Part of my byline for this blog about Living Life, Making Choices is about finding balance. I thought of this last night as I was thinking about striving and letting go – in our yoga practice or in our daily lives. Early in my yoga practice – about 10 years ago – my practice was definitely about striving. I came to yoga a ‘Type A’ personality. I wanted to know it all, do it right and be ‘good’ at it. As my practice progressed and I studied about yoga and philosophy (Taoism, Buddhism, the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita), I learned (and am still learning) about letting go and being in the present moment. My yoga teachers would convey the importance of taking this practice off the mat, and I heard what they said, but it actually took me years of practice on the mat to integrate being truly present off the mat.
It is a daily practice to learn how to be present and find balance. We are inundated with so many demands related to various aspects of our life: work, relationships, health, quest for personal & spiritual development, social life/having fun, finances. Finding the balance in all aspects of our lives takes contemplation, planning, discipline, and honesty. Contemplation – about what is important in our life, today. Planning – to find time and resources to make it happen. Discipline – to keep it going. And honesty – looking deep within to see if what we plan to include in our life feels right. Sometimes we include commitments in our life because of a relationship with someone who we do not want to disappoint or because we have difficulty saying NO. When we make a decision to add something to our weekly schedule (perhaps more hours at work, a yoga class, an online or college course), we need to look carefully into the reason why and examine if it fits with our goals as well as our core values.
I was talking to my daughter recently and she was telling me about a decision she made to not add a consulting job to her plate. Although the work would be interesting and the pay was good, when she was considering if she could fit it into her schedule, she was feeling stressed. Clearly, this was not the time to say YES to this opportunity and she said NO. She put her time with her family as her primary priority knowing that by living authentically and knowing what balance looks like in her life, another opportunity would present itself when the timing was right. (As an aside – yes, I think my girl is wicked smart and totally awesome!)
As a start to find balance in your life, take some quiet time for yourself – TODAY. Contemplate what is important in the various aspects of your life and when an opportunity presents itself; give yourself permission to ‘just say NO’!
Make an amazing day!