My word of the year last year was “balance.” I believe balance is one of the ultimate goals in life, and essential to experience inner harmony. To me, balance means you remove the habit of living in extremes, and you learn to appreciate the grey area.
Balance can be a habit of thought. I often find myself thinking thoughts like “I’m not working hard enough.” This type of thought comes from a disproportionate expectation that I need to be perfect in everything I do. I believe perfectionism is the opposite of balance- it is a severe form of black-and-white thinking- “I am either entirely perfect or I am not good enough whatsoever.” Seeking balance allows you to challenge extremist thoughts and honor equal importance in all aspects of life.
Balance requires us to expand our perception of “success” to not just involve monetary achievement, but to also include the health of our relationships, our mental and physical health, our ability to have fun, our ability to rest, and how much inner peace we experience.
Balance can help you make decisions. Maybe you have some free time and you aren’t sure how to use it. Ask yourself if there is anything you could do to create more balance in your day. Have you been spending a lot of time watching tv and relaxing? Implementing balance might mean going on a walk. One helpful thing you could do is write out a schedule for your week- how can your week incorporate balance with all the aspects of your life throughout the week?
Some examples of living in balance:
- Having patience while also taking action.
- Growing and learning while also appreciating where you are in life.
- Seeking happiness and joy while also creating space for difficult emotions you experience.
- Working to the best of your ability while also making time for rest.
- Investing time and energy in your relationships while also allowing yourself some alone time.
- Validating your inner, emotional experience while also challenging unhealthy thought habits.
- Maintaining positive relationships while also creating healthy boundaries.
- Listening to others’ input while also listening to your inner voice.
- Reading for fun and reading to learn.
- Eating healthy, nourishing foods while also enjoying a treat occasionally.
- Being disciplined while also creating space for freedom.
- Honoring your role as a parent, spouse, child, or friend, while also investing time and energy into hobbies you enjoy.
- Challenging yourself while also accepting yourself as you are.
- Talking and listening.
- Respectfully arguing a point while also acknowledging, respecting, and validating another’s opinion.
- Loving others and allowing love in.
- Being productive and being restful.
- Grieving a loss while also allowing yourself to heal and move forward.
- Sharing what you know and allowing yourself to learn.
- Staying open to new experiences and saying yes when you can, but also saying no when you need to.
- Being kind and loving to your kids while also creating appropriate boundaries, structure, and necessary discipline.
I challenge you to evaluate balance in your life. Does your time reflect balance? Do your thoughts reflect balance? Do your relationships reflect balance? What are your biggest barriers to balance?
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