I can clearly see that the pace of my life have been very fast lately. I felt like I have been running for a long time and I am in desperate need for a breath to grasp. Rushing to finish my PhD studies has been taking most of my time and effort. My house needs my attention, my kids are missing me, and I am missing peace and calm. I guess I am living in the dangerous ‘Burnout Zone’ at the moment. Lots of areas in my life are out of balance (yes, even natural health consultants and coaches get this feeling. We all do): my spiritual connections, my house and family life, my social life, and even my health and physical wellbeing. I don’t remember when was the last time I went to the gym, went cycling, or went for a walk. My easel has been laying there for ages with unfinished canvas work. I guess it is a whole package. If some areas are out of balance, the whole system is thrown out of synch.
But, the good news is, as the Leveys -in their book Living in balance- put it, “the moment you are mindful that you are tumbling, you are already moving back towards balance”. I am now more aware of my problem and this is the first step towards a more balanced life.
My top priorities and my plan for regaining my balance:
1. Mindfulness and Awareness. I need to turn off the auto pilot system and actually live my life. Developing awareness of the present moment will allow me to clearly see my needs and the needs of people around me, especially my children. I need to spend more time in nature. See and feel the beauty and fill my heart and soul with the tremendous energy nature has to offer. Maintaining a state of mindfulness will help me improve focus and concentration, increase inner calmness and authentic presence. It will also enhance the quality of my communication and relationships with my children, my husband, my family, and my friends as it will improve my tolerance for deep listening and understanding. Mindfulness also induces mind clarity and tolerance for stress by adding peace of mind and sense of flow to my life. I am in so much need for greater confidence, faith and inner strength.
2. Balance my Mind. My life pace is very fast at the present moment, I need to slow down and simplify my thoughts. I need to reduce stress and worries, learn to be more flexible, tolerate ambiguity, and surrender to the Divine will. Planning my day and setting priorities straight will help me make better use of my time. I need to write it all down.
I also need to clear my physical environment. The clutters in my physical world (my study, my living room, my garden...) are sure reflecting back on my inner world. Clearing and rearranging my environment will have great impact on my thoughts, moods, and behaviors. I also need to buy some plants and flowers for the house and the garden.
Play. I have been taking life too seriously lately. I need more fun and play in my life. Back to my easel is my best way to relax. With my paints and canvas, I don’t feel the time; it just flows smoothly. It will be a great opportunity to clear my mind, relax, and have fun.
3. My Health. I love cooking, I love experimenting with new recipes and ingredients, but again, I don’t remember when was the last time I did that. We have been eating lots of junk food lately (Shame on me!!! A nutrition specialist!!!). No more I promise (although my kids will hate me for that). I wrote my supermarket list with fresh fruits and vegetables as priority items. I guess I also need some supplements for a fresh start. I will add anti-oxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and psyllium seeds (soluble fibers) to my shopping list. Exercise: last week I played Wii Fit, with my children. It was lots of fun. We exercised together, connected and bonded. I should do it more often. The weather is getting better; I guess I will be back to my daily walks and cycling. I changed the batteries of my long forgotten pedometer and I am committed to exercise 20 minutes, at least 3 times per week (for a start and I hope that I will increase the time and frequency of my work out later on).
4. Spiritual Connection. I am in great need to review and renew my spiritual connections. While on this cross road of my life, it is the perfect time to set my priorities straight, review my mission statement and recommit to my goals. It is time to clarify my vision and re-evaluate my intentions. I have to include more deep relaxation, meditations, and prayers in my daily routine. Breathing exercises will also be of great help to de-clutter the mind and rejuvenate the soul.
Where to start?
I was an avid journal keeper, but I stopped lately out of time. I guess I need to return to my daily pages. I bought a new journal. It is a beautiful Moleskine® notebook with thick water color papers; it is great for visual journaling. In my journal, I listed my priorities and renewed my commitment for a real change towards more balance in my life. I am taking it one step at a time, but with steady steps, I feel that I am already back on track.
Now, it’s your turn...
Where do you stand? Are you leading a balanced life?
Press your Pause Button, stop, and reflect… Get a new journal; review your mission, vision, and goal in life; renew your intention. Write it all down. Check your 4 human sides: Body, Mind, Heart, and Soul. Set your priorities straight, and write a plan. You can seek help from a close friend, on form a support group to motivate you on your journey. Take the first step now. All great journeys start with one first step…