Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harm. ~Thomas Merton
When our resilience is low it’s often because we’re focussing our energies on one area of our lives over the others – usually some stressful event, work, or a collection of things that are taxing. What goes out of the window are the counter balances – the things that are soothing, the slow, the easy going, the nourishing.
I once had an amazing yoga teacher who would change the focus of her classes each week. We’d never know what each class’s emphasis would be until we got there so there was always an air of excitement and anticipation as to what we’d find.
Sometimes they would be 2 hours, intense workouts that would leave us drenched in sweat with muscles crying out for their Mummy’s.
Other times she would have us do laughing yoga and headstands against the wall like when we were at school.
And at other times the movements would be so gentle, the poses held for so long that it was almost like we were working in slow motion; languid, soothing and elastic.
One thing I remember her talking about was the fact that yoga is all about balance – when we stretch one side of the body we must stretch the other or our muscles will be out of whack. When we’re energetic one day, we must be calm another.
But in our modern lives, we don’t get this. We get overwhelmed, run on empty or adrenaline long past the point where every fiber of our bodies is telling us to cool it, take a break, have a rest. We tell ourselves we can’t just yet, we will when we get the chance, once things calm down, as soon as this project’s out of the way, after the holidays, when I’m earning a bit more money ….etc.
We all know what it’s like to have a vacation and immediately fall ill. We know what it’s like to spend our vacations feeling so exhausted we can barely function, or to spend the first week getting into the ‘zone’ of not being on the go all the time, only to spend the second week getting revved up for it again.
If sounds like you then I have news for you – you’re completely out of balance.
How To Find and Keep Your Balance
Just like in yoga, our minds need periods of activity and calm. We need to feel inspired and totally unplugged at different times. Think of it like an elastic band – if you keep it taut all the time it’s eventually going to snap. But if you stretch and release, stretch and release, it will last a lifetime.
What You Can Do
What are you doing to stay busy that you could drop right now? Be honest with yourself – do the kitchen cupboards need to be washed down every day? Do you need to iron the underwear (I mean, who’d know if you didn’t?) How many calls do you make or emails you write that make no real contribution to you productivity and output?
Here’s another question to ask yourself – if you we suddenly told you were invited onto the Oprah show/Top Gear/X-factor (delete depending on which one rocks your boat the most!) but had to be on a plan by lunchtime tomorrow to get there – what would you drop from your schedule? What could you delegate/postpone/outsource? Of the things you definitely HAD to do, how much more quickly would you get them done if you knew you only had a limited time scale?
What would you do with an extra hour a day?
What would you do if you ONLY had one hour a day? (This will help you get super focused on what’s really essential to you.)
Imagine you’re looking back one year from now. What would you regret not doing more/less of?
Once you have the answers to these questions list 3 things you are GOING TO DO in the next 7 days to get more balance in your life and if you feel comfortable, share them with us in the comment section below. It could be doing less housework, spending more time in nature, eating out for dinner once per week so that you’ve some extra time with your family.
Theory is great but if you don’t put some of it into action it’s for nothing – and nothing will change. So choose 3 things, share them with us if you feel comfortable in the comment section below, commit to them and regain your equilibrium.