Well since my last post, I have occasionally found myself reflecting on how to balance my life. There are so many ideas and theories out there, that even balancing between the ‘ideas of balancing’ can cause some confusion! So I fired a shot right through the middle of it all and happened across my own theory.
Over the last couple of months I have noticed that the areas of my life, or should I say, my attention, is split over a small collection of categories. It appears to me that on occasion one of these categories begins to monopolize my time. The thing is, I enjoy the fact that this particular category is monopolizing my time and I very rarely even notice that it is. Taking a step back to observe my actions, I am now of the opinion that allowing one to be consumed by a particular area can be detrimental to ones progress. Maybe progress is the wrong word here, because if you want to progress at something you need to give it a lot of attention. However, it could be argued that too much time spent on a task could cause other areas of your life to fall down, unnoticed, having a subconscious knock on effect in the specific area you feel you are progressing in.
So, let’s simplify this. I feel that my life in-particular is split down into the following areas (in no particular order):-
Career – Financial – Social – Hobbies – Relationship – Health
All of these areas need a balance of attention in order for them to work together in harmony, they are also very closely linked and somewhat overlap. I think that it can be great to give one of these areas a lot of intense attention for a certain length of time, but I also feel that when you notice one area receiving way more than the others, then it’s time to re-assess and move back towards another. For example – You have something pressing at work and you are attending to a project that has a deadline, you need to be working on it for the following 3 weeks solid, else it wont get completed. Great, stay focused, but be aware that the other areas of life are getting no attention. Offering the other areas attention at the same time could be exhausting too, but at least remembering that there are other areas, is important. If you are able to make a little time for the other categories, then make sure you do, it will energize you and make you feel more balanced. If you genuinely can’t afford to re-allocate, then when the work project is over, start to bring things back into alignment and get some social time in and spend some time on your hobbies, or whatever else you think has been lacking.
Each one of the categories I mention above must contain goals too. I am not sure if these goals need to be set in stone, but I do feel that a combination of both short and long-term goals keeps you on track. A short term goal could be, “I want to do 45 sit ups every other morning.” A long term goal could be, “I want to run a half marathon next year.” Keep the goals realistic and achievable , because achieving those small goals increases your confidence and confirms that you are making progress. This in-turn spurs you on to head towards that next goal.
One aspect that is always overlooked by many is your mental health. People get caught up in their lives, feeding off all external influences and neglecting themselves; their deeper inner self. Take sometime to be alone with yourself. Quiet time, where you empty yourself of thought and remain still. Meditation is still an activity that is judged by many as a strange concept and despite the increase in yoga and relaxation spas across the western world, meditation can be seen by many as some “spiritual nonsense” that people have difficulty relating too. If this is you, then don’t even use this terminology. Don’t feel that you have to “meditate”. Do, however, make sure you “chill out” spend time feeling your breath and concentrate on how your body is feeling. Can you sit still for 10 minutes without your thoughts and ‘listen’ to your body instead? When you finally realize that you have been neglecting the most important thing, you suddenly learn to make room for it. Your body is alive, there is blood running around inside, an entire intricate system of intelligence enables you to breathe and walk and talk and think. You can feel the cells inside alive, buzzing, just pay it some attention, you will feel it. Spend some time with it and realize that you are more than just your thoughts and actions.
So, decide what areas you want to split your life into and divide your attention among them accordingly, don’t get lost in one area and forget about the others. Observe yourself and don’t allow the external world to push and pull you too much, use it to your advantage, to make things happen for you and for others. Be aware of things that present themselves to you and use your inner guidance to determine their validity and importance. You are an intelligent being who needs to be in charge of the controls.
Thanks for reading! Comments welcomed…….
If you connect with anything I have written here then you may wish to read an article on the UK’s Natural Therapy Pages.
Also – I recommend a book called Your Body Speaks your Mind by Deb Shapiro
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