It seems that almost everyone, including myself, struggles with maintaining or even creating balance. Achieving life balance is one of the biggest challenges for almost all of my clients (okay…all), for many of my friends, and I’m guessing (I’m willing to bet) even you.
This seems like such an easy topic; yet how come maintaining balance eludes us? I believe we are intended to “lose our balance” as life evolves and circumstances change, which results in our need to adapt and find new balance based on life in this moment.
There might be times when I have to place more attention on my career so that I can afford my home, pay my bills and support my family. As a result, something will get less attention, such as family, friends, health, unless I am so evolved that nothing rattles my cage (I’m not there…yet 😊).
For example, I was recently speaking to a friend about how two years ago he was working really hard to increase his business and make more money. Back then what he wanted was more money, more clients, and financial stability. Today his business is extremely successful, it’s more than he can barely keep up with (obviously all of his hard work paid off) and clients are on a waiting list.
He’s super content, right?
The business part of him is, yet…what he now wants is “more free time.” It’s like the spoke on the wheel that was bent (business) is now fixed, only to find a spoke on the other side bent (free time) and in need of attention. And, this is not only a story about my friend; I believe it’s a story about all of us.
So then, how do I identify when I am out of balance and then, how do I place my attention on the areas that are being ignored without creating imbalance in another area? From a personal perspective, it’s super challenging. Let’s look at some possible steps:
Step 1: Identify areas that you value and that feed your soul.
It starts with the question, “What’s important to me?” Start by identifying the areas in your life that fall in line with your values. What areas do you always want to give attention to? These are not necessarily the same for all of us. If you can think of parts of yourself as little kids that all need adequate attention, it’s a great place to begin. It might look like this:
- Spirituality & Religion
- Mental & Emotional
- Physical & Nutrition
- Career & Finances
Step 2: Identify which areas are lacking attention and which areas you’re spoiling.
Identifying if I am out of balance can seem challenging but, when you connect with your intuitive self, it becomes much clearer. The sure indicator of noticing when I’m out of balance is: I’m discontent…I have a lack of ease…I have dis-ease.
When one of those kids (parts of us that are our values) is not getting the attention he or she desires, temper tantrums or other maladaptive behavior will occur. If I am placing all of my attention on my business and not getting adequate exercise and sleep, I will create dis-ease and health problems. Eventually, my business will suffer due to my health-related problems. It can become a vicious cycle.
Step 3: Fine-tune it…add a small amount of attention to areas that are lacking.
Fine-tuning the wheel might just mean adding in 30 minutes of exercise three times a week, getting to bed 30 minutes earlier than you previously were, getting some quality alone time, adding more social or family time, or adding in some meditation. I recommend starting with small changes that will not completely throw another cog in your wheel out of balance.
Step 4: Feel it, experience it, and live it.
Okay, so now you have made some minor changes, whether that is spending more time with your family, paying more attention to necessary alone time, doing an online course, or adding exercise to your weekly routine. Now what? My advice is to feel it.
Truly. See if some of your discontent is gone…see if you feel more in touch with your emotions…see if you have less anxiety, more energy, less depression, more happiness. Let it soak in and try and connect with you (the only one that truly knows) to see if you’re on the right track.
Step 5: Breathe, smile and start again.
The gift of being discontent is that it gives you a necessary signal to make positive changes in your life. When that signal goes off, know that your life is constantly evolving, be grateful for that and return to Step 2 to fine-tune again.
Lastly friend, if you find yourself seemingly on track, I would recommend staying the course until something icky occurs…which I would label discontent, dis-ease and imbalance. Really? Yes. Not joking…sorry. Achieving and maintaining balance is a life-long challenge for all of us. It’s intended to be as we keep changing and growing. Attention goes where attention is needed…a new baby, a new job or loss of a job, a new relationship, loss of a loved one, or a health challenge.
Areas in your life will need adjusting to compensate for any new scenario, just as sometimes one of your children needs a little extra attention to get through a tough patch…and that’s perfectly perfect.
When you’re at the place where it’s time to do some adjustment, you’ll know it because that discontent itch will start to fester. Be compassionate with yourself. Everyone deals with imbalance and we all have to fine-tune our lives to adapt to changing variables. Life is complex, amazing, challenging, and I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Image retrieved from http://www.balanceartsstudio.com