The Watering Hole Blog

Balance Tip: Shift & Release

gear shift ball

Shift & Release – Maintaining Balance Throughout the Day

“Flying starts from the ground. The more grounded you are, the higher you fly.”

R. Rim

What was your very first car?

Mine was a dark blue Chevette. I loved that car!

For the gear shift handle, there was an old faded red pool ball. It impressed my teenage pals and did the trick for shifting gears – which is the subject matter of today’s blog.

The source of today’s blog is rather suspect. I shall leave it up to you decide from whence it came 😊

Here’s what happened: 

The other day, I went for a Reiki session (an energy healing technique that involves a Reiki master using gentle hand movements to guide the flow of life force energy through the body to reduce stress and promote healing).

Afterwards, the practitioner told me that at the very beginning of our session, she received this message/heard this word (in her head): “balance.”

“So I asked for clarification,” she said. “Because you seem pretty balanced.”

“And?” I asked.

“And you need to stop more during your day,” she said. “You need to take more breaks to just stop, focus on your breathing, and ground yourself…come back to the present moment. Then you can get back at it!”

“Ahhh,” I said. “That makes sense. I was at the beach today and after my walk, I sat on a rock by the parking lot and tried to calm myself down because my mind was racing. But then I saw a group of people walking towards me. Then I looked the other way and saw another group of people walking towards me. So I got up and went home…still wired.”

The next day, I got the second part of the…message.

I had a massage and at the very end, my massage therapist did a bit of Reiki on me.

“Two words came through to me at the end,” she said afterwards. “Ya ready?”

“Yup.”

“Shift and release,” she said. “Does that mean anything to you?”

I thought about it a moment. “It’s like driving a stick-shift,” I said. “After you shift gears, there’s a release, right…when the RPM’s go down again?”

“Right…”

“Well,” I continued, “since the word “balance” came through in my Reiki session yesterday, maybe “shift and release” is another…tip for how to better balance my different modes of thinking during the day?”

Because here’s the thing:

Creatively and energetically, I have been operating at an unbelievably high level for quite some time now (ever since the pandemic started). Being “in the zone” is very conducive for getting super cool writing done.

If you’ve seen the Pixar film, “Soul,” they do a brilliant job of showing what that creative zone is like to be in!

Sandwich Board Guy in the zone 🙂 in “Soul”

Not so cool, however, is that my mind tends to get stuck in high gear, and I go and go and go (think and think and think), just like the Energizer Bunny…until my battery wears out and just like that, I am done for the day.

In other words, I tend to get stuck in the zone; my mind does not turn off when my computer does. Click To Tweet

Over the years, I have really tried to develop a healthy life/work balance. I work ridiculously hard, yes, but I have an awful lot of fun, too, get tons of rest and am very good about self-care (hence the massage and Reiki). Yoga has also been a tremendous gift to help me quiet my mind at the beginning and/or end of the day.

Where I need help is in better managing my mind throughout the day. I need to be able to bring myself back from the zone and plant my feet on Terra Firma on a more regular basis.

To this end, the “shift and release” idea/advice is a helpful follow-up to the “balance by grounding” suggestion the day before. Because my brain keeps getting stuck in high gear, I tend to burn out mentally sooner in the day than is perhaps necessary.

What I need to do is learn how to shift gears throughout the day by taking more “mini-meditation moments” to quiet my mind. So that’s what I’m working on now.

What I am really good at is taking plenty of physical breaks from the computer (thanks to my handy dandy timer). But just because I’m not working doesn’t mean I’m not thinking. Perhaps you can relate 😊

Returning to the stick shift analogy…

When the RPM’s are revving too high (we are thinking too quickly for too long), we need to be able to shift our mind - our brain waves - into a different gear, to bring the RPM’s down again. Click To Tweet

And how do we shift gears when driving a stick shift? We push in the clutch, then shift through neutral to the next gear, then release the clutch again.

Same thing with our thinking:

We need to be able to shift our brain through neutral multiple times throughout the day, as we go from one gear to another. Click To Tweet

And then, of course, after shifting gears there is that oh-so-sweet release as the RPM’s go down again. The engine is happier and so are we 😊

How about you? What are some of your tricks to quiet your mind?

Maryanne Pope is the author of “A Widow’s Awakening.” She also writes screenplays, playscripts and blogs. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and a Director with the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. To receive her blog, “Weekly Words of Wisdom,” please subscribe here.

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