We spent the last two articles starting with the fundamentals of beginning to create more balance, less stress, more adaptability in your daily life so you can maneuver obstacles and thrive rather than just survive in this brilliant day-to-day existence we have been blessed to experience.
(Feature Photo/Art Richard Shilling www.richardshilling.co.uk)
Today, we continue where we left off in our previous article on assessing and refining our life balance ideals with a few more areas to reflect on. As you review these aspects of your life, notice both what is going well and what areas could use some loving attention…
How do you earn your income? Is it in line with your personal values? How is your vocation affecting the other 3 foundational health pillars we talked about in the previous articles? We live in a culture that often identifies what you do for work with who you are. Do you feel good about the work you do? If you changed careers completely and followed another path would you still be you? Are you spending more than 6-8 hours a day 5 days a week in your work? If so, how is this affecting your physical and mental well being? For most people our income earning activities make up half of your waking day. How are you spending those hours? How would you like it to be?
2. Work Environment:
(This technically is a sub category career.) What kind of environment are you thriving/surviving in while pursuing income earning activities? Do you work in a healthy environment? Location? Organization? Management? Fellow employees? Many of us spend over 1/3 of our day (some of us more) in this environment. If you feel you are in a poisonous work environment this can, over time, deteriorate your well being and sense of balance. How could this environment improve? What factors could change about the environment, communication with others or to your personal attitudes to make this a healthier environment to work in?
3. Home environment
Most of us spend the other larger portion of our life at home. How is your home environment? Location? Organization? People you live with? Are there factors that could be improved about your home? Does your home feel like a sanctuary? A safe place to rest, recharge and reinvigorate. What would need to change for it to feel that way?
4. Personal Relationships and/or Intimate Relationships
It is crucial for our sense of balance that we observe our personal relationships. Who are you spending your time with? Are your relationships feeding you and inspiring you or have you chosen relationships that deplete you and encourage bad habits and behavior in your life? In other words, do your relationships support the other life balance routines we have mentioned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series?
In the relationships you didn’t outright choose, such as parents/ children, are there ways you can improve communication, change your attitudes, get outside support, and change the way you participate in any of these core relationships so they encourage positive growth and support balance vs depleting your energy and creating imbalance? This sometimes takes outside support such as a life balance counselor (work we do at Bushido Wellness) or a therapist to help facilitate healthy changes.
Are you continually learning and bettering yourself? Do you feel stagnant in your daily existence like all of your mental energy is going out but nothing is coming back in? We need to get re-inspired every now and again. Take a class or workshop. Do something to further your career and/or simply take up a hobby that encourages your mind to expand and grow and puts you in that place where your brain is challenged by something new.
Which leads us to…
Do you have interests outside of your work or vocation that are just for you? Something you do, not to earn an income, but to increase an expansive creative energy within yourself. Something you don’t have to be perfect at. Are you feeding the creative side of your life? Maybe you always wanted to learn an instrument, cook, garden, write, weld, sew, paint, dance, etc.? It’s never too late.
Finally, the roof of the house that umbrellas all else…
Do you have something you can connect to outside of your brain thoughts and intellect? A practice of surrendering to something greater than you? Do you have a positive relationship with a higher power that when you are given a situation in life out of your immediate control that you can look to for the strength, courage, wisdom, patience, forgiveness, gratitude you need in times of overwhelming hardship that you cannot access in the moment on your own? Do you have a solid system of personal values you can turn to when faced with challenging life questions or adversity? All of the above mentioned relationships, work, environment, hobbies above are supported and in line with those spiritual values so they support one another. Otherwise, you will feel a sense of dissonance in your daily life.
If this sounds too esoteric to you or you were raised in an oppressive religious environment you might start with a simple non-denominational meditation practice to concentrate and focus the mind. 15-30 minutes of meditation a day has been studied to show significant improvement in overall happiness and equilibrium in as little as 6-8 weeks. It’s not about length of time as much as consistency. A little meditation every day is better than a lot every now and again in this context. Like a farmer, you have to plant the seed and then give it a nurturing environment to grow.
Look at your habits and lifestyle closely. Take some time to reflect on each of these individually and see where you need improvement. If its helpful make a balance scale and see where each number is in relationship to another.
Focus on the easiest habits to change first and then embrace the harder ones after the habits you’ve been practicing are an integrated part of your daily routine and lifestyle.
Start to meditate regularly, do some journaling and self inquiry and get clear about your personal ethics/values, and the other things will slowly start to come into place naturally.
It’s not about making all the changes all at once. Set your self up for success! Make little bitty changes over time that begin to more you in the direction of the perfect balanced you that already exists inside. Keep reconnecting to and clearing a path for your light to shine through. It’s a daily practice AND it’s worth it.
You’re the architect of your beautiful life, and you don’t have to build it all alone.
Let us know if you would like support! We are here to help!
With Love and Respect,
Nathan & Heather @ Bushido Wellness
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