Updated: Feb 20
When I was in Genova over the holidays, I took a train with family down to Pisa to see the majestic Piazza dei Miracoli, which includes the leaning tower. Along the way we stopped to watch this graceful street performer.
I stood transfixed as he continued adding more and more and more and even more yellow balls to his circuit until he reached six.
Suddenly, almost purposefully, one ball fell. He smoothly gathered it up with his foot while continuing to circulate the other five.
You know when you are living a moment and know you want to remember what you are seeing but you don't take a bunch of photos to capture the scene? *This is why I only have one photo of the juggler.
In those moments, I just want to feel every bit of the moment, without documentation. Do you give a little extra attention at times with your entire body and being? I do this as a way to capture memory.
I say to my brain, "take note of this, record this" so I can remember it later. I say to my senses, "remember the taste of this rosetta bread, the smell of this Hong Kong temple, this vision when my love is smiling, the sound of Mama from my son at bedtime, remember this feeling on my skin in the hot spring" I want to have it, hold it within me and be able to return to it one day.
Watching this guy juggle was one of those moments.
Weeks later, I come home and start back with my practice, happy to see my clients again, to be in my routine and in my family life here.
I begin adding more to my circuit with each passing week. I realize by the third week home that I am juggling six yellow balls.
Mind you, I'm not a fantastic juggler. I have resisted busy my whole life, long before the slowfood movement and In Praise of Slow seemed to have collectively kickstarted our attention to slowing down.
So, how do I continue connecting with my child, husband, self, friends, and my clients while juggling six balls? How do I transition from role to role without becoming scattered.
Even more realistic with myself that question is,
"How do I react when I notice I am scattered? How do I adjust my sails to steady my course?"
I have no single answer.
I am in process with this.
Are you too?
I do daydream.
The art of daydreaming is an active and worthy gift. Even brief moments of sky staring to feel into the creative space that is longing are beneficial. Allowing myself to feel something fully and then re-enter my day is an integrative process important for my wellbeing.
This lifelong practice doesn't have a name, I've not spoken about it or trained in it.
I have no guru.
I do have my own life experiences and a few cherished souls who have trusted me enough to share with me in their ways of being, their ways of seeing.
More recently, I have pulled up this image of the juggler and have been recreating it so that when I go into my days of sessions that I actually take the place of the juggler. I become the juggler.
I imagine myself purposefully letting five yellow balls fall and gracefully catch them with my feet. I place these outside my office door, so that there is only one left and I can sit with it in silence until my clients arrive.
I have been practicing the same at home with some great results. Yet, there are days that it just doesn't happen and I need to explain to my family that I still have computer work. Or I find that I'm buried in my to do list. That I need to adjust my sails.
There are some days (more and more) I am able to place the other five balls in a make believe basket at our front door, so that I may prepare a snack, talk about our day, welcome friends to play, or snuggle while looking at clouds or watching a movie: what we call lion time in my family.
Using my imagination and memory are two of the tools I use in approaching everyday stress.
How do you manage? I'd love to hear.
Thank you to lessons from Italy and thank you for being with me here and in session.
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