#1 Worst mistake you can make when trying to create balance
When do you feel most balanced? Quickly think of a time... For me it's early in the morning when the sun has barely come up. I'm sipping the first sips of my coffee. I have my journal on one side of me, and my current book on the other. Norah Jones is usually playing. Basically I'm doing nothing that involves anyone but myself. Is this balance? I don't know. But it certainly centers me.
The problem is this - can balance only be achieved in total separation from the world? Because this isn't very possible. We have to interact with our world, it's just how it is! But I know I'm not alone in this - having space to breath and gather your thoughts is how you get back on track. If you're getting lost in the hustle than you're not living a balanced life. Rather you're managing organized chaos.
Schedules, places to be, people to see, work to complete, and other people's schedules. Majority of my private clients share with me that they're overwhelm is caused by too many people needing too many things from them and suddenly...they aren't living their life, they're managing someone else's life.
What if you could experience balance all day no matter what was going on? First let me address the #1 worst mistake you can make when trying to create balance - blaming other people for your lack of balance.
You are more than likely at free will. You choose to take on the responsibilities you do. It doesn't always feel this way - it feels like it's up to you and you only to take care of your spouse, family member, parent, or children. Now don't get me wrong, with relationships of any kind does come responsibility. I am not suggesting your forego your loyalties to taking care of your loved ones. I am suggesting, however, that you put yourself first.
People take the space you give them. When you leave yourself wide open for the taking this is exactly what happens - your space is taken up by others.
Know what your needs are
Do you know what your needs are? You do, you just might not be aware of it. I know a need is being violated when a situation or event makes me cranky. It could be not having quality time with my partner after a long work week. It could be not having space to myself to read or write before my day gets started. By knowing your needs you're one step closer to getting them met...by you.
Bookend your day with your needs
Find a routine that puts your needs first. Take a bubble bath before the sun comes up. Journal before turning the light off at night. Spend your first minutes awake breathing or saying your gratitudes. Early morning and before bed might be the only time you get to yourself. What are you doing with this time? I hear a lot that this is the time you're most exhausted. But I challenge this. Meeting your needs is always renewing and recharging. It wakes you up. Meeting other people's needs is exhausting.
Feed your soul
Needs aside, what feeds your soul? What things totally nourish your emotions, state of mind, outlook, and joy? I've heard everything from reading magazines while enjoying a foot soak, roaming a bookstore for hours (this is one of my mine actually), to meditation, painting, doing pottery, running, or baking bread.
These are usually activities that either engage your creativity or give you a total break. Creativity fuels the mind and gives your emotional body a healthy outlet. They are things that just feel great to you. This is key. What ever feeds your soul may not feed another's. Don't compare! Embrace your soul food and make space for it. The things that nourish your soul will not find their way in without you making space for them.
Balance isn't an art. It's not even about creative time management. It's about knowing in your bones that you're worth putting first. That despite the 100 things on your daily list you must be #1. What are your favorite ways to nourish your soul? Leave me a comment below! In love and light, Andrea