Tools for finding balance in the hamster wheel

When this question was asked in a session the other day I was reminded of how many of us can feel like we’re all alone on our journey’s to working with balance. When we’re running between meetings, chasing after promotions, RSVPing to weddings, baby showers, and birthdays, and jumping between texts, trains, and roads, finding balance can almost feel like a myth. Or sometimes even, a complete lie.

“I had to remind myself I’m not superwoman”, a wonderful client of mine said. She’s right! We’re not superwomen so it’s time we cut ourselves a little slack. Yet, with everything we have on our plate, with all that we are tackling, the business’ we’re launching, the friendships and relationships we’re cultivating, with just exactly who you are today in this moment, you actually are a SUPER woman. Maybe it’s time for you to recognize the SUPER-ness about you, to acknowledge who you are in this moment, and maybe at the same time, there’s also an opportunity to connect with the daily cultivation of balance.

The cultivation of balance.

I don’t think balance is a myth, but I do think our vision of what having a balanced life looks like might be a bit skewed. What I mean by this is, balance is not something we achieve. It’s not attainable as in something for us to check off our to-do lists. Balance is a state of mind. When we’re able to feel into this statement and connect with balance from the inside out, that’s when we create balance while on the hamster wheel of life.

I used to think I was a busy woman. Two years ago I was working a full-time 9-5 corporate job which was really more like 9-midnight, working my side hustle, taking clients, cultivating my new live-in romantic relationship, healing my heart, studying more healing, trying to eat healthy, be healthy, have a social life, spend enough time with my family, and the list goes on. Sound familiar to anyone? Today, I’m no longer working the 9-midnight corporate job, but I am running my own business which puts busy into a whole new light. Busy today means something different than it meant two years ago, and yet it still persists. My friends who are new moms, have toddlers running around, talk about busy in a completely different light. The things we are doing, accomplishing, healing, on a daily basis, make us SUPERWOMEN. That’s why balance to me is less about finding it and more about creating it, connecting with it and reminding ourselves of this connection through tips/tools/easily accessible action, on a daily basis.

Here are some of my favorite tips/tools that I either have used, and/or continue to use to connect with balance daily:

  • Meditate. Daily. For real, daily. Meditation is an extremely powerful tool for you to access on your own, at any moment, of anyday. When you meditate you give your body and mind permission to detach. This in turn slows the nervous system and the highly active thoughts running through our minds, and opens up an opportunity for you to connect with inner peace. It doesn’t mean you’ll be happy/get happy in every 5 minute meditation, and it takes practice, but I promise you this, YOU are NOT a BAD meditator. You just need practice, maybe some guidance, but you can do this. Meditate in the morning, meditate in the middle of the day, and meditate in the evening. Even if it’s just 5 minutes, take that momentary break from living inside your own head and allow yourself time to connect with the peace, with the presence of the moment, and you’ll feel connected to a more balanced life

  • Create space for your life to be lived. What are your basic needs? Are they being met? Maybe you can check-in with yourself once a week, are you sleeping, nourishing, moving your body this week? What can you do to create space for your basic needs to be met? We need to meet our own basic needs in order to show up for the world around us. When we neglect ourselves we’re only doing a disservice to our loved ones because we become more irritable, and less likely to enjoy the life we’ve built. Identify what it is that you need to do, to have, to create time and space for in your life in order for love to flow freely from you and around you, and find a way to make them happen.

  • Identify your non-negotiables, the things that are beyond your basic needs that make you feel good, are they being met? I believe this connects with getting clear on your boundaries as well. What is vitally important to you today, tomorrow, this week, that must get done? Be clear about what that is and set a clear boundary around it which doesn’t allow for you or anyone to get in the way of that experience.

  • Move your body. The number attached to this will vary per person, but for me it’s at least 3 days a week. If I’m moving my body at least 3 days a week I’m much more likely to feel like myself. If I’m not moving my body, sweating, stretching, I feel out of flow, out of sync with the flow of the Universe. This could fall under one of your non-negotiables like it does for me, or maybe it’s about walking, stretching, or getting out from behind the computer to take in 5 minutes of life moving around you. Identify what moving your body means to you, how that feels and create space for it.

  • Clear communication. There are times when parts of your life will need more of your time and attention than others. When you’re launching a project, a business, or when you and your partner aren’t on the same page and your relationship needs some serious TLC, communicate with the other strings, people, things pulling at your attention and let them know where you’re at. You don’t have to tell them the details of what is going on, but some communication from you can go a long way in retaining your relationship. Plus you’re giving yourself permission to tend to what you need to tend too, to spend more of your time, energy, money on this one particular sector of your life. If those people really truly love you, they will understand, love and support your endeavors to the end.

  • Spend 2 minutes doing nothing every day. This is a personal preference, something that puts the rest of the world, the guilt, the pressures into perspective, and therefore, has become a habit. Allowing myself to sit and look at the world around me pass me by, see the trees rustling in the wind, listen to the birds, people watch, gives me some perspective on life and all that it brings so I don’t go giving too much weight to any one thing

  • Identify the guilt and work with it. When you’re feeling guilty for spending too much of your time in any one place, identify where there is guilt, and allow yourself to dig into it. What is the guilt really about? Is it connected to any sense of self-worth, of not being enough? Is there any opportunities for you to get clear and communicate clearly both with yourself and with those around you what your priorities are so you can fully give your attention to what’s needed? Is there an opportunity for you to ask for help? To make a change? Take a look at the guilt that you feel and work with it so you can comfortable put it in the backseat recognizing that it’s there but not to be the driver at the time.