Be Balanced – A Wholistic Approach
What does it feel like when your life is in balance?
Does it energize you, leave you feeling relaxed, or is there some other quality that best describes it for you?
More importantly, how do you know when you’ve achieved that elusive equilibrium that we refer to as balance?
I’ve noticed that balance often looks, and feels, different for each of us. What’s great for me may be overwhelming for another. What’s optimal for you may be boring to someone else. What makes us feel balanced is unique to each of us. Only you know what components are necessary for your well-being.
Some of the needed ingredients could be time outdoors, quality time with loved ones, solitude, or time for spiritual renewal. Others may need time with a support group, exercise, good nutrition, music, creative expression…this list could go on and on. Knowing what makes up your personal access code for balance will enable you to achieve it more often.
Our bodies can provide abundant information about how we’re doing by sending us warning signals when we’re out of balance, as well as calming reassurance when we are in a healthy zone.
Many of us experience negative physical symptoms when we are on overload: backaches, headaches, digestive troubles, and sleeplessness are examples of red flags that warn us when we are not taking good care of ourselves. These indicators of stress are signals to slow down, rest, practice self-care, and restore well-being to our lives.
Our bodies also send signals when we are in a positive state of balance. When I’m experiencing a high sense of well-being I notice that I often smile to myself as I go about my daily activities. I appreciate my surroundings and the people I encounter more. I release the striving that often appears when I’m out of balance and gratefully receive what each day brings.
When we begin to pay more attention to our well-being we notice what it feels like to be in, or out, of balance. We learn our own personal warning signals that can indicate when we are getting off track. This is helpful on a daily and weekly basis, but also on a larger scale as well.
As I look back on the past year, I can see that I have had a series of activities that have thrown my balance off kilter. The love of my life moved in with me one year ago and we became engaged on Christmas Eve. That would have been a big adjustment in and of itself, but layered on top of that were a number of family support roles that I chose to take on.
I overextended myself and my physical, emotional, and mental health was impacted by doing too much. An upswing in my business coincided with these changes and even though almost everything was good, I still found myself stressed to do it all…and be it all. Eventually, something had to give, and my warning signals of exhaustion, sickness, irritability, and depression got my attention.
I started pulling back, taking much needed downtime, and making conscious choices that would refill my own tank. I leaned on the tools and strategies that we practice in the Wholistic Woman Community. I sought to understand how my strengths had drifted to the dark side and weren’t bringing the results I wanted. I looked at my energy levels and saw that I had dropped into a lot of caregiver (level 4) energy and started working my way back to level 5, win-win energy. I used my One Word for this year, Joy, as a lens to examine how some activities brought me deep happiness and others did not. Regularly applying all of these strategies helped to get me back on track and restored my optimal balance.
I believe that life is a learning process and that I know how to better recognize my overdoing it…simply because I have over-done it…yet again! With practice, I remember how to find my way back when I get off track, using the tools that have proven helpful over and over again. As I wrote about in my book, Lost and Found…life can be a series of experiences where I lose my way…and find my way again. I’m encouraged to see that I continue to discover, learn, and evolve through the experiences of each year.
The key to finding my way is asking what I need more of, and what I need less of, in order to achieve the balance that is right for me. I ask myself what I need on a daily (and sometimes hourly) basis to make healthy choices. It’s not a perfect system. Some days I can’t get what I need, but with self-awareness I can make sure that I get it in the next day or two in order to maintain a weekly, monthly, and yearly sense of balance.
In the Wholistic Woman community we focus on developing our body, heart, mind, and spirit in the life-long process of integrating all parts to become whole. At the May Evening Retreat, Be Balanced, I will lead women through a short self-assessment to identify how satisfied they are with their well-being in these four areas of heart, mind, body, spirit.
We will discuss strategies and tools to improve our satisfaction in each area. Women will leave with actionable steps to lead a more balanced life. I invite you to join us for this interactive and lively discussion to find your optimal balance. Click here to learn more and register for the Be Balanced Evening Retreat.
Today’s Author: Carol deLaski, PCC, is an executive coach, founder of Wholistic Woman Retreats, and author of Lost and Found: Discovering Strength in Love and Faith. Learn more about her coaching and training services at www.caroldelaski.com or email her at: email@example.com.