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Commentary By Jacqui Markowitz

RISMEDIA, Dec. 30, 2008-There are signs that direct us, that are indicators of our needs, and can provide clear cut solutions to our problems. It’s really a case of recognizing the signs that appear in our lives. This one took me a while, but now I get it – I’m frazzled and I need to find a way to de-stress! Here’s my story.

I make dinner every Friday night for my family. My children all know that attendance is not negotiable. They can invite their friends, they can go out late after dinner, but they have to be home. It’s the one night during the week when we sit down together as a family.

A couple of weeks ago, as I busied myself around the house, cooking and setting the table, I noticed that my chandelier was a bit dusty. So I sprayed some Windex on a paper towel and climbed up to give it a quick clean. I always turn off the light for this, but it’s already dark by 5, so….my cloth accidentally touched the bulb, which sparked, generated a flame and dramatically burned out. I tried to turn off the light afraid there would be a fire, but the switch wouldn’t work. I tried to turn it off by the breaker, but apparently my chandelier and my fridge are on the same breaker. Who knew! We watched it apprehensively over dinner. I called the electrician.

The rule of thumb I have learned when living in an older home, is that when something breaks, it’s not a simple task to fix it. Case in point; when the fixture caught on fire, it shorted the wiring and disabled the switch. Electrical jargon meaning that the chandelier had to come down and be re-wired and then put back and the switch changed.

I found a place to do this for me pre-Christmas and only because I told the storekeeper how I made dinner for my family every Friday night and she pushed my order ahead, woman to woman, mother to mother, understanding the importance of my chandelier to the gathering. Last week we ate by candlelight and a lamp – very nice, but I did miss the warm glow over my table. Even though I keep the light subdued, it still sheds a lovely coziness.

I picked up my chandelier this morning and the electrician is coming tomorrow. I hope. They are calling for a huge snow storm. One weather announcer coined it the Armageddon of snow storms. I guess today is then the calm before the storm. I was anxious to pick it up today in case I was snowed in tomorrow and the electrician, following the mantra of the postman was able to brave his way to my house. (Yes, I know, I have an overactive imagination.)

I got to the store a little before it opened at 8 a.m. and while I was waiting in the vestibule I noticed a little box of cards – MIND YOUR BODY beside the mailboxes. I took one. It was advertising Shiatsu, a massage approach designed to bring balance back into your life. I went into the store to pay for my chandelier, and as I was waiting to sign the invoice, my eye was drawn to some brochures at the edge of the desk. I hadn’t seen them the first time I went in. The brochure was for meditation, telling me that I could discover true happiness and inner harmony.

Okay. Can it get much clearer than this? The chandelier burning out is a metaphor for my life. Yes, I am feeling burnt out, and I have been doing little to take care of myself. I am really looking forward to having some time off for the holidays and taking time to unwind and follow my own whims and breathe.

It’s important to tune in to our lives and be aware of the signs that are right in front of us. If I’m reading the signs right, I will greet my family re-wired, with a warm and inviting light. And, I guess I will be going for a Shiatsu massage, and perhaps taking the time to mediate, and as it says in the brochure, understand my true identity and the goal of life.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday with peace and joy!

Jacqui Markowitz is the Director of Communications for Frame of Mind Coaching.

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