audio version at bottom
Many books, articles, workshops, gadgets and TV shows are dedicated to helping us find balance in our life. As a group, I think women are drawn to these marketing words, we feel out of balance more than we feel that everything is balanced and easy to handle.
What if we would just change the conversation between our ears? I am talking about the dialog in our mind. What if it is that simple? What if we have had the power and knowledge from the day we were born?
You see whether your life is balanced or unbalanced is not about anyone else’s concept or label or what someone else is telling you.
It’s about what you are telling yourself about your life. It’s your inner dialog. In the words of Denny Smith “It’s the things we tell ourselves.”
I was sitting in a presentation recently and the speaker was talking about balance and how to have it. A large portion of the attendees were feverishly taking notes and hanging on every word she was saying. I did find it a good talk but I was more interested in why I wasn’t taking notes. What had changed in me that I didn’t think I needed to write all this down. Part of it is I am getting older and I know that those notes will just go into a pile and be lost in a couple of months and then get scanned into the archive folder never to be seen or heard from again. My notes these days from lectures consist of action steps–look up this or call this or sign up for this. When I found the rest of the answer, I was surprised. I have found balance for right now. I realized it was all about how I perceived the events of my life on a daily basis and the amount of support I have. It’s a blend of friends, family, faith, coaches, exercise, trusted advisors, doctors, mechanics and more. I also know that it’s a day by day conversation and choice that I make.
This is a coaching tip:
Next time your to-do list is running you and you feel out of control and unbalanced.
- Breathe, take a really deep breath in – hold for 3 – let it out slowly
- Then ask yourself, “What have I done well recently?”
- Name three places in your life that are balanced. (One day my answers to this were brushed my teeth, cleaned out the kitty litter and fed the dog–it wasn’t my best day.)
The truth is– what you focus your mind and heart on and heart on is where your life goes. If you are focused on imbalance and chaos, guess what you get? More imbalance and chaos. I have a real world example of this. When I was a land surveying technician for MnDOT, I would need to stand in the middle of the road, at times, with traffic slowly going by me. Standing in moving traffic you make eye contact with drivers, (this was before texting and everyone having a cell phone) to make sure they see you and are going to go around you. One day a senior woman, barely able to see through the steering wheel, was coming down the road at 55mph. She did not slow in our work zone and as soon as she saw me, her full attention was focused on me. She was driving her car right at me, because she was focused on me. I had traffic on the other side of me at the same time. There was nothing I could do but stand up straight and be ready to jump on her car to avoid being crushed. She did not want to run me over, but she was focused on me and not the road ahead. She missed me by millimeters (thank you God). My point is that what you focus on you will drive towards.
Make sure you are focusing on what you want and not what you don’t want.
Let me leave you with a thought for the day.
As you add another thing to your job duties or schedule ask yourself this;
Do I care?
Why do I care?
What happens if I don’t do it?
Who grows if I teach them to do it?
In the great words of Robert Fulghum, in his book All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarden.
“Live a balanced life — learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”