Try this...stand on one foot. Go ahead – I’ll wait. Now notice what that’s like.
Balance is not a stagnant action. Matter of fact, if you stiffen up and don’t allow yourself the tiny motions it takes to constantly maintain balance, you’ll fall right over. Try it. I’ll wait. Balance in life is the same way. It’s about doing the little things that help you stay up that influence how “on or off” balance you feel. Balance is the degree to which both accomplishment AND enjoyment are present in your life.
Some of us are working two jobs, some are balancing part-time work and raising young kids. Others are starting a business while maintaining their fulltime job. (Insert your specific life situation here.) So, unfortunately, we are not only just lifting up one foot and trying to maintain balance, but for a lot of us it’s like we’re trying to do an arabesque pirouette en pointe and maintain balance. As a former ballet dancer, I know that takes muscle. So, here are some ways to build the muscle it takes to accomplish this kind of beautiful yet challenging movement on balance.
Working your “Inspired action” muscle
First, your “To Do list” should never dominate your life. How you FEEL about your to do list should dominate your list and direct what’s on it. If you look at your “To Do list” and feel nothing but overwhelm, put it down and breathe. It’s time to take a look at what you really want!
Create a life of wheel. Make a pie chart divided into 8 segments and label each segment with a category of your life. Some typical examples are career, family, friends, recreation/hobbies, physical environment, finances and spirituality. Create categories that reflect your own life. Then, on a scale of 1 to 10, think about how satisfied you are in each segment of your life. Then consider which segments matter most to you. Choose 2-3 to focus on for now. What are those scores? What do you want in those areas of your life? Take time to envision a future that excites you! When you feel that spark, INSPIRED action will come. Those actions are the items to put on your to do list.
Working your “Think BIG” muscle
Next, your work needs to be about more than survival. Even if it is a matter of paying your bills each month right now, if you stay focused on accomplishing that only, you’ll thwart your progress towards more joyful results. Reach for and find the goals that make you excited! Imagine beyond what you need to what you WANT! Then, each day as you drive to work, imagine and more importantly, FEEL what it would be like to have that bright future. Imagine what it feels like to easily pay for tickets for a cruise. Imagine what it feels like to wear the new clothes or drive the new car you’ve desired. Imagine and feel what it’s like to do what you love, be paid well and easily afford what you want for you and your family. This is where you need to place your thoughts as you drive to work. Five to10 minutes of concentrated focus on feeling your brightest imaginable future will bring about surprising changes. What you think about, you bring about! Try it!
Working your “Partnership” muscle
It’s easy to get so focused on accomplishing the next item on our “To do” list that we start to see other people as in the way and circumstances as obstacles. We’re tense and closed off to possibilities that offer a more efficient or an easier way to accomplish what we want. An arabesque pirouette is often done with a partner. Matter of fact, any lengthy balancing en pointe is usually done with a partner because it takes outside forces to help you make those tiny movements required to maintain your balance en pointe. This is true in life too. You aren’t alone in accomplishing anything. Think back on your road to where you are now. Take a moment to acknowledge the people and serendipitous circumstances that came into your life to get you here. People and timely circumstances will continue to support you from here to where you want to go. You merely have to be willing to NOT do it all yourself. In the book, Ask and It is Given, Abraham-Hicks suggests you make two “to do” lists. Make one for yourself listing the items you truly intend to accomplish today and one for the Universe to take care of. Then enjoy watching to see who and what circumstances come to support you. When you let go of worrying, you make room for enjoyment of your accomplishments adding to your feeling of being on balance.
Working your “Gratitude” muscle
Being grateful IS the key to feeling joy and happiness. Try this now...make a list of 10 things you are grateful for from your experience today. Notice how this raises your level of enjoyment. This is where you need to put your thoughts as you drive home from work each day. For five to 10 minutes make a mental list of all the people and things you appreciated today. Acknowledge the people and circumstances that partnered with you to accomplish your goals, acknowledge the beautiful world we get to experience all of this in. Your list might include things like: seeing a beautiful sunrise, someone let you go ahead in line at the grocery store because you have less items to check out, it didn’t rain like you thought it would when you had to walk to your car, your wife told you funny story about her day, your child made you laugh, someone plugged your parking meter. Pretty soon, after practicing this regularly as you drive home, you will start to notice that you’ll acknowledge what you are grateful for as it happens and gratitude will become a way of living. When this happens, you’ve greatly increased your enjoyment on a daily basis and staying on balance gets easier!
Working the “Abundance” muscle
When we’re trying to accomplish a great deal, time and money often feel scarce. This, of course, can move us towards overwhelm and away from joy. We feel the effects of teetering off balance. So, while this may feel counter-intuitive, give! Each day, give away something. I’m not saying make a list and give “x” on Monday and “y” on Tuesday, etc. But, just like you are learning to see how people and circumstance show up to help you, be willing to be the person that shows up and helps another. This is about tuning into and acting on inspiration. It’s about being in the moment and noticing what’s needed and noticing YOUR desire to offer the answer. It may be a smile, advice, or simply your company. It may be money, a book, or service. Respond to your desire to give and notice how closely you stay connected to knowing this world is abundantly set up to support each of us to receive what we desire.
An arabesque pirouette is really very fun! You kind of want to go, “Wheeeeeee” as you spin around and glide into the next dance move. That’s the joy of building the muscles it takes to balance like that. Practice the above daily and soon you’ll gracefully be accomplishing all your desires beautifully balanced and poised for more!
Copyright © 2010 by Keri Coffman-Thiede. All rights reserved.