Rhythm

Rhythm

-movement, fluctuation or variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements

-the aspect of music comprising all the elements (such as accent, meter and tempo) that relates to forward movement

-origin – middle French (rhythme), Latin (rhythmus), Greek (rhythmos), probably from rhein – to flow

Self care helps me to find rhythm between my personal, family and professional responsibilities.  The definition of rhythm indicates forward movement and flow.  I like this idea much better than work-life balance which elicits thoughts of homeostasis or walking on a tightrope.  I would much rather find a state of rhythm among the different aspects of my life.

How does rhythm relate to self care?  Each of us can find our own rhythm depending on our personality, preferences and circumstances.  The self care practices of a new parent with an infant are going to have a different rhythm from a young single person just starting a...

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Routines

Routines

-a regular course of procedure

-a habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure

-from route, traveled way, beaten path, France in the late 1600’s

Routines are an essential part of self care.  My system for self care consists of three equally important components: renewal (discussed last week – here), routines and rhythm (to be discussed next week).  These three components are like a 3-legged stool.  The three legs form a solid foundation but the stool will fall over if one of the legs is broken or missing.

Routines help us to form new habits, maintain helpful systems and replace any negative patterns in our lives.  There has been a lot of research on the nature of habits in recent years.  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg outlines the pattern of a habit.  It starts with a trigger or a cue, followed by the routine or habit then the reward.  These three steps are essential to forming and keeping healthy...

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Musings on Renewal

Seed
Something dies
Goes back in the ground
Stiff
Surrounded
Buried
Still
Darkness

Hope
Water
Rich soil
Nutrients seep in
Life forms
Inside out
Sprout
Still in the dark
Moving up through the soil
No one can see it yet
Still stiff
Still small

Breaking ground
Light
Air
It's so small
Sprout
Rising
Water
Nutrients
Growth
Movement
Strength

Becoming
Tree, plant, blossom
Beauty
Swaying in the wind
Bending without breaking

Renewal
Re-New
Remember the darkness
Find the light
Over and over again

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Renewal

Renew - to make like new*
-restore to freshness, vigor or perfection
-to make new spiritually
-to restore to existence
-to begin again
-to become new or as new
 
Renewal - the act or process of renewing*

Renewal is an essential part of the cycle of life.  It is a process.  It is an action.  The act or process of beginning again.  The act or process of becoming like new.  It is not an easy process.  We can learn from nature.  With plants, renewal is about a plant/seedling pushing its way up, breaking ground to emerge into the light, to rise up.  At first, it is barely visible.  It is fragile.  It has been dormant, still, frozen, in a seed state throughout the winter.  Something instinctively told it that it is time to rise, to wake up, to work its way up through the dirt and the earth and rise up toward the sun, to break through to see the sun, the light of day, to receive carbon dioxide, to take its first...

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8 Life Lessons from Wonder Woman

**A quick note from me to you: If you read my blog because you want to renew yourself and inspire others, then this is for you. Many of my readers are mental health professionals who have chosen a life of service (more than likely, your service chose you). Other readers live a life of service to their own family, from young children to aging parents. And other people serve through business and community involvement. When you read about super heroes, I want you to know that I am talking about you. You are a super hero in my eyes. You have special powers. You need to take care of yourself and your super powers and your humanness because the world needs you. We need you to be our super hero, so here are a few gentle reminders for you.**

I have always loved the universal lessons that we can learn from super heroes. For the sake of this article I will talk about the new Wonder Woman movie based on the DC Comics character Diana Prince. **Spoiler alert: Watch the movie before you read this...

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Treading Water

The reason you haven’t heard from me on the SoYoCo blog or in emails in a while is because I have been treading water.  As you know, treading water is a form of movement to keep your head above water.  The goal of treading water is to keep moving.  It’s a survival skill.  In life, it’s an effective strategy for getting through times when you are swimming in rough waters.

Since last April I have experienced a series of stressful events that have required my full attention to stay afloat.  It started with the floods in the Houston area last April and May that affected our family farm.  In October I started a new full time job as a clinical social worker in hospice care.  I have taken time to adjust to a new schedule and new responsibilities.  In the meantime, my husband and I are still busy taking care of our kids and helping a family member through a medical emergency.

I’m sure you’ve had times in your life where...

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Feeling Swamped? 5 steps to recover from life's storms- Part 2 in 2 Part Series

This is the second post in a 2-part blog series.  To read part 1 with steps 1 & 2 first, go here.

3. Clear out the clutter

This is where it starts to get real. You may think it’s over once the storm has passed, but there is still work to be done.  Floods cause a lot of damage to a home, from drenched belongings to warped floors and the risk of mold growing in your home.  You have to clear out the damage before you can do anything else.  If your house floods, you need to pull up the carpet or flooring and let everything dry.  Sometimes you have to repair the walls by ripping out the drywall – all the way down to the studs.

The same is true with your personal storms.  Being swamped with chronic or acute stress causes damage to your body and mind (your “other home”).  So how do you clear out the damage?  You need to get rid of old habits and clear out the stress and trauma.  How?  This step takes some serious...

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Feeling Swamped? 5 steps to recover from life's storms- Part 1 in 2 Part Series

Are you feeling swamped, overwhelmed, and like you are struggling to keep your head above water?  This feeling can be brought on by any number of factors:

  • too much work, too little time
  • the high intensity of your work setting (trying to help people solve complex problems, struggling to meet the demands of your job, difficult relationships with peers or supervisors)
  • trying to juggle work with family responsibilities & other areas of your life
    worry about financial security or the physical & emotional health of you and your family members

The list goes on and on.  You might even have many factors in your life that combine to create the perfect storm of challenges that makes you feel like you are wading through quicksand.

I live in the Houston metro area and we have experienced two major floods this spring.  The rain and flood conditions had an impact on our family and our farm business.  The floods gave me new opportunities to practice self care at a much...

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Becoming A Beacon

I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I was a sophomore in college and needed to declare my major.  I was lost at sea.  I was a student at Westmont College, a small liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, California.  I knew that I had a heart for service or ministry, but I didn’t have a compass for what that meant in practical terms.  I was considering sociology or religious studies as my major but neither one of them felt right. I flew back to my home state of Texas over spring break to visit colleges.  I wanted to transfer to a new school, partly because I wanted to move closer to family and partly because I was looking for the right educational path for me.

I was standing in the admissions office of TCU (Texas Christian University) in Fort Worth, Texas.  I had just taken a tour of the campus and needed to make 2 major life decisions: was I going to transfer to TCU?  If so, what was I going to declare as my major?  They had a...

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Wide Open Spaces. Heart Wide Open.

Big Bend National Park (where I went on family vacation last week) contains the Chisos Mountains surrounded by desert.  There are miles and miles and miles of wide open spaces.  These wide open spaces gave me a heart wide open.  The best way for me to share my experience with you is through a few words and phrases that have new meaning for me.

Let go. You know what it’s like to finish things at work and pack to leave for a vacation, right?  There’s so much to do that it seems impossible.  I was reminded last week that it is SO WORTH IT!  Once we drove out of the driveway I started to let go.  Every mile, every day, every night that passed allowed me to let go a little more.  I realized during the trip that this is the longest vacation I’ve taken since before my kids were born (and my oldest is 15!)  I needed to let go and just “be”.

Awe. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines awe as “a strong feeling of...

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