Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What's On Your Life Plate?

Today while conversing with a friend, I asked her what was on her ‘Life Plate’. I actually have never used that term, nor have I heard anyone else use the reference. However, an immediate visual came to my mind. I pictured a large silver platter with hand carved swirled etch marks and grandiose edges which glistened in the light – something on which you would serve a fine meal to the people you love the most. On that platter, was each individual item that makes up my life – my spouse, children, friends, family, my home, volunteer work, house work, business and even my dreams and goals.

The reason for using that term ‘Life Plate’ has no explanation, but the visual certainly stays clear. There are days that my ‘Life Plate’ looks completely full and then someone will ask me to lead or facilitate their group, help out with this “short little project” or a family member finds themselves in the hospital. An immediate feeling of heaviness comes over me like a black cloud. Can anyone relate?

Have you asked any of these questions?

What do I do when my ‘Life Plate’ is completely full and things are leaning over the edge threatening to fall?

How can I possibly catch the falling items when I only have two hands?

Why am I continually asked to keep adding to my ‘Life Plate’ when I see no space available?

The overwhelmed feelings come when we fail to recognize what is on our ‘Life Plate’.

Might I suggest we look at things from a new perspective? Try these steps for more peace:

1-Take inventory – Specifically list each item on your ‘Plate’.

2- Rank the importance – Which items are most important to you personally? Of course I’m not willing to push my children off my plate (so to speak) so I can make room for watching my favorite weekly television show for example. It is of my opinion that my teenager needs me more now than when she was a toddler. The challenges she faces now are vital life lessons she is learning and seem to outweigh the importance of being able to tie a shoe or put a shirt on correctly. (But that’s a whole other blog)

3 -Celebrate the joy – Keep the items on your ‘Life Plate’ that bring you joy. What about the house work? Yes, put it in perspective…the joy is in being proud of a clean house. Order does produce peace. Just trust me on this one.

Where is your focus? Sometimes life does seem ‘full’. Realize if you continue to look at the lack of space you cannot relieve the darkness. I encourage you to place your focus on the amount of joy each item can bring to you. Go ahead – give it a try today. You’ll be glad you did.

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