This summer we've explored conflict in the workplace and how managers can mediate difficult situations between employees. In the spirit of fall and back to school, I've asked my Virtual Assistant, Tracie, to write about her experience using centering practices in her daily family life.
Finding Center in Back to School
It's fall and school is back in session. September always feels like a new beginning to me, a new start. I suppose it comes from years of moving up a grade, changing teachers, changing classrooms and subjects. Even during those few years between college and my own kids starting school I felt restless in September as if something new needed to begin.
As a parent, I’ve loved “back to school” as much as when I was a kid. There was the idea of new school supplies, fresh clothing and pristine lunchboxes. As much fun as all of that is, however, there has always been a level of stress that only seems to grow with the kids.
With each fall comes a reconfiguring of schedules, a new routine to find, familiar ways of doing things that now have to change. Boy Scouts moving from Tuesday to Thursday? How DARE THEY? Don’t they know that Thursday is piano night? A music teacher needing to find a new time for the kids to meet for group lessons? What do you mean the time we blocked out last year no longer works for the rest of the group?
A few years ago something changed. It may have coincided with the beginning of my working relationship with Judy. Just maybe. As I sighed loudly and wondered aloud how we’d fit in one more schedule change, I happened to be working on one of her newsletters. Breathe. It read. Just breathe. So I did.
It worked. Something about intentionally taking a deep breath slows everything down. It brings perspective, quietness and calmness to a crazy situation.
I’ve used that practice a lot this fall; more than ever before. In a strange twist of events, I found myself saying goodbye to our youngest son last week as we left him at a wonderful boarding school half way across the country. Everything in me was in turmoil over the fact his older brother and sister were still in high school at home. I wasn’t ready for him to leave, didn't want him to leave, yet I knew the opportunity he’d been given could not be passed up. This was his moment, his time, yet as a mom I was turned inside out.
Breathe. Just Breathe.
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve thought that over the past week:
This is such an amazing opportunity.
He’s so happy.
I’ll see him in less than a month.
We’ve raised him well.
This is his time to shine.
This month there are parents all over the country facing their own need to find center. Maybe you’ve left a child at school or maybe your youngest is starting kindergarten and you’re faced with your first day of not knowing what he’s up to every single moment. Perhaps this is the first year you have no children at home, or even are longing for a child you can send off to school one day.
Whatever your situation, whatever your chaos or stress this back to school sesason, breathing will help you to take a step back, to get perspective and to find center.
Tracie Shroyer is an Certified Professional Virtual Assistant through the Assist U training program. She works with authors, speakers and entrepreneurs to make sure all of the pieces of their vision come together with ease. An entrepreneur herself, Tracie understands how easy it is for small business owners to feel like they have to "do it all." Taking care of everyday tasks to allow business owners to work in their sweet spot is what she does best.