With four children, a job, business, husband, house and plethora of roles, I am a plagued with "have-to-syndrome".  Despite the "have to" syndrome, I am fortunately able to juggle my responsibilities and activities through my Christian Yoga and Meditation practice.

My daughter was blessed with three brothers and is in desperate need of organized female comaraderie, so when her Brownie Troop leader quit and the moms were willing to share the responsibility, I naturally felt I "have to" help.  The meetings involve some prep time and often include a lot of prepubescent silliness which compels me to "have to" settle them down and redirect their attention.  With much budding testosterone in my home, I  "have to" settle kids down on a daily if not hourly basis.  Around the house I "have to" cook dinner, clean the kitchen and make progress on the never ending laundry.  I "have to" spend time with my family and get sufficient sleep.  I "have to" get up at 5:15 AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays to teach that 6:30 AM Yoga class.  I "have to" write my blog, though note there wasn't Wednesday Morning Mantra Manna last week because I was in "have to" mode fixing mywebsite that crashed! The most dangerous "have to"s in my life are more elusive:  I "have to" succeed, I "have to" win, I "have to" be [insert something impossible and  irrational, analogous to perfect].

My "Have-to" syndrome can lead to the inability to prioritize the "have to"s and somehow I am simultaneously going in multiple directions which inevitably leads nowhere at all!  The cure is solitude.  Solitude requires space to do absolutely nothing.  Solitude isn't as effective in my own environment as it is elsewhere because there is always something I "have to" on my turf.  If Jesus needed 40 days away in desert, I at least need a few hours or days every once in a while right?  Following God's example in Genesis, if I should allot one-seventh of life without "have to"...wouldn't life be wonderful!   "Have to" takes on many forms, even noble and sacred.  Solitude does not include "have to," which can initially seem wasteful, boring or terrifying altogether.  At it's core, solitude opens up the soul.  Solitude has yielded the stillness needed to settle muddied waters in my "have to" plagued life--I see more clearly.  I know, and may you know by taking some space and moments to do absolutely nothing in solitude. 

Tara Galles

Tara is the founder of YOGATHEA® inspiring others to "Breathe the Peace Which Transcends All Understanding - Mind + Body + Spirit” through Christian Yoga + Meditation DVDs, CDsInstructor Training Program, and Women's RetreatsTara currently resides in Kokomo, Indiana with her husband and 4 children where she practices Occupational Therapy and has made peace with the snow.