Practice Daily Reflection
bal·ance - establish equal or appropriate proportions of elements
This I know for sure - living a balanced life is an ART. A learned skill. A concept that takes time and effort to master. It's challenging, rewarding and requires daily attention. Once learned, it's empowering and freeing. In essence, balanced living equals knowing how to care for yourself on every single level. Emotionally, physically, spiritually and in each facet of who we are - as parents, at work, in our relationships, etc.
We live in world that glorifies being busy. We are over worked, stressed, sick and exhausted. But we choose to get up every day and do it all over again because - it's just what we do. We work tirelessly at jobs we can't stand just so we can get those 2 weeks of vacation each year. We put money away for our retirement when those years are a tiny part of our lives. We work our whole lives so that we can enjoy a few years at the end? That just never made sense to me. We have our kids in sports, music, after school clubs, dance, etc. until we barely see them on a week night.
We have lost the art of just 'being' with each other. We are more connected now to anyone and everyone around the world, yet our relationships suffer for it. We've come leaps and bounds in technology but what does the state of or families and relationships show for it?
The Balanced Life Tip #1 - Practice Reflection Daily
Trust me. This daily practice is the NUMBER 1 most important aspect in living a balanced life. Self-reflection is where you will learn to listen to your inner voice, learn to hear God's voice, learn to be satisfied with just being.
How does this benefit you? From this place of stillness and quiet is where you can learn to truly love who you are, which then impacts how you live your life.
Maybe you are like me and you don't have much time until after all the kids are in bed. Please, please, please don't let the last thing you see before your close your eyes be your phone, lap top, tablet or any kind of technology. Turn those devices off at least 30 minutes before you are going to fall asleep. Go to bed with a clear mind. This will change your sleep patterns and overall health dramatically!
This is what it looks like for me...
1. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you will have no interruptions. No music, phone, TV, etc. (I don't suggest a bed, because you will probably fall asleep!)
2. Think about the most pressing issue you are facing (marital problems, sick loved one, problems with one of your kids)
3. Mentally place that 'issue' in a box with a lid and set it aside in your mind. Give yourself time to deal with that later.
4. Think of a dream you have for yourself. Something you long and wish for (I wish my husband and I were closer, I wish I had a career I loved, I wish we did not live pay check to pay check, I wish I loved myself, I wish I was married, I wish I was closer to God). This can be a multitude of things but should be something that will be a lifelong accomplishment if achieved. I do not suggest you choose something that is obviously irreversible (terminal illness, for example).
5. Envision this dream coming true. Picture your life with this accomplished. Be detailed. What would that look like if it were to happen? Relish it, delight in it and then make the conscious choice to believe that it is a possibility. Say to yourself, 'This is going to happen for me.'
6. Choose 1 simple way to incorporate this dream coming true. What is one small step you can do tomorrow to get closer to this dream? (Read a book on marriage, research post-secondary education options, make a list of what your perfect job would look like, etc.) Even if you don't believe it, tell yourself that it can happen and you deserve it. I promise you will eventually start believing it.
7. Repeat daily
My dad recently passed away from terminal cancer and the time he was sick and fighting for his life was the hardest thing I have ever faced. We were very close. Amazingly, it was also during this time that I started to dream the biggest dreams for myself. For years I have had dreams but I never believed they could be a reality. I'm going to have to research into that parallel more. They were juxtaposed against my circumstance and yet, I never felt more sure that my dreams were going to happen for me. I reflected on them daily because I needed some hope to hang on to and now it has become part of my daily routine.
Do you spend time in reflection daily? What does that look like for you?
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Reblogged on https://thebalancedlifeco.wordpress.com/
Sarah is a mom with a degree in Personal Training & is in love with all things balanced.