Thursday, October 1, 2009
I hear a lot of people give lip service to the concept of bringing balance into their lives. The reason I say lip service is because when you really start to question what that is and what that would look like and how exactly they propose that to happen, I get tremendous resistance. This has brought me to the conclusion that seeking balance is not in most people’s true desires or intentions. Sounds good, but not interested.
I have one woman that really is NOT interested in giving up her 12-14 hour days of work. She keeps her Blackberry on 24 hours, keeps it on her person at all times, and yet she talks about the need for more balance, but when challenged gently about it she has so many reasons why it is not possible. Back to our budget issue, she feels it would cost her, her job, or the company’s growth if she wasn’t absolutely the human machine hooked up and plugged in at all times.
I think what it boils down to is a willingness to juggle. We all have different aspects of our lives: worker, spouse or partner, parent, son or daughter, chief, cook, bottle washer. If each of these roles is a ball, we have to be willing to juggle. Each ball gets its air time and its hand time, and quite frankly if we spend too much time on one, ALL OF THE OTHERS WILL FALL. No kidding. So by being willing to juggle, and truly hold the ball currently in our hand, that so-called balance will be a natural by-product of our life. This ties into my beloved concept of rhythm. I believe we all have a rhythm: to our lives, the Universe and if you are juggling, there is a rhythm to that that enables you to move each ball through your hand and pass it on in time to hold the next. Skilled jugglers look as if it’s happening in slow motion. And so as that old verse states, give each part of your life its time.” To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and
a time to die;
a time to plant, and
a time to pluck up
that which is planted;
A time to kill, and
a time to heal;
a time to break down, and
a time to build up;
A time to weep, and
a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and
a time to dance;”… (from Ecclesiastes3, and it continues.)
When I went from being a single person to married one and then on to having a family, my husband was the one to help me learn how to NOT take business calls “after hours”, how to take time for my family, and little by little I am learning how to take time for me.
I have a friend, newly divorced, who just this past weekend said I don’t think I can juggle more than two balls right now. I think that’s brilliant, he can see what is current capacity is! We will get better at juggling as we juggle. But I do think it boils down to… being willing to juggle.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
- The kids (if you have them) are headed back to school, and the preparation of that is all consuming.. Not only is the preparation tough, but so is finding a new rhythm: getting them ready and off to school ON TIME each morning, then coordinating for any extracurricular activities; is carpooling used? A great help, an additional component; and a new social network as the kids make new friends, want new play dates or social engagements. And the whole family is affected by the search of a new rhythm.
- Those who don’t have kids, still at one point in their lives also went to school, and I think this new fall rhythm also has a lingering impact: individuals wake up to the fact that it is not summer anymore and they actually have to get back to the business at hand. Many that I know have been a bit lackadaisical over the summer months and somehow recover consciousness to the fact that deadlines and quarterly quotas are part of their required existence. They too are seeking a new rhythm.
- We even have a sort of planetary support in this, we are about to shift with the autumnal equinox: such an exquisite moment when all parts of the earth have equal day and night. I find the unity of that rather poetic. Even if you are not one who is terribly concerned with planetary encounters, the truth is that the Universe works in a Divine rhythm, so like or not, you don’t have to believe in it, it too will have a transition this fall. And the days will shorten and the cooler temperatures will set in.'
So, why does any of this matter? I find that once persons become aware that this is happening, they actually have an easier time of it. It may require little to no action on one’s part, but simply to notice, that “oh, yes a shift is required here.” I find that once I mentally and spiritually shift, I become much calmer, less frenetic about what needs to be done and when and how.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Okay… so let’s do an activity together. You will need a notebook or diary, something on which to write. I recommend getting an actual notebook for this, whether it be simply a spiral, or something special, that is your book that you will begin to catalog your wants, dreams, hopes and desires. Sometimes, when we get something that is a little more special, we will also put extra effort into the ritual of writing and keeping track of our progress rather than 6000 post-it notes lying around the house.
Before you begin, take one extra minute to breathe. Let yourself be still and quiet, for one minute. Breathe in, purposefully, and exhale, purposefully. Allow yourself to ground. Allow yourself time to accomplish something without a million other things jumping in the way.
Now, first, write out what it is you say you want. It may fall into any category: personal, business, family, relationship. If you have quite a few (and that is wonderful) give yourself at least one page per want.
Second, write out as many steps or requirements as you can think of to get your goal. Let’s go back to the example of weight loss. Let’s say you “know” that in order to lose weight you need to stop eating ice cream at night, great! Write that down. You need to move your body more frequently during the day. Write that down, then, what does that mean? well let’s say you for whatever reason feel you cannot go to the gym. Okay fine, so instead you know that you can take a ten-minute walk every morning at 10:30, and then a 15-minute walk during your lunch break, and then another 20-minute walk after dinner every night. The more specific you can be, the better you will be able to determine whether this is in your “budget”. This step could be lengthy, so take your time and be willing to have the process be on-going, jot down more steps as they come to you.
Third, tune in to your personal budget. Where I see most people fall down is in the honest evaluation of what they are willing to do to get the goal. Back to the weight loss example: let’s say you look at the first requirement and say “you know what, I don’t want to give up the ice cream.” This is followed by a litany of why-nots, none of which matter, the only thing that matters is you are not willing to give it up. Okay, fine, and then know that your goal will not be achieved. Oh, I know this is the sticking point because everybody wants to argue all the things they can do to HAVE the ice cream and still lose the weight: exercise more, skip lunch, smaller portions at dinner. This is taking us off the track. Because when I say each of us knows what we must do to achieve our goal, I believe this to be true. If at first you said, “I must give up ice cream” then that is your truth, please do not start some re-negotiation. Instead, let’s start to move into one of two places: either truly coming to grips with the fact that your daily ice cream is more important to you than losing weight… AND BE OKAY WITH THAT; or coming to a place within yourself where you are willing to give up the ice cream, at least temporarily, so you can enjoy weight loss and a healthier, happier, more vibrant you (or whatever weight loss signifies for you).
Fourth, breathe. Even though this is broken down into three simple steps, this is not an easy process. So breathe. Let yourself be with all the thoughts and considerations that will arise as you consider what you really want to have happen in your life and what you are willing to do.
And please let me/us know how it’s going!
Monday, August 24, 2009
The cost of getting what one wants.
I would like to pretend that this is some intricate soul searching endeavor. It’s not. Breaking down what is required by each individual to achieve what one wants requires some conscious thought, possible some deliberate note taking but determining the cost is simple…that does not imply that it’s execution is EASY.
For example, I have a client who says she wants to lose 20 lbs. She exercises religiously, but overeats every day and drinks three glasses of wine in addition to large fatty portions for meals. The cost is simple- eat healthier meals that are more balanced. But is she ready to not eat all the yummy, gooey whatevers and cut back on the nightly alcohol intake? Hmmm. So, many other “expenses” may give her pause to this “additional expense”.
“Work is so demanding I cannot think about having dinner until after 10 p.m. And then I usually get what’s easiest”. EASY? As one very wise person once pointed out to me: it takes just as much energy to grab an apple as it does to grab a cookie, doughnut, potato chips, etc. The real cost is the mental perception required to choose and enjoy delicious body honoring food.
I have my own example: For years, I’ve foregone exercise making my business and my family my priority. To take one more hour away from my kids and husband after not seeing them for 10 or 11 hours has no appeal. And that one more hour is how I see exercise (and rest assured, I am a former gym rat.) What is required on my part is conscious, creative ways to put exercise into my day; and to be willing to stay committed to each additional activity. Simple. EASY is up to me.
So for this week, if it is of interest to you, spend time meditating or simply thinking, what it is that you want or even need.
NEXT WEEK WE WILL LOOK AT THE STEPS TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THE TRUE COST IS AND WHAT YOUR BUDGET IS.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Everything in this life comes with a price. Simply. The price is rarely as significant monetarily as it is energetically. SO, this is where we each need to begin, as we weigh the decisions of our lives. What price must I spend in order to achieve or gain what it is I say I want?
One person states clearly, I want to lose twenty pounds. Okay. Truly? Are you prepared? Are you prepared to stop consuming the amount or types of foods that got you to where you are today? Are you prepared to move your body more than you already do? Even possibly embark on some sort of regular exercise activity? Are you prepared to politely say "No, thank you.” Without a lot of drama or explanation when offered foods/desserts that will not support you in achieving your goal? Really? Because what I find mostly is people who say they WANT to lose weight, but they truly are not interested in taking the action that will bring the desired result.
Now the above is a simple example.
But let’s use it as a guideline. Are we willing to be the compassionate listener that our partner currently requires in order for us to keep, or even GET a relationship?
Are we willing to give up our weekly nail appointment to be a more attentive mother?
None of these questions are meant as judgments, simply as examples. There are prices to pay in this life.
It is time as individuals we look squarely at what we say we want and be willing to line up ALL the costs to ourselves and possibly our loved ones, so that we can clearly determine whether or not these are prices we are willing to pay.
NEXT: WHAT IF WE ARE NOT WILLING TO PAY THE PRICE AKA KNOW YOUR BUDGET
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We look forward to sharing our insights with you and encourage you to share feedback with us.