balance

Some thoughts on how to bring balance into your life

One Example of Finding Balance

In your own life, bringing balance can translate to a variety of things. For instance, if you haven’t been working out, your longterm goal might be to get into shape; but perhaps it would be more useful to say to yourself that you are going to try to find a way to live that allows you to maintain your physical well-being. Short term, you might think about starting slowly, in manageable ways that you can work into your life and gradually, as you get stronger, expand. Instead of saying that you’re going to the gym everyday this week (which might be unrealistic and also leave you so sore and overworked that you won’t go back for months; and if you don’t go, you’ll beat up on yourself and that will be the end of any potential sense of balance), think about what you can realistically expect of yourself and attempt to figure out how you can actually get yourself to follow through.

For instance, it might be more realistic to start with a 30 minute walk two times this week. Or even, if it’s not too far away, simply walk to the gym and back. Yes, really! Once you see how you’re feeling, then you can set up another goal – but it needs to be one that you can accomplish and fit into your schedule and your lifestyle. The same is true for any other goal, whether it’s to lose weight, change careers, find a life partner, start a long-delayed project…really, anything you want to do.

Balance Includes Failures, Too.

Remember that both accomplishments and failures are part of balance. Most of us have plenty of both already in our lives, but we may not always pay equal attention to both. If you are someone who focuses on your failures, try to notice small moments of success. See what that feels like. See if you can figure out what you’re afraid of, why you have to focus on the negative instead of the positive. But don’t beat up on yourself if you can’t stay there. It’s normal to fall out of that awareness back into more familiar thoughts. Just go back to the positive when you can. That’s balance.

The same is of course true if you always focus on your successes. It’s great to be proud of yourself!! But maybe try for a moment or two to pay attention to any failures you may have had in the last couple of days. You don’t need to stay there long. Just recognizing that they’re there will help you be more balanced!

Whether you’re heading back to work or school, sending your kids off to a new adventure, changing jobs, getting married or divorced, moving to a new city, or just living life as usual, remember that you are always in transition. The trick to living a balanced life is, (to quote from Mindy Bacharach), to always keep in mind that “Balance is the process of holding something(s) steady during change.

 

Built on Balance

Built on Balance

Back in the ’90s when I was training for a bodybuilding competition, I came across a book written by an all-natural female competitor who was a title-holder in the US and Canada. The name of the book was “Built on Balance” and in it the writer talked about balance in workouts, food, and mental attitude. That was well over 25 years ago now – but the advice is more true today than ever.

While checking the trends in health and wellness for 2019, the overwhelming flow is toward achieving more balance in our lives – especially in our food and exercise.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems the frenetic race toward certain diets is dying down and people are beginning to get a grip on the truth that moderation is really key. In my work I deal with people who have struggled endlessly with food issues. They’ve tried every diet in the book and own every book on dieting; they have a gym membership and work out three or four times a week militantly, yet they’re stuck. What’s the problem?

In my opinion, most of it boils down to a lack of balance.

Transitioning From One Season to Another

As I mentioned earlier, we’re fast approaching that season of change again as summer gives way to fall. It’s interesting that during seasonal changes, particularly spring to summer and summer to fall (that would be June and September) we tend to be particularly susceptible to feeling off balance. It seems there’s always more to do than there are hours in the day during these transitional times.

And, it’s not just moms getting kids back into the rhythm of school. More and more we’re hearing of not only women but men as well who are trying to balance career and family – it’s really refreshing to hear men talk about this issue. However; women seem to have a more challenging time of it, especially if they’re juggling kids, career, marriage and life in general. Where does one find the time for exercise, preparing balanced meals, leisure, friends, and visiting family? Nevermind a holiday!

Trying Google

If you check out Google for ways to balance life, you’ll find more than 332 million entries. Obviously, a lot of people are looking for balance in their lives. So, what caused the imbalance and how do you go from imbalance to balance?

There are a lot of answers to that question, including cultural and environmental ones that lead to fears about the world we live in and anxieties about taking care of ourselves and our loved ones in the here and now and in the future. There are also plenty of personal answers, having to do with self-esteem, expections, and complex wishes to please someone else, prove ourselves to them (or to ourselves), and sometimes to surpass someone else.

But, Here’s the Thing …

When you read the articles Google presents you with, you’ll find they miss a vital point. And, here’s the thing – finding balance is a lifetime project. It is ongoing. It is not a finite goal at the end of which you will have a peaceful, calm and meaningful life. Balance is a way of living. It is a process.

We are about to experience the Fall Equinox, that time where there’s equal light and dark, the balance between day and night. It’s marked on the calendar as one or two days, ie September 21/22, but in fact, the equinox is a very quick moment in time when everything is in balance then, in just a few short seconds, it’s passed and the balance has tipped.

So, rather than trying to find that place where you’re in a constant state of perceived balance, maybe a better tact would be figuring out how to navigate the transition times, kind of like “going with the flow”.

That’s what I specialize in and I’m here when you’re ready to talk.