Cold sores, Obsession and Balance


In the true sense of the word I am a nomad. I named this blog nomadess because I was proud that I am a wanderer and explorer that thrives in change and one that really has moved about most of her life. I not only have physically moved an astounding number of times but personally, emotionally, spiritually I am on a path that hasn’t yet found a home. And I like the idea of being ok with this (living it out is another story!).

Being a nomadess is messy. It is filled with moments where my compass seems to be spinning, and I can’t find true North; when those that I thought would be there to support me must have taken another path; and then there are those days where the sun is shining and I feel at peace in the midst of the suitcases and lists to do.

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do. – Freya Stark

This morning I awoke with another cold sore, my physical body telling me to stress less. Why am I so drawn to filling my days with busyness so that I feel that I am giving purpose to my life during this transition time, or at least controlling this time? In the last week I have become consumed with finding a job, finding a place for us to live, finding furniture at amazing prices. I am in the Forest of No-Return when I step out on to the footpath of Craig’s List, Pinterest and Linked-In. I get sucked in, I lose all sense of time and space, and I become obsessed thinking that this little path will lead me out of the wilderness and into my Promised Land. But all it does is leave me wanting more, thinking more about things I cannot control and cannot have. While trying to gain control of my situation I become controlled by it. No longer a free nomadess, but a slave to my situation.

I spend my life wishing I didn’t have so much stuff, less life pressure and wishing I could be free of it. And then when I am – when I am free of many of the pressures – I spend my waking hours pressuring myself to find something to fill that void. And the stuff I am filling it with is really just wasting my precious life. My obsession over one issue or another may allow me to get a lot done, my productivity levels shoot through the roof, and I impress those around me – but is it worth it? Who am I being productive for? Certainly this obsession and productively leaves me feeling exhausted and unfulfilled, because I am left completely out of balance.

The pressure to produce and to perform is not from my true and authentic self – it is from all of the pressures I have accepted from others my whole life. By becoming obsessed with one issue or another I am not giving space to hear my true voice and listen to what I really need along this path. A dear artist friend of mine shared that some obsessions are ok – magnificent pieces of art where born out of obsessively creative minds throughout the centuries. But those obsessions must not consume our whole lives (or we end up cutting off an ear, or leading a dark and depressed life).

I will always find true North when I stop and still myself.  Peeling my eyes off of the computer screen I must listen to the birds, see the flowers, contemplate the mountains, pay attention to the people around me and then begin to find the balance I am seeking in my life – one that gives time to explore nature, relationships, spirituality, health, and creativity. It is too easy to fall down the slippery surface of obsession with one issue or another. For someone who does not like routine, finding the balance in life will be my continual challenge.

Perhaps I must set aside 30-60 minutes each day to obsess over something, and then let it go. I must keep having moments like this that allow me to step back from what I am doing, to see what I am not doing and not judge myself (too harshly) for it, and then remind myself of what really matters. This is what being a nomadess means to me, finding my way along the path of life, striving and moving towards a balanced and full life.

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