Author: Nanice Ellis
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A New Radical Approach to Creating Balance in Your Life
The tide goes in and the tide goes out. The sun comes up and the sun goes down. The earth naturally knows how to create balance and if she should alter that balance, catastrophic events will likely occur. Fortunately for us humans, we can get out of balance and life still goes on. But like the planet we live on, we need balance to live in harmony and create abundance in our lives. The problem many of us find is that our lives have become so complicated that there are just too many things to balance - with family, career, home, friends, hobbies and everything else that is expected from us where can balance begin?
Balance is simple - it is like the tide that goes in and goes out. There is a natural rhythm that guides the direction of the tide and that same rhythm is within each of as well - just waiting to guide us. When we really look at balance there really are only two aspects of it - what we give and what we receive. Everything in our lives fit into these two categories. The problem is that many of us get out of balance by never allowing ourselves to receive as much as we give. This is like the tide always going out and never coming in.
Although there is great value in balancing your time between the different areas of your life, it's intrinsically more important to create balance between how much you give and how much you receive in each area of your life. When we give constantly more than we receive, it is not long before we feel drained and "out of balance". But when we receive as much as we give, we find ourselves feeling energized and wanting to give more - because we have more to give.
If you are ready to start creating a life of balance, it is important that you honestly evaluate each area of your life in terms of how much you give and receive. This takes a non-judgmental approach and the willingness to go out of your current comfort zone. The first thing to do is make a list of all the areas of your life and next to each one mark a percentage of how much you give in that area and how much you receive. In the area of career, you might see that you give 80% but only receive 20%. In the area of family, you might see that you give 60% but only receive 40%, What you receive includes support from others, awards, good feelings, time, energy, money, service, attention and anything else that fills you. What you give can be narrowed down to your time, energy and attention. In some areas of your life it will be obvious to you in terms of what you give and receive but in others you will have to trust your intuition. Once your list is complete, chose the area of life that is the most out of balance - you give much more than you receive. This is the area of your life that has been draining you the most. By getting this area in balance first, it will naturally give you more energy and you will get the biggest results. Once this area of your life begins to move into balance, you can then move to next most out of balance area.
For each area of your life:
Get very clear about what you need in this area of your life (what's missing?) - Ask for what you need in ways that others can hear and respond to. Say "no" - Learn to say no when you are being asked to do or give something that doesn't feel supportive to you. Focus on your gifts and strengths and be willing to give more in these areas - When we share those things that are easy or abundant to us, it costs us less energy than giving of things that are more difficult or challenging for us. I have a gift of listening and helping and I could do this all day long and still feel energized but if I have to do the dishes, I'll be exhausted in 20 minutes. Be willing to end or change relationships that don't support you - If you constantly feel drained after interacting with someone, it means that that relationship is out of balance. If it is not possible to create balance in that relationship, it's time to end that relationship. If it is someone you have to interact with, learn to take care of yourself by limiting your time with that person or saying no when asked to do things out of your comfort zone. Reframe - Be willing to reframe the idea of giving and receiving. For example, a young mother might feel that she is giving 100% to her baby and getting nothing in return. But she can reframe this to see that the baby gives her a feeling of loving, allows her to be a mother and responds to her nurturing. In the giving, there is much for her to receive. Be willing to make changes - if you are living or working in an environment which is so much out of balance that only a huge change can alter, then be willing to do whatever it takes to create a balanced environment including moving, finding a new job or ending a partnership. Have fun - when you add the element of fun and creativity to almost any area of your life, you will begin to receive so much more than you ever thought possible. Notice all the ways that others are giving to you but you are not receiving because you don't feel deserving, are afraid there are strings attached or just didn't realize there was something being given. Develop a plan to receive in these areas. Love yourself more than anything - Once you love and honor yourself the choices you make will support a life of balance.
A balanced life doesn't happen overnight. In fact, you have to grow into a balanced life. It's who you have to become in order to create a balanced life that actually balances your life. Think about that. It means being honest with yourself and others, it means setting boundaries, it means asking for what you want, it means making the hard decisions and doing whatever it takes to honor the limited resources of your time and energy. When you regard your life like the most precious miraculous gift it is and you honor yourself in all areas of your life, your life will flow in balance like the air you breathe.
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