Keep Calm

This year has been a rambunctious one, for sure. As if we weren’t coming down from the maelstrom of moving to a foreign land just the year prior, this year brought travels across three different continents, in six different countries, me finishing a book and editing it, becoming a member of SOLD’s board, hosting nearly 40 visitors, Toby getting back into rock climbing and building his own workshop, me recommitting to yoga, us both learning a new language, and otherwise, the regular ups and downs normal life brings.

It hasn’t been a calm one. And I learned very quickly that if I didn’t take time for myself in between the madness, I’d get crazy, debilitating panic attacks. I’m not usually prone to them, but since we moved here, they would be regular, uninvited guests.

After our trip to Europe, and then after coming back from the U.S., though, I’ve started to notice that I haven’t really been getting panic attacks, even when I get really busy or don’t take the time that I know I probably should.

So, that’s a blessing. But I also know I’m not entirely at peace. When I’m overwhelmed or feel crowded in, my temper is sharper – as if it’s much closer to the surface and much quicker to make itself known.

About a month or so ago, Toby was musing that coming to Thailand has made him a calmer person in general, but that he still needed to work on being calm even when its madness around us. It’s easy to be calm when all is peaceful. It’s much harder to find the calm inside us when everything else is helter-skelter. (My hubby’s a smart cookie.)

I nodded in agreement, though, I confess his words did not sink in immediately.

But they did eventually. This past week, I started to turn that mirror on myself, and I’ve come to realize I’m good at being calm when our daily routine is normal and uninterrupted. I get flustered and snappier the more our “normal” is not normal. Of course it’s important to allow ourselves the right to feel what we need to feel. But clinging to what our lives “should” look like, rather than embracing them as they come, is not grace. It’s not generosity.

Grace and generosity is not just about loving what we already accept. It’s about accommodating that which challenges us.

And so, in life just as in yoga, I must find the edge…and then breathe into it.

Each Thursday, we come together to celebrate living life with intention by capturing a glimmer of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Have you found yourself in such a moment lately? Share it with us! 

Live. Capture. Share. Encourage.
This week we’re linking up at Brook’s!
And head there for your daily dose of creativity:
prompts for photos, for words, for inspiration,
and for a life lived mindfully!


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6 thoughts on “Keep Calm

  1. I'm with you – anxiety catches up with me when things are out of control and I have no idea of what's coming next. But the beautiful part about growing and pushing yourself is discovering those limits and how to handle them. It sounds like you've been able to do so quite well and you should be proud of yourself!

  2. I SO needed to read this today, Jade. Overwhelming moments take me by storm, scattering me sideways. I erupt. I fall apart. Other times, I feel patient and calm. But that doens't really matter if it's not present when it counts. __Accomodating that which challenges us. I shall try :)

  3. You have no idea how much I needed this. My routine has been totally upended since Allie's birth and I am someone who thrives on consistency, familiarity, and calm. I recently heard Deepak Chopra say, "My body is busy, but I'm not." I think those words every time I have to pause for a deep breath in the middle of my chaos.

    • That's a great quote! I'll have to try to remember that and remind myself that even when my body is moving, there can be stillness inside.

  4. I surrender to the chaos often. I think its just my personality. I would like to "just breathe" … You must teach me to find that edge and breathe. I haven't found it yet in 33 years. Its about time, right? I'm glad your center of calm is being explored! So important. So very important.