Whew- the past few days have been a crazy whirlwind of relaxation and activity. I’ll be sharing more tomorrow, but wanted to give a quick update since I haven’t updated in four days- eeek! I went on a Wise Woman Emergence retreat this weekend with a group of amazing women led by Chonteau of Soul Care University where I’m also taking an herbal correspondence course. I chose to have very limited phone and internet usage so I could really focus on being present in the moment. I returned home Sunday afternoon for Easter festivities with my husband and Goose. To say I was tired today is an understatement! I spent the morning resting, unpacking, and allowing the magic of the weekend to soak in. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been creating fun stuff each day! Here’s a few teaser photos with more details to come tomorrow about how I created while away from home and then back home again. I hope you all had a lovely Easter and are feeling the rebirth that spring offers us in your own lives.
Ahhhh…BALANCE…that elusive state of existence that so many of us seem to be chasing. Walk through the magazine aisle at any store and it’s easy to see that there is an obsession, need, desire to obtain balance in our lives. And yet it often feels like it is just out of our reach.
What I’m finding in my own life is that balance is much less a single destination to be reached, but rather an ongoing journey to travel in and out of as the winds of life blow. What is balance one day is completely out of whack the next. And vice versa.
Most days I struggle to feel that calm, peaceful feeling of being balanced, but the days that I do are pure bliss. While I’m far from begin an expert in this area, I have plenty of learning to go, the following are some things that I’ve found helpful to focus on when I’m feeling the need for balance quickly.
- Priorities– Taking the time to write down what my current priorities are…then write them again bringing them to less than 5 items. I’ve found that EVERYTHING is a priority until I start to really look at what’s most important. Writing it down is key for me.
- Lists– I’m a list girl. I like to see something physically written down in front of me. This really helps me to organize my thoughts, my needs, and what I really need to do. And what I don’t. Goes back to priorities. Some days making my bed just isn’t as important as making donuts for breakfast because my little girls are begging…and telling me I’m the best mom ever. That always helps to get donuts 😉 Back to a list. Having one allows my brain to be dumped out of my head clearing the space for calmness to enter.
- Kick perfection to the curb– That’s right, kicking it to the curb! Perfectionism sucks. It’s great to have high standards, but the problem with perfectionism is that no matter what we do it’s not enough. It creates severe stress and chaos in life trying to reach it. Letting it go creates lots of room for balance to occur.
- Sleep– Okay, full disclosure, I’m horrible about going to bed and getting enough sleep! Lack of sleep creates all kinds of issues, especially when trying to achieve some semblance of balance. It seems counterintuitive in our go until you drop society where resting is seen as lazy, yet without adequate sleep it’s hard to feel calm. Life seems overwhelming no matter what’s happening! This is my personal quest this year, to get more sleep on a consistent basis.
- Just say NO– This one habit, and I believe it is a habit, will do more to bring balance into our lives then any other. Just my opinion, but I think it’s also very true! Goes back to priorities. Once priorities have been established it becomes much easier to say no to things that really just are not that important. They feel important, but really probably aren’t. This is a tough one, after all the kid’s school NEEDS us to run the bake sale or any other number of things that just will not get done without us…or perhaps they will. My personal experience is there are plenty of other people that will step up and say “yes” to these opportunities. I don’t have to. Unless I really, really, really want to….and normally I don’t really want to, I’m just feeling like I “should.”
- Check in Daily– Or even moment to moment. I’m finding more and more that being balanced is a constant changing state of being in my life. When I consciously ask myself what I need in a specific day or situation, I’m more likely to maintaing a feeling of balance. Saying no becomes easier, my lists become shorter as many things can be left for a different day. Overall, this one, simple task can be the difference between balance or absolute chaos in any given moment. Many of us do this unconsciously for special days like weddings, parties, events at school, etc. But doing it daily, or multiple times a day, can be life changing! (Note to self to do this more often!)
Like many other people I know, I’m striving to find that balance in my life. I want to be able to be the best person I can be for myself, my husband, my children, my friends, and my community. What I’m learning is that I can do it “all” just not all at once! More importantly, I don’t want to do it all at one time!
I would love to hear how you find balance in your life. What works for you? What doesn’t?
Photo credit: Nathalie Babineau-Griffiths
This past weekend found me sleeping for hours on end, too weak and exhausted to do much else. My to do list was huge, my desire to accomplish was strong, but my need to rest my body and soul was much stronger. And so I gave in and let myself be sick. Today I’m still resting, but am able to do a little more. During this time I’ve thought a lot about what it means to be sick. And by sick I mean a cold/flu type thing. I can’t speak of long term illness, for which I can’t even begin to comprehend how life altering that would be.
These are a few of my thoughts on the blessings that come to us when we are sick. When our body shuts down and forces us to take a much needed break.
There’s nothing like a cold or flu to bring you to a complete stop in life. Rest is magical. It heals. It nourishes. It revitalizes our view on our life and the world around us. Rest rocks! And yet so many of us, as I know I’m not alone, push ourselves to the limits while ignoring all signs that we need to take a break. In steps a cold to force us to our beds for some much needed rest and nourishment. Don’t fight it. Sleep. Relax. Let your self heal. Watch marathons of your favorite shows. Read a long neglected book or magazine. Allow yourself to just be in the moment.
Life is busy. And fast. And sometimes spins out of control into the ethers of the Universe! There’s nothing like an illness to ground us back down to earth. Floating in space can be a wondrous place to be full of ideas, possibilities, and dreams. Sometimes coming back to the solid footing on earth can be equally magically in making our discovered wonders into reality. Balance is vital. If we don’t find it on our own, illness will often come as a hidden blessing to remind us of all that wonders right here on earth too.
Nothing quite like laying flat on your back for a couple of days in bed to really start looking at what’s the most important in your life! Feeding kiddos is pretty dang high on the priority list. Getting them dressed, hair brushed- not so much when every movement counts. Clean house vs toys everywhere from little ones entertain themselves. Let the toys reign supreme during this time. So much that is thought to be a priority in our daily lives, when push comes to shove, can be set aside. What really matters is food, shelter, safety, and a large supply of kleenex!
Being too sick to do much else, dreaming can be a great way to spend the time. And by dreaming I mean seeing what we want for our future. Visualizing ourselves living our dream lives. Seeing ourselves reaching little and big goals. Letting daydreams take over and living through them in that moment can be freeing and liberating. Possibly leading to new adventures when we’re feeling better! Never underestimate the power of your dreams- day or night- they are powerful!
I don’t know about you, but this is the TOUGHEST one for me! Letting go of control of the situation. Knowing I can’t fight the process. That it has to run it’s course. Fighting only makes it harder to get to well. The other part of this is allowing others to care for me. I have no problem caring for my loved ones when they are sick, it brings my heart great joy to comfort them. But when the shoes on the other foot- I suck as a patient! I’m frustrated that I can’t do it all myself! But I’m learning. It’s okay to lean on my husband and friends for love and support when I can’t do everything myself. They too might enjoy being able to help me once in awhile. In surrendering is where the quickest healing emerges from. And I believe this to be true in other areas of life as well, but I’m still working on learning those lessons 😉
Do you find any blessings when you are too sick to go about your daily routine?