Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your balance? That you can’t remember the last time you had any equilibrium?
While people often talk about work life balance, it’s notoriously difficult to find and instead needs to be cultivated with hopes for progress not perfection (it doesn’t exist).
What about different aspects of your personality? Is your life all about left brain aspects (analytical and logical) leaving no room for your right brain (creativity and play) to flourish? (Or visa versa).
How about your head and heart? Are both in balance or does one always have the last word? Even left and right – you’ll notice this in yoga and similar whether one side is stronger, more flexible or not.
How about experimenting with the less dominant side? Making some decisions based on your heart rather than head or writing with your other hand?
What about different areas of your life? Think about your work, relationships, home, health, fitness, spirit, fun, family, finance and others that are important. Are some neglected while others take all your energy? How can you bring more balance to them all?
Physically, standing on your tip toes or lifting one foot of the ground (or doing yogic balances like Tree) will give you a good indication of how balanced you’re feeling in a particular moment.
Just as using a ‘dristi point’ (a special focus for your eyes in each pose) can help you keep your balance even during challenging asanas, keeping focus in different areas of your life (thinking about the benefits of working late or working out etc) will help you power through those challenging times.
What helps you? How can you maximise the balance enhancers in your life? Meditation works for me. Since hearing Jon Kabat Zinn in March, my sporadic efforts (loved it when I did it, a few times a week, but couldn’t imagine a regular practice) has become an every morning thing.
His casual approach (‘This works for me’ rather than some of the more didactic, ‘You must do this or your life will suck! Forever!’ I’d heard) was what helped me commit.
Sometimes I only need 5 minutes to feel the benefits. Most mornings I do at least 10 minutes (usually a mixture of mindfulness, pranayama, asking for guidance and Metta), sometimes 20. But it definitely helps me feel more balanced throughout the day.
When I feel the benefits quickly, the extra time feels wonderful. Other times (when I’m off balance!), I find it harder to focus and much more of it feels like a chore. But even noticing this helps me think of other self-care things to put in place to make the potentially choppy day feel smoother.
Swimming also really helps me. As does yoga, cycling, walking etc, seeing favourite people, doing fulfilling work (am very lucky!), getting enough sleep, eating well (in my world, this includes some chocolate and crisps each day, just not too much)…
What are your balance boosters? Regular time off? Have you booked enough in to help keep your balance over the coming months? Think of all the things that contribute to your sense of balance and wellbeing. Schedule as many of them as possible into your every day and week and overall, your life could transform.
While you can’t anticipate every potential obstacle to balance (and attempting to do so would probably leave you feeling less balanced anyway), you know from your own experience which kind of situations impact your balance most.
Is it contact with particular people? Certain types of events? When have you felt most off balance in the past? What did these times have in common?
Know that NOone feels balanced all the time. Life can be messy. But by figuring out the things that help you keep your equilibrium, even in times of great upheaval, you’re more likely to stumble than fully fall.
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