Thursday, June 04, 2009

Getting Into the Swing of Things

We've all had the experience of getting sore muscles after doing something physical that is not usual for us to do. Our muscles are not used to the exertion and we feel it as soreness after the fact. If we continue doing that activity on a regular basis, eventually the soreness eases and our body grows accustomed to the new activity level.

It's the same scenario for other new experiences in our lives. If we try to incorporate a new activity into our schedule, for example, we may find that it is a struggle for quite some tome. We might discover that it feels impossible to fit it in without disrupting our normal routine. If we persist, however, the activity becomes a bit easier (just like my physical activity example) and we are able to integrate it more completely into our life.

We have to keep this in mind when we are taking on a new endeavor. I'm in the middle of a huge, new project that is taking a lot of my time and energy. Its a different schedule and a different type of mental engagement than I've done for quite some time. It can seem overwhelming on some days. Yet, I know that there is a process happening inside. Old skills are getting dusted off. Some things that initial felt awkward to me are already starting to feel a bit easier and more comfortable. Parts of my brain, that have been 'resting' for a time are waking up. Some old capacities are being resurrected, and some 'new muscles' are being flexed. With each day that goes by, what at first felt foreign is feeling more 'normal' and 'natural.'

Remember what it was like at the beginning of every new school year? After the lazier more relaxed days of summer, it took a little while to get back into the routine of going to school every day, doing homework, and balancing our time. We knew this was going to occur and we accepted it. Most of us cut ourselves some slack as we 'ramped up' to the pace we would need to sustain for the school year.

Many of our life experiences are similar to this. Some new endeavor enters our life, or a new responsibility, or challenge appears. It might feel daunting and impossible at first. It might seem like we'll never be able to do what needs to be done... day after day after day. Yet... we do!

It's important to give ourselves time to get 'back in the swing' of things when we are integrating anything new into our lives. Shway Shway, as is said in Arabic. Slowly slowly... little by little!