Thursday, September 29, 2011

Balancing Life

There is something about blue sky, clear water, and the dripping sound of fountains that feels peaceful. I guess that is why people try to reproduce those natural beauties in places where people want to relax. Like the view that you see in the picture above: the pool view of a hotel near my office where I had lunch today.

One day in autumn 2006, as I hiked along the track of Healing Forest in Nagano, Japan, our guide explained that human DNA retains the memories of its primal lives millions of years ago. Those are the memories of living so close to nature, where the abundant of fresh air, the scent of the woods, and everything that awakened human senses came from the forest environment where our ancestors lived. The sensations from the forest are invigorating. How it happens is maybe similar our memories about dinner with our family that we retain so well, that when we sense the scent of warm meals in the air around the early evening time, our hearts would swell from a beautiful feeling. The only difference is, with dinner, our senses have direct experiences while with forest, our DNAs recorded it and replay it, giving us a somehow good feeling without direct-experience-based explanation.

That good feeling works like a magic remedy to the bad feeling. Sometimes you just have a bad day at work, when everything seems to just go wrong and there are too many reasons to fight with your colleagues or supervisors. When you are an office worker with limited break or off privileges, you often end up staying where you are, swallowing all the mess of the day and feel beaten up at the end of the day.

Escaping to a place that gives you the sense of goodness, even just during lunch break, often helps. Like today, when I started my day thinking that I had to get into an argument over the proposal that I submitted to the finance unit. Dealing with the system that does not fit the nature of our field works takes so much mental energy and it drained me quite too early this morning. Then came a telephone call that swept my zen-ish morning even more. By lunch hour I felt that I had lost my productivity. Luckily, my good friend invited me for lunch at Hermes Palace, a hotel just 5-minute drive from my office.

Just spending my first fifteen minutes sitting by the pool, my zen returns. Then for the rest 45 minutes I balanced my uncomfortable morning pace with the relaxing view of the clear water and fountains in the pool. Sitting by the window, I enjoyed my lunch by enjoying every bites, chewing slowly, appreciating the flavors of every ingredients. Whenever the agitating thoughts came back, I took a deep breath. I looked up to the blue sky, down to the tips of the palm trees around the pool, and just felt the air flowing into my chest as I inhaled, absorbing the beauty and my will to feel the peace.

Some people say that happiness is man-made. I say, feelings and moods are manageable. Happiness is about listening to our hearts, knowing our limits - when we feel uncomfortable, agitated, sad and when to retreat, as well as knowing what makes us feeling good, peaceful, relaxed, and happy. From there, we know when should we withdraw ourselves from negativity, then take ourselves to the matters that makes us feel better. With all the limitations that we have - the time, space, opportunities - we can always identify the simplest thing to do to retreat and to balance our lives; as simple as spending one hour lunch by the pool,or sitting by the window, looking up to the blue sky. :)

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  2. I think we should strike a balance between life, work, home and all the things in between. I am glad you are an expert of this. Dropping by :)

  3. Seperti di hotel Hermes ...