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Being with the way things are

the way things are total balance

‘When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.’ Eckhart Tolle

All around me I hear people saying that they’re tired of striving for more. They say it in different ways.

A few of my closest friends are burnt out and unhappy. Many of my corporate clients are wondering whether the long hours and the stress are really worth the money and even Chris and I have recently contemplated spending a year down the coast to escape the madness of an urban lifestyle.

Then I drive across the Bolte Bridge at night and look at the city lights and I know I love this place more than any other place I’ve lived. I know that the tightness I sometimes feel in my chest is less to do with the traffic and the news stories as it is to do with some of my own self-imposed pressures.

So I remember to breathe. To make space. To stop doing so much and to just be with the way things are. Even just for a moment.

I can’t remember when my addiction to ‘doing’ began. I do remember the day I found out I was pregnant with Elsa (over 25 years ago now), sitting in our small, sunny back garden in St Kilda watching a butterfly flit from flower to flower and feeling completely at peace, with no desire to leap up and get anything done. I remember long lazy days from my childhood, spent high in the branches of a towering gum tree just watching the world go by and floating on my back for hours in a swimming pool.

Now, I have to consciously make time to laze about. And while I do take the time to be thankful for what I have, I still feel compelled to push myself forward.

There are days when I tell myself that my endless list can’t possibly wait.

That there are goals to be achieved and new objectives to be set. In doing so, I sometimes miss the point of the most important message I want to share with the world.

Live mindfully.

Be present.

Don’t always feel compelled to do more.

Right here, right now, this is enough.

We need to catch ourselves in this moment and breathe deeply into the experience of stillness.

We need to stop and sit (not just when we’re meditating) and contemplate the things that are more important than any of the goals we’ve ever set for ourselves.

Who do I want to be in this life? How do I want to feel? What is it that really matters today?

Sometimes it looks different to what you might have first imagined. Not the thing that you had on the top of your list. Instead, it might be a phone call to a friend or a simple yoga practice before you begin your work day.

When you remember to breathe into your belly, you’ll discover that everything you need, you already have right now –  peace, stillness and the ability to focus on what really matters. There will always be more that you can do but for now, it’s important to remember that this moment is also enough.

We would be delighted for you to reproduce our articles as long as they remain intact and contain the author’s details as follows: ‘Kate James is a coach, speaker and writer. She works with people who want to live confident, creative lives. Kate can be contacted at www.totalbalance.com.au.’

Posted in: Mindfulness
Kate James

I'm Kate James and the owner of Total Balance. I work with people who care about living purposeful, creative lives. My clients want to clarify their personal values, identify their strengths and learn about how they can make a difference in the world in their own unique way.

I run workshops and retreats in Melbourne and Byron Bay to give you the chance to escape the noise of everyday to discover what really matters to you.