get at fooling yourself when it
comes to nurturing your spirit.
I’m a master at it as much as anyone.
Maintaining a balanced life is tricky. It takes vigilance, commitment and most of all – you have to be willing to admit when things aren’t working. But for some reason, we love to pretend everything is fine, often in spite of all the evidence.
We get so caught up in our physical world that we think that’s all there is. I guess it’s an easy mistake to make. I mean, you can’t SEE your emotional or spiritual world. So it’s easy to look at everything from a physical perspective, tick the boxes and declare that all is great.
In my experience though, life balance is all about taking care of your spirit and your emotional well being so you can keep up with all the physical stuff.
If you’re a woman , especially one with children and a business, chances are your life is pretty full – and busy! And sometimes that’s just the way it is and we have to do our best to deal with it for the time being.
We can re-assess our priorities to ensure we get the most important and critical things done ahead of lower value tasks. We can practice great time management (or rather: self management) to ensure we don’t spend unnecessary hours procrastinating and that we get things done in the most efficient and effective way possible.
Those are all important, however it’s still all stuff that’s on the physical plane. And life balance, which I sometimes think should just be called ‘Sanity’ has a great deal to do with what’s going on in the non-physical parts of you.
If you’re crazy busy but you FEEL great – there’s no problem. If you’re crazy busy, super organised, getting all the most valuable things done in the least amount of time and have plenty of time left for exercise and relaxation but feel like absolute crap and burst into tears in the shower – that’s a hint there may be a little iddy problem you gotta deal with. Something’s definitely out of whack.
So here’s an example:
I’ve been crazy busy the past few months organizing the first ever Today’s Woman Experience, a 2-day event for women who want to take charge of their lives. This on top of writing, speaking, travelling, promoting my book and still running our finance business – not to mention the family! I had to pull out every trick in the book (no pun intended..) to get through my weeks. I made peace with the fact that this was a term thing and that I would get through this period relatively unscathed and superbly proud of myself.
I also proudly managed to keep up my exercise, albeit somewhat irregularly. Exercise is essential to staying sane when life is busy, right? So despite the frantic pace, at least everything was in balance and I was taking care of myself.
Except before long, I started to feel rather insane.
Even once the craziness had died down, I still felt incomplete, unsettled, out of balance and many days – pretty damn cranky. I didn’t understand. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I’d made it, everything had worked out awesomely and now I could go back to a more calm and sustainable pace of life. I should be feeling great. So what was the problem?
I decided to start meditating. Maybe that would give me the answers I was seeking…
Soon I started feeling better. Much better. Hope returned that I could become my old self again. I kept meditating until eventually it dawned on me! When it did, I felt pretty silly and although I’m not into self blame it was tempting to get the whipping stick out.
I had ignore my own pinwheel principle and had neglected to nurture my inner life!
In my busy, frantic state, I had decided that exercise was part of my ‘self’ blade. It had been quite easy to talk myself into it, because in the past, exercise had often been a 2-for-1 deal for me. Yoga and swimming gave me a double serve of exercise (taking care of my body) as well as meditation (taking care of my inner self). EXCEPT the exercise I had been practising during this crazy busy time was neither of those. In fact, it was an exercise class where you’re basically racing the clock the whole time!
Oops. Who’s a silly sausage, then?
It seemed so silly, so obvious, so … well, embarrassing that I hadn’t worked that out sooner. But this is what happens – we get so caught up in the busy-ness that we fool ourselves, ignore all the signs and put up with imbalance for way too long. Usually until we feel like we’re about to lose our minds.
My ego had taken over while my back was turned. I’d proudly showed up for my classes, despite the fact I was working crazy long hours and it would have been so easy to skip them.
But I didn’t need to impress anyone. I just needed to take care of myself. If I had just spent 15 minutes a day meditating, I know now I would have coped a lot better.
As with all these things, it’s been a wonderful lesson. One that makes me a better teacher and has reinforced what I know to be true.
Giving the system a good ‘stress test’ is an excellent way to uncover any weak points. I decided my weak points were getting caught up in what things looked like on the physical plane rather than paying attention to what was going on in the spiritual plane AND taking something for granted because it seems so simple (and because I made the classic mistake of thinking ‘I know “).
… for those who choose to honor it.
So here I am – sharing my little story of foolishness to help remind you to honor the simple principles that will keep you sane.
And when I finish posting this article, I will get my little pinwheel out and re-design my week to ensure I continue to honor all parts of my existence. Hopefully that will save my sanity from being threatened again anytime soon.