Forever Overdue

Overdue Library BookSome days I feel like a long overdue library book – and the fine is doubling every day. Once again, half way through a chapter, I put myself back on the shelf and go back to work. Long days, barely a weekend, no real rest, never catching a breath. The anxiety builds, but I don’t notice. I am too busy to notice.

Headaches are a daily occurrence, but I just pop a pill and call it a day. I blame them on the bad Pittsburgh air. Funny how the air isn’t so bad when I take a rare day off. I have spent more time lately frantically trying to get everything done. Who among us ever gets everything done? To this point, I wrote most of this blog while sitting in the Liberty Tunnel.

I remember, occasionally, to be grateful.

I preach health and well-being for a living. I have a very successful business. I’m my own boss, living the American dream. I have a beautiful home, a wonderful partner and am mostly healthy. I look the part I play in this life of mine.

By most accounts, I am a lucky person. I live in a country with amazing material opportunity. I won out in the genetic lottery pool – I am thin and fit and have great hair. I work out and eat right. I look like someone who really has it together. The missing piece is that I all too often feel like I don’t. A big part of me still feels like a phony – and that anything less than perfection is unacceptable.

What I most want to teach, I am still learning. What I yearn for is to return myself to myself more regularly. Without a relationship to the self, nothing else really matters. Fitness level, nutrient intake, core strength, the size of your biceps, mean absolutely nothing if done without soul.

I write regularly, as any of you who read my posts know (thank you, by the way). Over the summer, I experienced a writer’s block. My most recent post about neighborly pain took weeks to complete. It only occurred to me this morning (sitting in traffic) that what was lacking was my connection to Self. Once again, I’d gotten caught up in life – the doingness of life rather than the beingness. It happens. This is why it is important to have in place a way of returning yourself to yourself.

For everyone, this habit will be different, and the way we return ourselves changes and morphs naturally, as do all creative processes. This is not something to be taken for granted, because it then loses power.

Prayer, meditation, writing, walking in the woods and spending time in my yard with my beautiful landscaping are just some of the ways I return myself to myself. Other people play music, draw, write poetry. Still others paint or ride horses. It is not the doing of these things that is important; it is the allowing of life force to flow through your entire being that enriches the soul.

This practice, whatever it is, does not necessarily have to be time-consuming. Nor does it have to be done perfectly, or even well. It is, however, vital for the quality of life.

When I have myself in my own arms, life becomes rich again. I am not just a drone, going through the motions. I am touched and inspired by humanity. I find meaning in my job and am truly grateful, rather than just saying the words I know I am supposed to say.

My life is my creation if and when I am willing and able to be responsible for that – or pay the fine again and again.

Thank you all who contribute so richly to this book of mine.

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