Establishing balance is about moving gracefully throughout the stages of your life– for women we move through the phases of a maiden, to mother, to a wise woman. Men move from boyhood to becoming a man or a father, to an elder.
Balance is not about being perfect all the time, nor that your life is exactly rationed into equal parts. Instead, being in balance means you are in the right season for things to unfold and flourish in their appropriate time.
My wise friend Patrick Holiman wrote a book called “Watermelons Grow in the Summer Time.” The premise of the book is to acknowledge the season we are experiencing. Yes, we can have it all, just not all at the same time. Springtime is for strawberries, and late summer is for watermelons.
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Being Balanced Means Being in Season
What Is In Season For You Right Now?
I’ll elaborate: in terms of health and wellness, career and finances, love, relationships, and spirituality, what seems to be the most in season for you to be working on right now? I often default to my career and spirituality. I notice that I place the most value in my career. I tend to choose my career over my health and my relationships, which is a default pattern and a defense mechanism that I have. When I honestly reflect on which area of my life needs my attention, which area is in season for me, it is the area of my love and relationships that are needing to be tended to. If I continue as I have in the past, I will never find balance because I will be continuously working on an area that is out of season for me.
To live a life with healthy growth and forward momentum, we need to evaluate what season we are in and work on that specific area of our lives. The benefits will ripple out and nourish all the areas of our lives. Our health and careers will improve when your relationships grow.
Do You Feel Pulled in Different Directions?
Feeling pulled in many directions happens for lots of reasons. Sometimes it’s because we live in a fast-paced society and we have a hard time saying no to things, and before we know it, we are double booked and overworked.
Other times it’s because we are multidimensional beings with the capacity to love more than one thing deeply. We want to learn more, experience more, grow and become in more than one area of our lives.
It can also be because we are evolving into new versions of ourselves. Who we were and what we were committed to 10- 20 years ago no longer fulfills us in the same way, and we still feel committed to the commitment that we made, yet we want to grow in new directions. Some of those previous commitments are still valuable and worthy of us, yet we feel pulled to the unknown future, which is our destiny. This pull is exciting and scary because it means leaving the life we know. It means risking our security and our comfort. It means leaving the comfortable cage that we built for ourselves.
When I am feeling pulled in different directions, I stop, take a deep breath, and find my center. When I want to explore this a little more, I’ll connect with my stronger, wiser self which actually means that I connect with my vulnerable self; the part of me who needs gentle reminders like I love you, I accept you for who you are and not what you do, or what you produce. The part of myself that needs reassuring hugs. Then, I connect with my future self. The aspect of me that already knows what decision is the best decision for me. The three of us communicate. We support and learn from each other.
Being balanced is a form of connection; it’s about being in the right relationship with the earth and the natural cycles of the cosmos. Going outside and seeing the stars, recognizing the alignment of the planets. Going out and seeing all the plants that are popping up, blooming, or are fading away, noticing which trees grow close to you, how the water in the creek looks and what birds are nesting in your yard. Connecting to the greater seasons and the micro-environments of our yards help put things into perspective and bring clarity to our lives. When we feel connected to something bigger than us it reminds us that we are a part of this ever-changing and amazing universe. How we live, what we commit to, and how we love matters.
Often, I don’t think we realize what’s at stake if we don’t live our best lives. Ask your self, what’s at stake if you don’t pursue your desired career? What’s at stake if you don’t value your relationships? What’s at stake if you are not as healthy as possible? When you start to contemplate those questions, the answers are far beyond your limited awareness. For example, if I had not followed my heart to become a midwife, I would not have attended so many beautiful births. Still, more importantly, I would not have been in the position to influence other women to become midwives. The ripple out effect not only improved my sense of self-worth, but it was also of service to the women and families I helped, and it inspired others to pick up the torch and continue the legacy of midwifery.
Apply that same principle to all the areas of your life and you will quickly see that whatever is in season for you right now is very important for you to work on. Not just for yourself, but for the future generations and greater global community.
Like you, I’m on a journey of self-discovery. I am faced with challenges, fears, and stumbling blocks. When these pop up along my path, I look for ways to see how they are helping me grow. I look for ways to face them and learn from them. Previously, I would have just tried to get the obstacles out of my way by any means possible because they are keeping me from my desires. Now, I see my obstacles as teachers that deserve my time and respect. Most of the time, they point to my deepest fears and vulnerabilities that stem from my childhood. When I recognize the underlying cause and heal that aspect, then I can move beyond the obstacle into a place of freedom and clarity. It sure seems like I have a lot of teachers to help heal and reveal me.
Let me share with you some of the ways that support me to find balance, establish a connection, and face my many teachers:
- Nourishing Herbal Infusions-Not only are herbs medicinal, but the practice of brewing a tea infusion or waiting for a tincture is meditative in itself. In the slowing down and waiting, we find almost as much balance and healing as in the plant itself.
In our video, Transforming the Simple to Sacred, I go into great depth about how the simple act of brewing a cup of tea can become a profound and sacred experience because you are connecting to the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. You are engaging your five senses: the sense of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. When you engage your body and have clear intentions, you heighten your experience to a conscious one.
- Adaptogenic Herbs- Adaptogenic herbs have a very balancing nature. They help your body protect itself from stress. Adaptogens are known as immune-modulators because they can suppress an overactive immune system or boost a weakened immune system. They don’t just boost your immune system. Adaptogens are harmonizing for mood, hormones, and energy. They have the ability to help your body do what it needs to do to maintain optimal health. Adaptogens are some of the best daily supportive herbs that I know of. We have a whole youtube playlist about adaptogens for you to learn more about their amazing qualities.
- Qigong- The Chinese word qi means, life force and the word gong means work or cultivation. Qigong can be loosely translated as “energy work” or “life energy cultivation.”
There are thousands of styles of Qigong, so I can only speak in broad terms. Think of Qigong as a moving meditation. It is a mind-body excise that helps align your breath, body movement, and mindful awareness to strengthen and cultivate personal energy for healing and meditation.
Now that last sentence sounds like a lovely group of words. But, if and when you truly experience the connection of your breath, body, mind, and spirit as your most vulnerable and most powerful self, while being deeply rooted in the earth and connected to the universe, you can experience the healing energy of Qigong. That is a profound, life-changing experience, my friend.
- Yoga Nidra- Yoga means union, and Nidra is the Sanskrit word for sleep. So, Yoga Nidra is an ancient yogic sleep technique designed for you to get the rest you need while “waking up” your consciousness. You do not create or imagine anything during a Yoga Nidra meditation. During the meditation, you will be guided into a deep meditative state to connect with your body and awaken your consciousness.
Over the past 20 years, I’ve practiced many forms of meditation. In my personal experience, both Qigong and Yoga Nidra are some of the easiest to learn and quickest to bring results. I’ve recorded a Yoga Nidra meditation if you’d like to experience it for yourself:
- Connection- By nature, we are connectors. We crave connection. If we don’t get the connection we desire to the people or person we want to connect with, we will connect to our pets, plants, musical instruments, tools, our phones, computers, or other objects. We want to have a vision for our lives, have a sense of place and purpose, and feel like we belong to a group of like-minded people. We want intimacy and freedom. This type of connection requires us to be seen and to see in the other person. This level of vulnerability takes strength and courage.
As I personally continue making micro-adjustments in my life to establish and maintain balance, I notice that I must connect with my body to find my voice. Once I find my voice, I am better able to communicate and discern what I need to achieve balance. I am better able to move forward even with imperfect action. I am more capable of prioritizing myself alongside other people and other people's desires. Achieving balance is an ever-changing and ongoing process that never ends. No formula tells us how to be balanced. We have to feel our way towards balance. We have to know what’s in our hearts. We have to acknowledge our needs. In any given moment, we have to have the courage to speak our truth and feelings with openness and willingness to listen to other people’s honesty and emotions.
I hope this helps you as you move gracefully through your life. Remember balance is not perfect or exactly equal all the time. It is a process of self-discovery, connection and finding your way back to center.
Until next time my friends, drink deep and always walk in beauty!
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