Insights on Balance

Written May 20, 2013

There’s always a lot of talk about maintaining balance in life, that is, ensuring that things are settled and even within oneself. In my world, I feel most balanced when I have enough alone time to do my inner work and take care of my physical body, with enough family and friend time to feel like I’ve connected with those I love, AND a dose of work time to move toward something of purpose.

Although I’m in a place of balance now, it hasn’t always been the case. In the past, I have gotten too focused on the work and the commitments and lost track of people and family as well as the personal time I needed. I have been unable or unwilling to maintain the physical exercise needed to keep my body healthy. In truth, I have never had an outside-the-home work arrangement when I have not become imbalanced – sacrificing my family, my physical self, my emotional or spiritual needs or any combination thereof. I’ve not only seen this happen to me again and again, but to just about every person I know.

Leaving the traditional work world 10 years ago allowed me to create and remember what it is like to be balanced – to follow my inner flow and where it leads, to make decisions each day based on what my whole self calls for, and to assess more quickly when things are ‘off’ so I can make immediate changes to remedy things. For me, I needed this dramatic departure from my traditional work routine to see and feel balance again. And frankly, I don’t want to forget ever again. This is why I’ve been very cautious in these past several years not to overcommit or barrel down paths that don’t suit my ability to stay in this current flow.

With the surge I’m feeling this year to move into the world more fully again, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how my life’s balance will be affected. Is this right timing to shake things up and uncover what’s next? Is it worth risking loss of inner balance?

And then it hit me, or shall I say that I was reminded, that maintaining balance isn’t a static thing or a schedule that satisfies various needs. It isn’t about ensuring that I have an hour of exercise time and two hours of alone time and a bit of time with Joel and a phone call to my sister. Rather,

it’s about staying present with each choice.

If I say yes when I mean yes, and no when I mean no, and if I follow what my core reacts to and what energizes me and brings me joy, always making choices that honor the truth of who I am, then no matter what my schedule looks like I will feel balance. The appearance or meaning of balance, that is the distribution of what feels right to do when, shifts each day. It’s not a static thing to maintain, but rather something that ebbs and flows.

My cousin, Colleen, took care of my single aunt in her last years and when I thanked her for doing that on the behalf of all of our family, she said that it really wasn’t remarkable. She was just following someone else’s words of wisdom which were, ‘Do whatever is in front of you.’ For me that translates into the concept that if an opportunity or an inspiration is laid before me and it feels like mine (key ingredient) then it is right to accept it and see how it all flows. Add to that my mantra for living, ‘let go of outcome’ and I can feel the melting away of all of the worry and stress with what lies ahead with this new venture.

Onward!

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Regina Leffers McCaleb, Ph.D.

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