We often talk about life being out of balance or trying to create balance in life. You’lll often hear people talk about mother/wife balance, or work/life balance. How long do those moments of balance last? It’s like a teeter totter in the park, you remember! As a child we recruit a friend to see how long we can remain horizontal on this board, for just a brief moment, a second or two, we feel it… YES! This is the balance, I feel it, calm, flow – SUCCESS!! Seconds later, one of us goes up, and the other comes down, laughing of course. Because on the playground that brief second of bliss was pretty cool, and the bump down was mostly painless! But in reality, at home with the kids, or in a work meeting, or with a spouse – all of a sudden something hits the fan, and wham, out of balance again. OMG! Now what, back on the balance beam of life, hold it still don’t breathe too deep, keep it steady. Do you have it? Almost. Don’t lean too much. Bend that way. I’m tired, how about you?
The intention of the game of balance takes the focus off of what’s important….the kids, exciting work project, creative marketing technique you’re eager to implement, the new yoga class you signed up for, date night! So once again we are taken away from what’s right here, present in this moment – the treasure in our day, and we’re caught up on whether or not we get it right, or is it worth the time and effort. We find ourselves with our calendar, consumed with scheduling, finding the ‘balance’ in each day so that all can come together with synchronicity so that we can say “yes I did it, my life is great, I can have balance in my day.” And we wake up to do it all again.
Let’s pause for a moment, take that deep breathe.
It’s not about the balance…..
Life’s a dance!
You see, sometimes we need to slow dance, or waltz, maybe even square dance! Sometimes we break out in the jig (not really sure what that is, but it sounds cool!). Or there’s time when we just got to shake it loose, feeling it all the way down to our toes. Sometimes the dance involves tears of joy, or tears of sadness. You may even catch yourself singing, or shouting, or laughing so hard you pee your pants! Now doesn’t that sound more like life? All the shades and colors of the rainbow, and don’t forget the silver lining too!
We will truly savor life if we stop attaching ourselves to the outcome. We’ve heard this a million times right: “it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey”. Right, right, oh yes! But there you go again trying to find that balance. We get stuck in this rut of routine, even our brain creates this neural pathway of habit. So don’t even think will power will save the day. Our brain has been well trained and programmed how to function. So now what? I’m so glad you asked!
Let’s Dance!!!! Out loud, big and strong, let’s live it up!
Here are a few of my tips and tricks that keep me rockin when I find myself stuck in the balance game about to rip my hair out and hide under the covers (yes I’ve been there too!).
1. You learn as you go. I remember a fancy tune in my head that gets my toes tapping: “life’s a dance you learn as you go, sometimes you lead sometimes you follow. Don’t worry bout what you don’t know cause life’s a dance, you learn as you go.” Come on, sing along! This fancy tune by John Michael Montgomery seems to have stuck in my head from years past but it always puts a smile on my face and gets me back to what is important. Find a tune, something that puts that smile on your face and in your heart, and just feel the beat.
2. Choose to dance. Remember that everything we do is a choice. Sometimes we think we don’t have the freedom of one path over the other, but we do. Sure, sometimes the options seem scary, but ultimately we are in control of us, it is our life that we were blessed with, let’s do great things with it. Don’t give your power away… you deserve it!!
3. Be kind – to yourself most, but also to others as well. We’re all in this together. We make mistakes, so do others. Remove judgement from your vocabulary. Again take that deep breathe, think kind thoughts for yourself, or to whomever is involved in the situation, find grace, find compassion. A powerful healing visual I do when I need to see clearly is imagining a beautiful bright cleansing light filling my entire body, this light pours down into the crown of my head, or I see it radiating from my heart. Every cell in my body is lighting up. And I send that light out to everyone around me. If words are helpful for you, just repeat the words “I bring love into my heart and I send love out to the world”.
4. Play. When was the last time you played, had fun, really chilled? Try it. It may feel uncomfortable at first if it’s been a while, but go for it. You know it’s good for you. Pick up that hobby you keep thinking about, take that bike ride you have been putting off. Plant that garden. Find what it is that brings you joy. If you’re just not sure, make a list of all the things that you can think of that sound fun, things you’ve tried, things you would never try but sound really cool! Just right them all down. And with very little thinking, pick one. Go for it. Your gut instinct is usually right. The goal is to play – no right, no wrong – no judgement – Just dance!
5. Sit in the pain. Yep, thats right. Sometimes, if not always, when pain arises we have to sit with it. This is where we begin to unbury those treasures. Pain can serve us if we let it. This is a good time to get out that journal and write til it feels like your hand will fall off. Maybe it’s time to call your therapist, or find a therapist. If we want to grow and savor life to the fullest, we have to learn to sit in the pain, navigate through it. And then the joys will be that much bigger and brighter!
No right – no wrong – no judgement – just dance!
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