Enlightened Advice, June 2017

Dear Ms. Spiritual Matters,

I work at a law firm in a large city.  Weekdays are long. I leave for the office at 6 a.m. and work nonstop returning home at 7 p.m. I see my wife as she rolls over in bed in the morning. I am home in time to play with my kids for a couple hours before tucking them in with a bedside story. I find my wife just finishing her Tai Chi as I dive head first into the bed. I crave rest. My mind keeps spinning, listing all I must do at the office the next day. Then REPEAT.
I am stuck in this cycle. What can I do?

Dear Will,
You are going with the flow of the 21st century lifestyle. The joy of job success and the pleasure of family relationships are deeply rooted within us. Each takes some of our inner strength. We need a time to replenish our body and spirit.
To stop the spinning you mention, you have to put the brakes on that gerbil wheel. You might set aside one evening when your wife and children each tell you one good thing about their day and, afterward, you go off alone to meditate, read or just rest in the arms of Netflix.  You may want to put your office phone off the hook for 15 minutes once a day while you exercise or snooze. It is your job to look at what you want to keep in your busy schedule and what you can relinquish.
Surrendering to your innate need for whatever kind of alone time you choose will help you get unstuck and enjoy your job and family more.
Good wishes,
Ms. Spiritual Matters

Susan Schoenbeck holds Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an experienced educator and teaches nursing students at Walla Walla University — Portland, Oregon campus.  She is an oblate of a Benedictine Monastery where she learned centering and contemplative meditation practices. She is author of the book, Zen and the Art of Nursing, Good Grief: Daily Meditations, and Near-Death Experiences: Visits to the Other Side.

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