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Padre’s Corner: Finding balance in times of change

“In the Spring, I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours.”

This quote from the American humourist and author, Mark Twain, both accurately describes our past winter and current spring, but also the impacts of continual pivoting since COVID-19 started changing our world three years ago.

In December and March, many people who planned to reconnect with family and loved ones or who wanted to disconnect with a long-anticipated trip to places of rest and relaxation faced cancelled flights, lost luggage and unanticipated expenses.

As a global community, as family units, and as individuals we are stressed, and we see the signs of breakdown all around us.

Exposure to unresolved constant stress from change and a sense of helplessness can have significant negative impacts on our emotional well-being, our relationships, our work experience, and our physical well being. The more we experience a sense of helplessness, instability, and disorientation from constant change, the greater our need to return to the activities and tools that help us achieve self-regulation and balance.

The daily routines that are healthy for us – exercise, exposure to nature, experiencing beauty in art and creativity, meaningful connections, sleep, rest, and good nutrition – are all part of what helps us build rhythm and find balance during change or chaos. The activities that feed our spirits such as participating in Ramadan, Nowruz, Passover, Easter, Walpurgis, Vaisakhi, or Theravada New Year; can also provide us with the sense of continuity to our collective past and shared meaning through rituals that transcend time and space.

May you find purpose and stability in the people and activities that ground you and provide meaning during these challenging times. As you are strengthened, may your strength be either a source of constancy and care to others or the inspiration for them to find what can ground them in these changing times.

By: Padre Michael McGee