I never seem to realize that my life has become out of balance until I receive that universal kick in the butt that knocks me back with a cold or some other malady that forces me to stop and take a break. Not one to sit still for too long I find these occasions at first, really stressful. However, once I get over my “too much to do for this to happen now” mindset, I settle into listening to what my body, heart and spirit are saying.
What brought my attention to the issue of balance this time was not the usual messages but instead it was a picture from a recent performance at a friends wedding, where as part of a dance I had a sword balanced on my head. It took many years to develop the ability to balance the sword well as I danced with it. I can balance it, twirl and spin with it, get down to the floor and back up again... So in tune with this sword I intimately know it's exact balance point and when it has moved or shifted away from that and may fall. A slight shift in my posture or the way in which I hold my head will bring it back to it's balance point.
I had seen pictures in the past but this time it brought a number of questions to mind “why don't I have the same intimate knowledge of when my life has moved out of balance as I do with my sword?” “why do I have to wait for the “fall” before I have a realization of imbalance?” More importantly “what changes do I want to make so that I create that awareness for myself?”
When I look at my 2014 year in review I realize that this question must have been sitting on a back burner within my spirit for some time as through the year I had taken a number of steps to ensure more balance, without consciously linking the two. My goal through 2015 is to strive for more balance. I already have an awareness of what works for me in doing that but I'm also going to stay open to discovering more.
Anything that brings me out of my head and into my body for a period of time works really well. For me that is dance, meditation, bodywork and yoga. Stopping everything to just breathe for a few minutes works well but if I add some body movement to those breaths then it is so much more effective. Stopping the mind chatter to just move and breath for a period of time ... feels fabulous!
I've taken my 2015 appointment book and booked times in that are just for myself. My yoga, meditation and dance times are in there! I will receive my first massage of the year on the 2nd...rather than waiting to see when I have time between clients. I'm not going to leave that massage appointment without booking my next session. I'm going to give myself an hour on the 3rd to do a home facial, etc. Most of the times are just booked off to be filled in later with what I want to do with my “me” time but I'm planning to be pretty strict in keeping these appointments with myself!
My next project is to fill a drawer with things I enjoy, that bring me pleasure and that I can look to during those appointments. My drawer will include some books and favourite teas, some bath and shower aromatherapy treats, a couple of craft projects, music...lots of music, my sketch pad and pencils, a bottle of wine, and I'm not sure what else, it will likely evolve as the year progresses.
Maintaining more balance in life, making both work and play a priority is so important to keep stress at bay and I know when I take the time I sleep better, feel better, live better. It's definitely my priority this year.
What steps do you take to maintain balance for you? Do you bring enough play into your life?