renewal

We’ve Lost our Way – Here’s Hope: Meditation

For years we have seen statistics saying, despite our wealth and material abundance, Americans are far from the healthiest people on the planet. If you need evidence, look at the devastating influence of COVID-19 on our nation.

Check out the news today and it’s obvious something is wrong. While this is a big health topic, I will address just one foundational concern. If we address just this issue, we will see a transformation in the quality of our lives.

Rest and Balance, the Missing Ingredients

The critical need I am referring to is BALANCE, and the place to start is: get more rest! Without adequate rest, we place our lives in danger.

In his classic, SABBATH: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives, author Wayne Muller analyzes this problem superbly. In our culture, we prize activity and accomplishment above all else. “Don’t just sit there, do something. Go, go, hurry, hurry. Doing something, anything is better than doing nothing.” We’ve all heard it.

Yet, all life is dependent upon a rhythm of rest for its survival. The importance of this most essential rhythm – rest and activity – is lost on us today. Take a look around. How many times have you seen a group of friends, sitting at a table in a restaurant, glued to their phone’s display.

In our world, “I am so busy” is a common refrain. Meanwhile, our blood pressure and anxiety level is rising, and sleepless nights are commonplace.  These are all classic signs of the stress response. The bad news is that stress accumulates over time, and this is a driver of our poor health mentioned above.

Life hasn’t always been this way. When I was a child, life was very different. Personal computers and smartphones didn’t exist. Life was slower and simpler. Sure, there was stress as there will always be, however there was more balance in our lives. Sunday’s were a day of rest, a time to gather with family. Shopping was minimal due to the laws that required most stores to be closed on Sunday.

The Way Back Home

So what can we do to create balance and more satisfaction in our lives? The pace of life is most likely not going to slow down. Fortunately, the solutions are right before our eyes. All we need to do is look to nature for clues as how to live in balance.

For starters, there are cycles or rhythms in nature. All life requires a rhythm of rest. The bustling activity of each day turns into the stillness and rest of the night. The growth in spring and summer turns into the nourishing decay of leaves in the fall and the rest/dormancy of winter. Each beat of our heart and inhalation of breath is followed by a brief pause, a period of rest.

To restore balance, a good place to start is to set up a daily routine that includes adequate sleep. Most experts tell us getting to bed at a consistent hour and waking at a routine hour in the morning are very helpful. Our bodies adjust well to routines especially ones in alignment with nature.

A practice that ties all this together is meditation. Effortless Meditation, in particular, is a simple mental technique that when practiced regularly for 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes, restores nature’s rhythm of rest to our lives.

The restorative power of deep rest is truly transformative. New meditation clients have said they feel like they are coming home during the practice. Rest heals and revitalizes our mind, body, and spirit. That’s why many meditate early in the morning before work and then after work. After a short meditation, we are good to go!

Everyone is happier, healthier, and at their best when their energy level is high. Meditation anyone?

Greg Schweitzer, Director, Stress Reduction Resources

The Unexpected Leadership Breakthru with Coordination Pattern™ Training

Susan was looking for what? All she  wanted to do was relax, learn a bit, and take some time for herself.  The Self and Joy Renewal Retreat was running at Twin Ponds Center. The flyer said, “Enjoy fun, play, food/cooking, music… along with mind-movement understanding.”  Why not give it a try?

On the first night, as the group was making the English Tea, Susan realized that what she really wanted was to break out of the behaviors that were holding her back at work. Already, she was getting a core understanding of how she functioned and differed from others. So when filling out and discussing Betsy’s handouts on Family Styles and Types, she saw how some of her “restricting” habits were learned in her family and culture while others were her reactions to stress.  A light bulb was going off, “I can change!”

Overnight she glanced through Betsy’s book, Moves to Greatness: Focusing the Four Essential Energies of a Whole and Balanced Leader. The section on Swing/ Collaborator/ Leadership weaknesses really hit a cord.

By Saturday, Susan was already using her new creativity and communication skills. Who would have thought her plate of vegetables… as she is a person who always has to be “Correct and Proper” … would win the “Most Humorous” award. Although it was, as Besty pointed out still wonderfully placed and orderly.

Later, as the group made and enjoyed dinner, Susan was fully on board with her newleadership skills.  She had actually experienced how the Coordination Pattern™ Breakthru Training exercises opened up her movement and most surprisingly, her mind; how they allowed her to Swing into her interactive and playful self which had been ignored and pushed down. She told Betsy, “I can hardly wait to lead my next team meeting at work.  I used to dread them.  Now I can enjoy and use my team members’ ways of functioning instead of trying to control and organize them into little copies of me…… I’m wondering what George’s reaction will be when I start enjoying his stories and jokes instead of giving him a dirty look to keep him on task.  It makes me laugh just to think of it.”

Susan was so thrilled with what she learned at this workshop that she signed up to attend the weekly classes.  She knew that this Coordination Pattern™ “Breakthru” Training helped her to break through to a new and improved level of leadership and a more satisfied life.

Betsy Wetzig, Originator of
Coordination Pattern
Breakthru Training