Posts Tagged ‘Balance’

handsNot long after moving into our home we decided to create extra parking to the side of our driveway. A kind-hearted, gentle man of great experience assisted hubby in preparing the space for the scheduled arrival of concrete. After the cement was poured and levelled, our favourite three, quite literally, left their mark on the space.

Hands are most interesting parts of our bodies. They can be tools of love as well as violence. They are unique in their lines and creases. They are gentle, yet strong. They can be used in the function of the strongest tools, and yet wipe a tear from a loved one with the greatest of tenderness. They are used every day, often without a pain or ache … until the fatigue and overuse of years takes place.

In the Bible, Isaiah says, of the holy city (both on Earth, and in the life to come):

“Jerusalem, I can never forget you!
I have written your name on the palms of my hands. ”
Isaiah 49:16

According to the University of Michigan:

“The hand is the most frequently symbolized part of the human body. It gives blessing, it is expressive. According to Aristotle, the hand is the “tool of tools.” … The right and left have different symbols related to each: right – the rational, conscious and logical, as well as aggressive and axious, left – opposite of the right, weakness, decay, death. However, the two can be juxtaposed to symbolize balance and the middle.”

Balance …

I could use some of that! How about you?

Though we may be either left or right handed, we function best when we use both. We function best when both strengths and weaknesses come together, to bring balance … for life is not meant to be lived always on the mountaintop, always in the sun, always in happiness.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has said, “into each life some rain must fall”. This is what  balance truly is … maybe not the balance we always desire, but balance nonetheless.

Our hands can be representative of that real balance. the blessings and the curses that are part of real life. They work (literally) hand-in-hand, bringing a complete life.

Those curses, those valleys, have purpose in our lives.

I have learned that when in the depths of despair, the question is not why did this happen? but what do I need to learn? And learn I do, and learn we all do.

May we learn to look for purpose in whatever falls into each of our lives, into each of our hands. For through both we receive balance.





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A couple of weeks ago I published a post called Selfies, about the cultural fascination with taking selfies, also known as self-shot photos, usually for the purpose of posting on social network sites.

This post received numerous comments, and discussion.

I became aware, this past weekend, that the NBC Today show focused on selfies just last week, in regards to how we see ourselves.

The link from one particular program episode is below, and on this episode each of the Today hosts appears without any television makeup. Each one talks about the ‘flaws’ they see when they look in the mirror. They also talk about what they like about their bodies.

Some quotes from the video that are good to consider, as we each look into our mirror, or take a selfie :

  • beauty is inside out
  • grandmother’s hands
  • focus on the beauty in other people
  • when I think of beauty I think of my wife
  • we are what we are inside
  • beauty is when you give off joy
  • beauty is behind the eyes, something exuded from the heart and the soul
  • (with our daughters) we do not talk about looks

I think it is a good and healthy thing to ensure that we have balance (my own focus word for 2014) in every area of our lives (spoken as one pursuing it, not as one who has achieved it). My challenge to you is to take a look in the mirror, and name one thing you really like about your physical image.

Then, make sure that you tell someone who is in the midst of forming their own definition of who they are (a daughter, a niece, an adolescent or teen you know). They hear, far too often, as we self-criticize, lets model appreciation for what is good!


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Week three of the first month of the year.

How’s that resolution going?

Back at the beginning of the month I shared (Word of the Year) that I was not making a resolution for 2014. Instead I chose to find a word, and make it the focus of every area of my life. This word would act like a blanket, a covering over every part of my life, my being.

I had been inspired by something I had read by Arianne Segerman called Gratitude is the Catalyst. The one word she had chosen was intention, and she was writing about her word of the year in November, reflecting back on how that one word had affected her year. I was inspired to do the same!

I thought this was a novel and unique way to approach the New Year … I had no idea what a movement this one word concept is, and how widely it is practiced. Just type in ‘one word’ or ‘word of the year’ in your search bar, and you will be amazed at the number of sites that are dedicated to this concept. If I had a dime for every blog I have read, every Facebook link I have noted, every new book I have seen, I would be booking a trip south … okay probably only to Seattle, but it’s still south!

There are two common threads in what everyone is saying about this one word concept that are common.

  • one word can cover all facets of our lives … it is bigger than a promise about health, habits, etc.
  • one word is like a presence … it has ability to ‘stay’ with us throughout the weeks and months and not get forgotten

As I contemplated my one word for 2014, I also knew that I am not one to be ‘gung ho’ about much of anything in the month of January. It is dark, wet, gray and depressing in the Pacific Northwest … a reality that I find difficult to make me want to get out of bed, let alone feel inspired to start anything new. So my word had to be one that I could … ruminate over, as the new year got underway, while I work up the energy to actually apply it to my days.

b  a  l  a  n  c  e

My one word was chosen just over a week before Christmas Day. The ‘to do’ list was longer than the hours (or money) in that day, I had bitten off at least one head of a loved one, and my get-up-and-go had left without me. It was then that I uttered under my breath,

all I want for Christmas is some measure of balance in my life.

There it was … the thing I needed most, the thing that could encapsulate every part of my life from time, to money, to energy, to health of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being. My word for 2014 is

b  a  l  a  n  c  e

I seek balance … not perfect balance, but better balance in my year, my weeks, my days, my moments. I am determined … I am resolute to seek balance.

And, what will assist my memory, which frequently fails when I walk from one room, with a reason, to another, having already forgotten the reason?

Psalm 121

“I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121

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Wow! What a day!

Yesterday I walked to the school I worked at, to do a few finishing touches on my summer job. It took almost an hour to walk there. I arrived there around 9:30am, and came home about 10:30pm … there were more finishing touches than I had realized. It was a fabulously productive day, and heck … I’m getting paid by the hour, so how bad can it be?

My sweet boss lady and I laughed, and cried and figured out all of the world’s problems … plus we got a butt load of work completed.

Then, today I had to work at home … a very different work.

We (by we I mean a great guy who we hired) are building a beautiful brick patio. And we ran out of bricks (I thought we were sure to have enough … so much for my advanced math skills). Fortunately our ‘great guy’ is away on vacation this week, so we had some time to collect more.

So, onto the websites to buy and sell goods, and, sure enough we found a man with almost seven hundred red, zigzag bricks, that were just the right price (cheap).

Hubby booked a rental truck that could hold so many more than our van, and at 9am this morning we left the house to pick them up.

Hubby, our 11 year old son, and myself piled into the truck, with our directions to the sellers home. The traffic was insane as we drove out of the ‘burbs’ and into the ‘urbs’.

We arrived at our destination, and met the delightful seller. He was a man who had immigrated to Canada in his early twenties. He spoke with an accent that told that he had left his motherland when he was too old to lose it. He was kind (he helped us load the bricks in the truck), and offered a deal (with hubby asking for one). And, once we were ready to leave, his delightful wife came out with a tray of glasses and a pitcher of water for our refreshment.

We did need to make two trips, as hubby was concerned about the possible effect of the added weight on the truck.

When we were heading home, for the second time, I was certain that it was midnight, and not mid afternoon. My eyelids were so heavy that I lost the battle a few times, and lost consciousness for untold amounts of time.

So, we came home, and hubby had a hot bath drawn for me … NOT! There was a truckload of red zigzag bricks to unload, so that the rental truck could be returned. I was so not into the unloading this time … the rarely used muscles that I had been pounding all morning were cry out for mercy, and I am sure that I was hearing them threaten strike!

I had also had enough with ‘the guys’ by this point in the day … if I had a dime for every time one of them passed gas … (and denied it) …

But the load did get unloaded. We even sat down to a warm, home cooked dinner … thanks to my handy dandy slow cooker, and whatever it was that motivated me to get something cooking early on in the day.

Then the guys were off to football, and I got to enjoy peace and quiet (once I was able to usher our eldest daughter off to an event). But, since I was already dirty, I figured I would head back outside to build my new gate.

And that is what I did. I had purchased the kit weeks before, and finally got at it. It was really simple. I just needed 2X4’s, cut to the size of gate I desired, and them attach them to the metal corners from the kit (and that was easy). My gate didn’t get finished, as I need to head to the hardware store to purchase slats for the gate … but oh how good it felt to build something.

I know that the saying “all work and no play make … someone … a dull guy/girl” has truth to it, as balance is such a very important factor in our healthy lives. But the last two days of work (one at a desk … I am sure that by hour number five my butt had actually become flat … and the other loading and unloading bricks … every fiber of my being aches) have breathed a terrific breath of satisfaction into my weary body.

Maybe we are made for work … and for variety?


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