Balanced mood

Balanced mood-02

From Old English ‘mod’ meaning frame of mind, mood is integrally related to our feelings and emotions, which as we know can be stirred up at a moment’s notice. My feelings were stirred up from a recent conversation with a psychotherapist. We were discussing being practitioners in the psycho-spiritual field: I told him that people can be overly-emotional at times, wallowing in their feelings, wallowing in their misery. “Can they not try a different approach?” From his experience, he said there was no such thing as being overly-emotional, that clients can express what they want to express and just let it out.

Our disagreement hit a nerve of mine and I pondered on our thoughts for some length. Another feeling was stirred up when a spiritual companion said it was good to get some distance from our feelings at times such as when we become sad over someone not replying to our emails: if we hold onto these feelings, then this sets us on a trajectory of desolation. “So, what is the truth in all of this?,” I thought. Here we are: me, the psychotherapist, and the spiritual companion with different opinions. Where can we look to for clarity and wisdom? Continue reading “Balanced mood”

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Balanced lifestyle

balanced-lifestyle-01

As I ponder this month’s topic on Balanced Lifestyle, I recall something important from my time learning how to drive on the roads of Dublin. Whenever I came to a STOP sign on the road, I put my foot on the brakes and repeated to myself: “S…T…O…P.” Then I continued driving on my merry way. In the same vein, this is what I need to do when I come to the STOP signs of my life. I need to respect myself enough to pause at junctures and to move forward with energy and vitality.

Burnout

These past few weeks have been challenging on my lifestyle as requests for more work have steadily increased. In fact, I was in demand for the first time in my life: to write a booklet on mental health for parishes and to write an article for the British Jesuits. I tried to make the most of a series of reflections on Ireland’s national radio which I had the privilege to present, and I kept to a rigorous 6-day schedule. Eventually, I found myself becoming fatigued and a slave to life – surely not a good sign. I came to a point where I felt like giving everything up. Continue reading “Balanced lifestyle”

Balanced thinking

Balanced thinkiing

Lei Xue, a certified acupuncturist and herbalist, led a Chinese tea ceremony at Chester Beatty Library in Dublin yesterday, and I was one of the lucky ones to go along to it. She told us that when she invites her friends over for a tea ceremony, a space is created so it becomes like a meditation. The colourful clay pot and cups make for a lovely display along with flowers, and sugary foods accompany a sweet oolong tea.

Harmony

Lei also said that in order to discover the right tea, we first need to be aware of some things about ourselves such as the temperature of our hands and feet which can differ from person to person. When we are more aware of ourselves, we can figure out if it’s a green tea, pu’er tea or black tea that suits us. It is fascinating to ponder that you can seek harmony and balance through your tea. Indeed, it is also fascinating to ponder that you can seek harmony and balance through your thoughts. Continue reading “Balanced thinking”

The wonderful ordinary

Ordinary love

My summer holiday was unique this year as I didn’t travel across Ireland or go abroad. Instead, I turned off the internet and began to focus on simple things such as going to church, tidying my bedroom, running, and being with my family. I became determined to say “goodbye” to fantasy and the unreal, and to welcome the promptings of an ordinary life. And one day something miraculous happened… I remembered the exact day and date for the first time in ages!

Everyday life

For me, being ordinary means that I don’t intend to be a star in any way. And what is wrong with that?! While eating dinner with my family in the evenings, I began to nurture this desire. As the conversation developed, I used the ‘granny test’: if my granny Una could understand what I was saying, then everyone else could too. I enjoyed talking about the news and craic of the world more than usual, as I wasn’t looking to be the smartest person in the room. Not wanting to stand out in any way relieved me of the usual social pressures I put on myself. I wasn’t pretending to be small; I was just more aware of my place.  Continue reading “The wonderful ordinary”