I went to see my massage therapist today. I am very particular about massage therapists. There is a sacred trust about allowing someone to work intimately with one's body. She starts her sessions off with a short intention meditation, which I find helpful to use throughout the session.
When I do my walking meditation, my transition points mantra is "When I breathe in, I breathe in peace; when I breathe out, I breathe out love." This is an intention for myself and for what I give back to the universe. Today, during my massage I used "I breathe in trust, I breathe out fear."
I was hesitant about breathing fear out into the universe, but the massage room seems a rather safe and purposeful place to do such a thing. It requires a great deal of trust for me to relax my limbs into another's hands. To breathe into pain and pleasure, to have the courage to ask for what I need, and to communicate clearly about where I need the most work done.
I think this is good practice for the rest of life. My minister asked me what I most need, as I attempt to enter into my third and final year of seminary and internship. She warned me about maintaining my boundaries and seeking support from the appropriate venues. I have already thought about that a lot and am grateful that the major difficulties of the last year have occurred over my summer break. It has allowed my internship congregation to be concerned about me, but sheltered them from too much of a desire and chance of caring for me. Congregations are caring places, and they want to take care of people. But in a ministerial role, it is our job to care for them, and to seek our support, within reason, from outside resources - colleagues, friends, family, therapists, etc.
I have a lot of anxiety about being away from my children, and they from me. But now that we are living close to my husband's work, he will always be a short drive away. I am thinking of ways I can have longer days, make better use of my time in Rochester doing pastoral care and volunteering for Connect & Breathe, and am anxious to look over my curriculum for the year and what sorts of projects I will be doing.
Getting back into the work of ministry will be good - it will balance the stressors of day to day life - and I *am* being well taken care of, which allows me to provide the kind of ministry a congregation should expect from its intern. I am excited to perform a wedding this weekend and one in October. I look forward to getting back into the workings of the church, the meetings, the small groups, the worship services. I have missed those things as I've dealt with the minutae of crisis.
Besides, who doesn't know that being a stay-at-home-mom is the hardest job of all?! It will be a break to do other work :)