By The FIRM Master Instructor Kelly Branning
I am a Libra. Although I don’t read my horoscope, I do identify with those scales that represent my sign. Balance, balance and more balance. It is a daily challenge to keep those scales from tipping over. One side seems overloaded with the things we do for others and the outside world, like family, career, social life and housework. The other side of the scale, including exercise and nutrition, usually threatens to let go at any time.
I think the absolute foundation of a balanced life is good self-care, coupled with good self-awareness. That said … how are you doing? How is your eating? Do you get everything you need from the foods you eat? Hopefully you are eating healthy, life-affirming foods every 3-4 hours. How about exercise? Are you finding a little time to work out and get stronger? If you don’t know how you are doing, let’s take some time to figure it out.
How to find balance
Start a body log. Take a moment to think about what you want to accomplish. Write down what you eat; include time and portions. Write down the type of exercise you did that day and for how long. How did you feel? Include a column for the other important people and things in your life. Did you get family time? Did you get some time to yourself? Maybe record whether you had time for meditation or reflection. This body log will help you get the big picture of how well you care for yourself each day. We cannot be a good partner, parent or friend unless we take care of ourselves. In his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says that we are the tool that creates our lives. It is imperative to keep that saw sharp.
In order to hold a balancing pose or position, like Tree Pose in yoga, you have to find a focus point and continually reassess where your center is. Most importantly, you need to breathe into the pose and feel where your body is in space. I think this can be key to keeping balance in our lives as well.
Of course, finding balance today doesn’t mean that you’ll find it in the same place tomorrow! The demands on you and what you need to feel healthy are going to change. This change may be gradual or may happen overnight. Things like hormonal changes and injuries can change how we work our bodies and how our bodies respond. Children may come into our lives or they may move away from home. So, check in with yourself and your body log often to see which way the scales are tipping. Keep them in your favor by taking time to exercise, eat well and breathe deeply into your life.