Journey to the center

Thomas CrumAs the name of this post implies, I’m currently reading, and have been for a cringe worthy amount of time, Journey to the Center by Thomas F. Crum. Have you ever stumbled through a text? I mean harder than a drunken fall. Don’t pretend you don’t understand the analogy. I was in college at one time too.

It’s not that the content isn’t insightful or even interesting, but you just aren’t in the right frame of mind to embrace its potential influence – too long, too deep, too upbeat or too melancholy for your mood and far too physically, mentally or emotionally time consuming to make the effort.

Sometimes there’s a much more simplistic answer to the slow-as-freaking-paint-drying process and that is life just gets in the way and you can’t finish the damn text. That’s the position I find myself in and at this rate I’ll be entering menopause by the time I yell, “I’m done!”.

Journey to the Center is intended to serve as a helpful guide for those seeking a higher level of “centeredness”, as the title so cleverly suggests. Call it a self-help text, leadership guide or masterful collection of personal aha moments, but achieving self awareness is the core concept. I thought it would provide me with some unique perspective before entering a natural labor and delivery but all it accomplished at the time was this nagging sense of added stress and for the life of me, I have no idea why. So I put it down and tried to ignore its existence on my husband’s nightstand next to his pile of anatomy texts… yes, I even tried the out-of-sight-out-of-mind theory and no it didn’t work.

Journey to the Center has been a blessing in disguise despite being cursed with the procrastination of actually finishing such an introspective book (you know, in between nursing a constantly hungry newborn, tending to the never ending piles of laundry and even trying to sneak a five minute shower before dinner… shaving my legs is a luxury these days, don’t judge.) You see, each time I pick it up off the nightstand, remove the inch of dust that’s accumulated and comb through the pages, I’m punched square in the jaw with a word, sentence or chapter that is so simply presented, yet has such a profound personal impact.

Post delivery, it was this underlying message of self awareness that helped me better understand and cope with the challenges of becoming a new mom. Every page has a thread of hope weaved in, letting the reader know it’s okay to stumble. It’s okay to fall. And it’s okay to have days that you feel lost, alone and incredibly frustrated with yourself, a loved one or a personal situation. But so long as you maintain that level of self awareness, you’ll always be able to come back to center and overcome the challenge.

It’s a powerful message, one that is perfect for a Monday in order to set a proper pace for the rest of the week. When that obnoxious colleague pushes your buttons, travel plans get off track and push the budget you so carefully set or a beautiful newborn decides to throw up all over her car seat and third outfit before noon… acknowledge the setback, laugh it off and return to center.

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