Open any health and wellness magazine, read any self help best seller, go to any yoga retreat or even chat to your beauty therapist. They are all talking about the concept of finding balance in your mind, body and soul. You can google “finding balance” and be hit with dozens of well written articles of what that means and potentially looks like, so i won’t bother lecturing you on how you should be doing better! That’s how it can feel right?!
I was talking with one of my clients about Balance a few weeks back and without realising said something i felt was really profound. “We never talk about Balance in terms of the time scale”.
Think about it, are we supposed to strive to be in balance day by day, week by week, yearly?
Lets say you have a huge work meeting that you know is going to cause you much anxiety, stress and probably body aches from sitting in a conference room for 4 hours, should you leave your evening free to roll out the yoga mat and do a few dozen sun salutations followed by 45 minutes of meditation? Not very practical! There will always be periods or seasons in your journey when “Balance” in your financial, mental and physical health are just not feasible. A full time university student studying 5 units and preparing for end of year exams. A new mother breastfeeding at all hours of the day while recovering from birth. A husband and father going through a lengthy and combative divorce that drags on. Caring for a loved one with a terminal illness. There will be times when we feel overwhelmed, under extreme circumstances and devoting almost all of our energy and focus to survival. Some of these occasions can be chosen and others can hit us with no warning like a fallen log in the metaphorical path.
What i feel is important when it comes to finding balance, however you wish to define it, boils down to two things. Firstly, you need to identify where you need to spend more of your resources and or time to achieve a more harmonious state and feelings of calm, contentment and happiness. This is a constantly changing scale that needs to be examined from time to time. Here is where i think those magazines, books and retreats might have it wrong. They seek to push us to make changes today, now. If you are in the middle of a difficult time i believe this only serves to make you feel like a failure in some way and worsen the already difficult season.
Instead, i believe you should devote the extra resources and time to get through whatever is causing your disturbed equilibrium as well as you can.
Here is the crucial part that many miss, when the season is over or winding down, THAT is when you need to take action. Find motivation. Become disciplined. We as humans are highly adaptable and will become comfortable with extreme positions quite well. The longer the season of unbalance, the harder it will be to force yourself to change again. It is at this point i feel many people make excuses and lack the will to do what they could to better their lives. You can shift your new normal to this path you’ve been on and continue to slowly drift further and further away as time passes even without that initial season that forced you there.
The larger the change the more uncomfortable it will make you, in the short term.
The key is to be ready, excited and anticipatory of the moment when you can shift those resources and time towards other areas that will bring you closer to your balanced self. Get back on the wagon, so to speak, as soon as you can. Rip the bandaid in one fast motion and push yourself to start the momentum rolling in a positive direction as fast as possible.
Life will always have ups, downs, highs, lows, exhilaration and misery. It’s not about being balanced at all times, if you hold that viewpoint you will beat yourself up when you are struggling for not doing better. Be honest with yourself, sometimes we are such harsh critics that we tell ourselves we are being lazy, when in fact, we are truly going through a challenging season or situation that makes moving forward in our goals and dreams too difficult. Alternatively, have you slid down that path of least resistance so far and have been telling yourselves it’s not possible when in fact it that is a lie.
Take a moment, read that paragraph again, where are YOU right now?
Just like you, I too are human, i suffer from depression from a hereditary position and am susceptible to situational and seasonal depression. Winter in Perth is nothing to complain about when other places become just unbearably miserable, however, that does not mean to say that the winter blues are not a very real thing! In previous years we held a winter challenge to give our members something to focus on during the colder months. This year we decided to do something different and are instead running a Spring Clean Your Body Challenge with the intention to blow off the winter feelings and kick start your motivation in a positive direction.
We want to make the most of the wonderful boost the spring warmth and sunshines brings by giving you a health challenge to just feel better physically. When we feel better physically, we feel better mentally and finding the desire to eat better, connect better in our relationships and many other positive steps become easier. So, if you are not going through a situation that requires almost all of your time and resources right now, come join us October 1st to take 25 classes in 5 weeks of Reformer Pilates.
Taking care of yourself is not only a great example to those around you, it allows you to be the best you can be for them! You’re body will thank you, you’re family will thank you and you will be extremely proud of the achievement! Read more on the challenge here. If you are not in a place to join us, no worries, be kind to yourself, we will be here when you are ready.