Some days you eat salad and go to the gym.
Some days you eat cupcakes and refuse to put on pants. It’s called balance.
Growing up, every time we would go to a restaurant, I would watch waitresses carry full trays of beverages without spilling a single drop. I honestly thought it was a magic trick.
Ironically, this a great metaphor for life. Balance can sometimes feel like you are trying to carry a tray full of expensive wine glasses while you walk across the room in heels. Am I right, ladies? (Guys, trust the ladies on this one—it’s hard.)
How do we know when we are out of balance? It is different for everyone. I notice that I am out of balance when I start to feel drained and emotionally heavy. It is almost like someone is constantly pressing down on my shoulders. The body is an amazing compass we can use to guide our path back to balance. It will tell us when the needle has gone off course.
Balance looks different for everyone, so it’s hard to write a rule book on how to achieve it. However, there are a few things that I find help me navigate the route back to balance.
Think back to a time when you were truly happy—and I’m not talking about vacation-margarita-toes-in-the sand–happy. While that is great too, let’s keep it to a typical day in the life. Where were you last time you felt truly happy and content? What were you doing? What did it feel like in the body? By taking time to visualize this moment, we can unlock the feeling of balance and explore how it feels in the body.
When thinking back on past experiences, stick to the facts and drop the added detail around what happened. A lot of the time we are adding narrative or colour to experiences or interactions. The mind loves to fill in gaps and complete stories for us—even if the filler info isn’t necessarily factual. So here is a question: What is one belief you might have rolling around in your mind? Where have you added meaning to the story? Where have you filled in gaps with filler material (that’s not necessarily factual)? This belief might be a bit heavy. Get curious about it. If we can identify our stories and sift through our added narratives, we can start to alter our perception and incorrect beliefs. Spending less time in rumination can support achieving balance.
Your home is your sanctuary. What does peace, love and self-care look like for you? Are you able to take 20 minutes a day—or even five minutes a day—to stop and appreciate yourself? Maybe that looks like a bubble bath, savouring a piece of chocolate, sipping on a glass of your favourite wine or waking up to your new favourite song. When we slow down, we take the time to acknowledge where we are and appreciate this moment and ourselves. This mindful practice can support the way in which we view the world, adjusting our perception.
We give our power away when we entertain this imbalance. Our energy is cultivated by what we focus on. Get curious about what life currently looks like for you, while realizing that we are humans and life shifts, bends and transforms through time. What balance looks like today might be different than what it looks like in a month or two years from now. The practice of curiosity complements this search for balance. Stay light, request what you need and be kind to yourself.
What does balance look like for you?
Author: Chrissy Abram
Image: Courtesy of Author
Editor: Travis May