Monday, January 11, 2010

Life in Balance

Happy New Year! January is National Life in Balance Month, and what better month to take stock of our lives than January? We are at the beginning of a new year and a new decade. Taking stock is different from making a New Year’s Resolution. New Year’s Resolutions always feel like things that you make yourself do because you should. The force – “make yourself” – and the “should” are set ups for sabotage. It’s difficult to feel encouraged or inspired whenever force is a part of the equation. Taking stock, on the other hand, is reflection. It is spending time in honor of your life.

Check the scales of your life. Are they level and in balance? Level and balanced doesn’t mean excitement is missing. It means that you are nurturing or feeding all of the parts of who you are in the amounts that suit you best. Is your body nourished or is it neglected? Are you enjoying your social self, connecting with friends and family? Are you fully expressing yourself emotionally? Are you growing spiritually? Are you feeling purposeful in your work life? Being out of balance is spending too much time on one aspect of your life at the expense of others. Being in balance is nourishing all of you.

Robert Fulghum, author of All I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, advised that we live a balanced life. He suggested that we “learn some and think some and draw some and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.” He also paired this advice with “warm cookies and milk are good for you” and “take a nap every afternoon.” All good!

One of the biggest ways to tip the scales out of balance is multi-tasking. Long thought to be the way towards ├╝ber productivity, studies now show multi-tasking actually hinders productivity and learning. When Robert advised us to take naps, sing, dance, paint, and work, he did not advise that we do them all at the same time. Sing a little, then paint a little, then work a little, then go for that afternoon nap!

In this New Year, take stock, honor all of you and regain balance one step at a time. Then teach your children to do the same so that they honor all aspects of who they are.

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