"Balance in the body is the foundation for balance in life."- B.K.S. Iyengar
Who among us isn’t trying to balance a million things at once? Honestly, it feels like balancing life is like trying to keep the earth in orbit sometimes! And now that things are starting to “normalize” after more than a year spent in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of us are downright scared to go back to life as we knew it!
Think of all of the things we try to balance in a day. I’m not just talking about the “work/life balance.” We try to balance our sleep making sure to get enough, but not too much! We try to balance time spent with our kids, significant others, not to mention other family and friends, and the very important “me-time.” We try to balance our diet- fat, carbs, protein, fruits and vegetables, sugar, water intake. We try to balance our budget, including our checkbook, how much money we save for retirement, college, travel, and leisure. We try to balance exercise- aerobic, weight-bearing exercise, strength training, and flexibility. With all of this balancing, something is bound to wobble, maybe even get completely out of whack! BUT, it’s in the wobble and sometimes the fall, that we learn to right ourselves, get back up, and move forward, sometimes in a completely different direction.
When we begin a new group for Self-Centered Women we start by bringing awareness to our level of satisfaction in various areas of our lives by using a tool called The Wheel of Life. As long as we are alive there is going to be some level of satisfaction in certain areas, and dissatisfaction in others. Instead of thinking negatively about our dissatisfaction we can bring awareness to it and use it as an indicator.
Just like the lights on our dashboard, we get signals to tell us that something is in need of attention. Now we know it isn’t wise to ignore the “check engine” light or any other light that indicates there is a problem with our cars! But let’s face it, that’s exactly what we do in life sometimes! All the indicators point to a potential problem down the road, but we keep on keeping on, thinking that everything is “fine!” Then we dig our heels in as soon as the whisper starts to increase in volume. Fear starts to tighten its grip. We start to doubt ourselves.
"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." Albert Einstein
I recently watched the movie Wild, which portrays the life of writer Cheryl Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, while trying to right her life. I read this memoir a few years back and was taken by it, but never got around to watching the movie until recently.
Cheryl’s story is so gripping because of the heartache she experienced as a young child. She was abused by her grandfather and her stepfather was an abusive alcoholic. One night after a drunken rage, Cheryl’s mom took her two children and left. Even though she struggled to raise Cheryl and her brother as a single mom, she went to great lengths to show them that there was joy in the little things and always hope. After Cheryl’s mom died of cancer Cheryl became consumed by grief and took to numbing her pain with alcohol at first, and then dove deeper into drugs ultimately getting hooked on heroin. Cheryl’s own marriage fell apart as she became desperate to escape her grief by any means possible, including sleeping with complete strangers.
I share this story because this is an extreme example of a life completely out of balance. I have my own stories of imbalance, as I’m sure you do. Our very existence on this planet is something that is constantly seeking balance. Balancing life on this earth is something that shifts and wobbles every day with the weight of the beliefs, emotions and actions of 7.8 billion people!
Where do you notice the wobble in your life? Some areas are easier to balance than others. For example, nutrition is a passion of mine and one that I am fairly consistent with, however exercise is an area that I struggle to balance. And I notice that when I pay little attention to getting enough exercise other areas of my life suffer. Studies show that The Four Seeds of Self-Care help to bring balance to every corner of our lives, so neglecting one practice definitely causes a noticeable wobble. I like what Tony J. D’Angelo says, “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.” And it’s true. When I stop and get quiet I can usually point my finger at the culprit of my imbalance.
When Rachel and I plan our ReConnect Retreats it is with balance in mind. We incorporate The Four Seeds of Self-Care, while building in time to reconnect to nature, create authentic connections with a community of like-minded women, laugh, have fun, and get creative! The transition from one season to another is the perfect time to remind us that life is always shifting and changing.
Strayed says this, “Don’t surrender all of your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn’t true anymore.” So, what is true for you? Are you experiencing joy and pleasure in your relationships? Your career? Do you feel the abundance of the Universe in your home and your finances? Are you continuing to learn and challenge yourself? Is there a force that is pulling you towards a goal or vision?
In many parts of the world, the pandemic is receding and things are reopening and even getting back to “normalish.” But that doesn’t mean that everything must go back to what it was before. As we reevaluate our lives and the choices we make let us remember that life is continually changing. Take the time to get quiet and tune in, so that you can rebalance and move forward in the direction of compassion, growth, and love!
With Love and Gratitude,
Kinda and Rachel