Balance. Woke. Enlightenment. Becoming One.
These are all part of a current (last few decades or more but within the last century) movement of people working towards becoming what they feel is a better person. You can do all the yoga, meditation retreats, and vegan/paleo/raw eating that your pocketbook can handle but you still feel empty and unsatisfied. Not happy. Let me tell you something – not a single person is 100% jumping for joy cheerful 100% of the time. That is not representative of truth or happiness. In fact, people who appear to be happy all the time experience other emotions such as anger, resentment, sadness, etc. They just process these feelings in a different way or they find meaning in situations different than others. They are not immune to the stress of everyday life – they have just found some secret to balancing it all. Or they are well on their way to leading that perfect life of balance.
Remember those little ways I told you to be able to find a moment to meditate? I’ll bet those happy people have already implemented such a secret into their routines long ago. Finding balance for your life can be as simple as implementing small changes such as that over a period of time. And we’re not just talking about a balanced diet here, either.
I think one of the misconceptions people hold when they think of finding balance in their life is that they believe there needs to be an equal amount of time spent in each area of work, home, and social commitments. This is not only untrue but virtually impossible for the average person to accomplish. It also still won’t find you the balance you seek if you merely focus on the external things in life and not the internal things as well. Yup, you find that balance within and it will spread to affect those areas outside your mind and body. It also isn’t a one and done sort of fix. finding and keeping balance is a life-long journey. It is constantly changing because life is constantly changing especially when it has fun throwing obstacles in your path when you least expect it.
How you weather through the storms of change through the hurricanes and the calm seas is the foundation of that inner balance we all seek. Work, spouse, children, siblings, parents, friends, bills, studies, and everything else that touches our lives are constantly vying for attention. You need to find for yourself a way to be able to find a moment or two for yourself. Every day if possible. Find that moment and just breathe. Calm, ground, breathe.
Now for all that external stuff? How do you find balance in that? That is more difficult because it is different for every single person. No two people have the exact same pressures on them at any point in their life. There may be similarities but they are not the same. These outside pressures are also always in a mode of change. A young parent of a young child is going to have different priorities than an older parent of a young child or an adult with no children at all (regardless of that adult’s age).There are numerous lifestyles and situations I can think of, numerous I have been in and numerous more I’m sure you can come up with including examples from your own life. However, there is one thing every person’s life has in common to be able to find balance. The important thing, and sometimes a difficult thing, is to prioritize the wants, needs, and desires. The dream journal discussed last week can help as a guide with that.
You can set small daily goals of things to accomplish and build it up to larger and lengthier things you want to accomplish. This doesn’t just mean getting to the bottom of the laundry basket but it can also include adding some time to learn a new skill, specifically set aside some socializing time or quiet time or family time. These times should be more relaxed and fun rather than high-stress. You get enough stress from the deadline at work, the cranky co-worker, the teenager whose grades are slipping, the baby who is colicky, and the dog that just won’t listen when you’re trying to house-train it regardless of how many obedience classes you attend and how many episodes of the Dog Whisperer you watch. WOW! No wonder you feel unbalanced! With all that going on you need to find that moment to breathe. Calm. Breathe. I promise you, it’s there.
Something that you may not realize or even consider but it bears telling – you can’t do it all all of the time. I know you want to believe you’re some superhero but there are others around you. Others who can and are willing to help especially at those times you are feeling overwhelmed. Reach out. Ask for help. That help will give you a moment to breathe. That breath will help you to feel more in balance. That balance will put you in a position to help another. You can do this but you don’t necessarily have to do it alone. Even if you feel alone I promise you that you are not.
Did you learn to ride a bike without training wheels? If so, good for you but many people who have learned to ride a bike learn to do so with those training wheels firmly in place. What do those training wheels do? They help you to learn balance. Keep those training wheels in place while you ride out the storms and maybe they will one day wear out and fall off. Maybe not, but you might realize that you’re not relying on them as much as before.