Out of Whack / by Michelle Cowan

Can you remember times in your life when the universe seemed to align—when the world outside, the world inside, your body, and your desires all walked together in synchronicity? Now is not one of those times. Not for me.

It feels as though the world is handing me things faster than I can take them while my body aches for rest and my heart wants everything and nothing at the same time. When a few spare moments float to the surface, I like to sit and be quiet, asking for some direction, some peace about life. The truth is, I prefer a slower pace. When things move so quickly that I can practically feel the breeze their momentum creates, it’s time to take a step back. When my to-do lists grow longer and more complicated, I have to throw them away. I have to trust that the important things will rise to the surface.

However, this has always been difficult for me. Especially now, I genuinely want to accomplish every single task and aspiration I’ve noted on colored post-its and affixed to my coffee table/work area. So many exciting opportunities, interests, and burgeoning abilities to choose from. Can I find a happy medium between throwing in the towel and pursing these line items to the point of overwhelming my mind, body, and schedule?

The key is doing one thing at a time and remembering the downside of multi-tasking. If I’m doing three things at once, I’m doing nothing as well as I could. It’s often more efficient to tackle one thing at a time because my mind can fully focus on the task at hand and complete it far more quickly. I can apply this to small things (eating, answering emails, cleaning, and doing work for my job) as well as to the pursuit of large-scale goals.

For instance, I can decide to work on my website a little bit tonight. I don’t have to decide what my entire online package will be. I can just work on a single page tonight. If that’s too vague or too much, I can decide to exclusively find the images I’m going to use on a few pages and upload them. Instead of thinking about the friends/contacts/mentees/associates I need to call as a giant entity I care so much about and can so easily let down, I can decide to reply to one email or make one outreach call. Simplification is often key for me.

But still, my body, mind, and outside world feel all out of kilter. What does my soul think? Can it possibly draw these disparate pieces together? Can slowing down fix this issue? Perhaps not. I am learning so much in so many areas; maybe none of these parts of me know quite how to continue operating. I certainly can’t be the person I was before I gained the knowledge I’m now gaining. I can’t make the world revert back to how it was before I had responsibilities, opportunities, or various hardships. I must start walking from this point, even if everything else is out of step at first.

So I guess the essential truth here is to take one step at a time, in whatever I encounter or go through, in any area of life. Just keep stepping. And I guarantee that I will also be lying down, closing my eyes, and crying out for guidance in the stillness.