I think of how much easier my own personal-professional balance would be if I wasn’t zinging from one thing to the next but rather gently transitioning.
This morning in yoga class, my teacher invited us to complete a peaceful re-entry back into our day after spending 60 minutes being meditative and presumably focused on our practice. The idea of peaceful re-entry has been drifting around my brain ever since.
Last week, I was at a conference in Florida. It was held at a beautiful resort and I was by myself. This allowed me to stroll the beach, eat a leisurely dinner, and sleep through the night. None of these activities is part of my usual daily experience. While I missed my family, it was a difficult transition from carefree traveler to in-demand mom. The moment my suitcase hit the entryway tile floor, I was back on - available to referee fights, help out with homework, give our toddler a bath, and enforce discipline.
Yesterday, my clinic day was crazy busy, in that unique way it always is when you’ve dared to be away for a few days. Phone calls, new results, and complex new patients competed for my limited attention and energy. I didn’t do such a great job of peacefully re-entering my office. Forget about any peaceful re-entry from one exam room to the next.
Nevertheless, this idea of peaceful re-entry speaks to me. I think of how much easier my own personal-professional balance would be if I wasn’t zinging from one thing to the next but rather gently transitioning. A peaceful re-entry would allow me to leave work at work, or at least in the garage, before coming home to my family. A peaceful re-entry between patient exam rooms would allow me to do what I most struggle to do - completely focus on one patient at a time, one thing at a time. A peaceful re-entry back to the office in each morning would allow me to approach my workday with a reserve of energy and calm that I desperately need most days.
So, as I recognize the need for peaceful re-entry, I likewise struggle to identify how to do it. Is it a mindfulness exercise? Just focus on the moment and peacefully glide from one fully-focused moment to the next. Is it a quieting of the mind? Stop worrying and agonizing and planning and fretting. Obtain peace yourself so that your travel from one task to the next is inevitably a peaceful one. Is it a natural consequence of a life lived in good balance? If you are able to achieve peaceful re-entry, you must be doing something right.
Honestly, I’m not sure. I rarely, if ever, am able to peacefully re-enter anything. But, this week I’m going to try to make my transitions more calm and gentle on myself and those around me.
Find out more about Jennifer Frank and our other Practice Notes bloggers.