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March in the YSL relates to cycles of rest and activity, sympathetic and parasympathetic, the ‘peaceful tension between opposites’ like inhaling and exhaling. Finding and honing this balance is the task of the next month. As my vacation entered the first two days of March, it strikes me that traveling with three young children one must endeavor to find this balance. Vacations are a time to rest and relax; to renew one’s spirit and broaden one’s base of experiences. Children do not let their parents relax; there is no down-time even on vacation. Here is a basic ‘peaceful tension’ in my life that follows me whether I am in work (13 steps away) or on vacation. Keeping this tension peaceful is the game.

So, while I would love to say that my vacation was a time of rest, and back to work a time of activity, the reality is that my home life, my work life and my vacation times are a blend of these opposites. My challenge this month will be to find a way to make these opposites more peaceful and blend together more seamlessly. How to find time to relax while working; how to be productive without compromising my health; to have dedicated time to practice my tai ji more diligently; to cut off working/studying with ample time to wind down before bedtime; and to retire in the evening earlier.

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