As the Summer Olympic Games in Rio get closer, there is increasing media attention to the American athletes who will be participating. I recently saw Kerri Walsh Jennings interviewed and I was truly impressed. Ms. Jennings is an American professional beach volleyball player, a three time Olympic gold medal winner, a wife, and mother of three young children. Kerri stands more than six feet tall and her nickname is Six Feet of Sunshine. An appropriate appellation, in my opinion. She radiates happiness, warmth and strength.
In her interview, Kerri was asked how she stayed balanced in her daily life. Her response was she places her priorities into three “buckets”, family, career and faith. She said when she starts feeling off balance, she examines which bucket she is neglecting to fill. But it was what she said next that truly intrigued me. Kerri found herself “sprinting” through each day and decided to slow things down and create some peace in her life by waking up earlier in the morning, before the kids crawled out of bed. And during this newly-established “alone” time, she meditates.
Using the bucket analogy, I think it’s fair to say we all have our own five-gallon priority containers. How they’re labeled and the measure of their content is where we deviate. Some of us may even believe we carry too many buckets. One for family, one for career, one for faith, sure. But what about friends, and home, and volunteer work and hobbies? Kerri Walsh Jennings has made a career out of exercise and a healthy diet. The rest of us might need a separate bucket for “clean living”. And now we’re supposed to make time in our day for ourselves? Yes.
We can all carve out 15 minutes for stopping. Just a few moments out of each day to practice stopping. Stop to sit in quiet meditation. Stop and read a newspaper or magazine. Stop long enough to take a walk or practice a Sun Salutation. Stop to fish. Stop to dance. Stop in front of the mirror and smile at yourself. Stop to golf or to sing or to do absolutely nothing. Because if we practice stopping enough, we might find that whatever we chose to stop for is replenishing a bucket that is ours alone. There is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself. In fact, if we don’t take care of ourselves, where will the energy come from to give to another?
Jean Shinoda Bolan, author and psychologist put it this way,
“When you recover or discover something in your life that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
When Kerri Walsh Jennings made up her mind to rise early in the morning to meditate, she created a fourth bucket in her life. It’s the same bucket we should all carry, labeled “ME”. And with careful attention, we must always keep it full.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.