Balanced: Cheyla Rowe

Counter the Impact of Life’s Many Demands With Intentional, Restorative Practices

A life of balance looks different for everyone. For some, completing a hard workout and eating a nourishing meal may be soothing and restorative.

For others, updating a personal budget and meeting up with friends for a night of enriching conversation might be just what the doctor ordered. In this series, we celebrate the many ways through which we can come to centeredness by spotlighting women who are intentional about cultivating joy and balance through their own unique practices.


Struggles in life can be frustrating and stressful when we think of them as being barriers to joy and peace. When struggles bring me down, I like to make a practice of being curious, as if they were puzzles to solve. When fear creeps in, I ask it a playful question like, “Who invited you?” That internal role-play helps
me find the courage to keep trying new perspectives. 

Live in Both the Shadows and the Highlights

Art gives us moving examples of what is experienced on an emotional level. For example, light and shadow, as metaphors for joy and pain, can draw my thoughts into understanding life that rests in both dark and light spaces. Instead of rejecting the darkness, I look closer – like the insects hiding in the shadow of a leaf in a Rachel Ruysch painting or the gestures in “Hands” by Glenn Ligon. I often delight in what is not in the spotlight.

Be a Maker of Things

The act of making something exercises a capacity for change. Change can sometimes be stressful, leaving people feeling stuck, waiting anxiously for what might come next. But when I make things, like a new recipe, a mosaic, or choreography to a favorite song, it exercises the resilient parts of my brain. I notice the small steps that lead to the final product. It helps me to respect the process.  

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