The Impossible Dream?
I've seen people write about and heard others talk about how creating balance is impossible. It's a myth, they claim. A fruitless ambition like searching for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
I disagree. How you create balance is a very personal. The definition of balance itself, as a value in your life is as unique as you are. We CREATE our own definition and experience of what exactly balance means to us.
Is it a 50/50 division of work and play? I don't think so - but again it is a personal perspective. Since you can create your definition you can create your experience and you CAN CREATE BALANCE.
Are you following me here? So basically what you need to do is define your priorities, your values and then play with the proportions. You are the creator of your life. Being aware of your intentions and what you want your life to look like is of utmost importance in actually creating this elusive balance that some seem to think is as mythical as a hobbit.
There are a few foundational steps and principles to consider. And we all need to completely understand and acknowledge that 'life happens'. I totally get that. But when you are creating your ideal version of your life, you can factor in those unexpected things just for the sake of knowing shit will come up.
This does not need to be a mathmatical sequence or some complicated strategy. Think of your ideal day and write it down. Start with just the morning if you want to take a baby step. Then do what you can to make it happen. Often we think we are simply not in control of our lives. Granted some things are just our responsibilities. Like during the school year, as a single parent I take my son to school, pick him up, bring him to baseball practice, etc. My daughter is off to college this year so that part of my life has shifted a bit. Those things that are not reasonable to change I don't worry about. Things that fall into this category go on my priority list, the must-do's.
The main thing is to be aware of where your time is spent. When too much time and energy go toward one thing other areas of your life suffer. We all know this but we often ignore it until something blows up in our faces. Setting an intention to be aware of this will help you create balance in your life. Nobody wants relationships to suffer, overwhelm to take hold, and the effects of inevitable stress to settle in.
Often others will tell you that shit is out of whack before you will acknowledge it yourself. Do your best to not get defensive about this should it happen. Take a deep breath and seriously consider what you are being told. Take an honest look at how you are spending your time and see how you can change it. You have control! Take the driver's seat in your life and navigate it the way you want.
I've told clients this before, if you don't schedule in 'me-time' and make sure you are doing something that nurtures you and resets your energy, you will be forced to. And my friends, that is not the way to go.
You get signs all the time that you need a break, that you need to create some balance. You may feel fatigued, out of it, lacking enthusiasm, irritable, tension in your body or like nothing is working out. These are signs. Pay attention to them. I post a daily affirmation card from one of my decks on Instagram and Facebook as a sign to take a moment for an energy reset. I encourage people to take just a few moments out of their day to do the exercise I lay out and whenever they see it is the perfect time.
If you are a person who is go, go, go I suggest actually planning time on your calendar to do something for you. Do one of my energy resets, take a walk, just go outside and breathe for awhile, do yoga, read, take a hot bath or shower. Whatever it is that takes you aways and resets your energy is something you must do daily - at least once.
Then plan a day or two to unplug. Boy oh boy is this awesome! Especially when you PLAN it so your brain knows your intention and doesn't try to get you back to work. I know for me that if a spur of the moment outing is suggested I tend to resist it because I already had a plan in mind for the day (usually around businessy stuff). So planning it helps me to mentally prepare to unplug and enjoy the day.
The point of this is, if you don't pay attention to your energy and create balance in your life you will be forced to at some point. The little signs are there for you to start becoming aware of. If you ignore them the Universe will step in and make you slow down. I've heard so many stories about this and I'm sure you have as well. This is not usually the road you want to go down. Take control of your life, create balance in a way that feels good to you. You are the boss - remember that.