As this this year is ending is inevitable, at least for me, to evaluate my life. Last year, I worked hard to the point that I forgot about my health. The only thing I did for the last four months in 2009 was writing and reading 20 hours a day. I abused my body, and the obvious result was back pain, headaches, and a lot of stress. I did not enjoy the holiday season and the accomplishments seemed unimportant since I still had a long to do list. This 2010, my goal was to make a more pleasant use of my time.
My personal rule, since I was 18 years-old, is to love and have fun in my current occupation or leave it. So far, my rule brought me to wonderful job places related to my mission. Because money is not my priority when choosing a job, usually it comes naturally and in abundance.
Well, this time, I am the one who is paying an abundant tuition. Because, I love the PhD program I am in, I came all the way to California just to do it. Classes and teachers are great. Hence, last January, I seriously considered whether to quit or to deal in a loving way with the intensive workload that a graduate program requires.
I thought, it is not fair to have PhD in transpersonal if there is no Carmen, the human being, at the end.
Therefore, I formulated a plan to stay healthy, happy and still be a successful student: I would meditate, talk to family and friends, cook, eat slowly, watch movies, and take walks with my friend Ma Elena around the block several times a day. I scheduled myself at least one of physical activities a day like yoga, swimming or Aikido. I made my priority to talk by skype with my nieces and nephew who shared their infant challenges like getting a boyfriend in the kindergarden and losing it the next week or how difficult life can be when you are three years-old and your Mom is mad at you because you loose your shocks somewhere in the house. And of course, I signed myself to an online dating service.
I know, it looks like instead of lowering I increased my to do list. Well, it worked!
As soon as I took my life back and start smiling again, I could accomplish everything easier. Now, I write or read for a one-hour period at a time. I can concentrate better and have a better performance. I have fun with my program and my life. The most important thing is that I learned I can trust myself. I can work hard for some days knowing that I can be relaxed and playful in the same day, the same week or why not within the same activity. I can stand up and dance the outline of my paper, I can sing my ideas or draw until the inspiration comes. The workload is still hard but I am achieving a more balanced and healthy life with discipline. At least I can laugh about it.
I wish you a balanced and joyful life . . . until the next post.