This article was written by Gini Grey, who is a Transformational Coach, utilizing a powerful blend of coaching, counseling and spiritual energy tools in her individual sessions, workshops, books and CD's. For more information go to www.ginigrey.com.
What is balance to you? Do you measure it in time spent between various activities; work, family, exercise, recreation, being with others, being alone, inner reflection, outer doing and so on? Is it a state you try to achieve or a balance between states: excitement and calm, moving fast and slow, feeling high and low?
Balance is unique to each individual and can change from month to month, week to week or even day to day. One day you might need peace and quiet to feel balanced. Another day you need stimulation and activity. Or you might change throughout the day - in the morning those cute kids playing outside in the sunshine, with their high pitched laughter might bring a smile to your face, yet in the afternoon the same laughter begins to sound like shrieking and you feel like hiding in a dark closet where no one will find you.
Some strive to achieve equilibrium throughout each day, others don't mind swaying between the ups and downs as long as it balances out in the long run. For me it's much like the seasons. I go through periods where I need time to myself, low activity, and slow, quiet walks in nature as if I'm letting go of something and need to rest in hibernation. At other times I'm exploding with energy and need to be with people, share my ideas, and be creative. Who knows what triggers our various needs from day to day or month to month, but being in tune with our true needs allows us to give ourselves the inner quiet or external activity we're yearning for.
When we resist what we truly need with "I should?" or "I have to?" or "I don't deserve?" or "people will think?" then we move out of balance, into chaos, overwhelm and confusion. Yet there's nothing wrong with these feelings or states, they're just there to remind us that we're getting off track. The more off track we get, the more intense the discomfort becomes, until we're finally ready to surrender to our truer needs at the cost of the shoulds, have to's, expectations and opinions. And of course, we all know in the end we feel better, are more productive and on purpose again.
So why this dance between being in and out of balance? It seems to boil down to loyalty. Are you loyal to your true self or to the false beliefs and messages? Do you honor what's in your best interest or do follow the lead of old sabotaging tapes and demands playing in your head?
* When you get out of balance, what are your typical patterns (do you get over busy, go into effort and struggle, become a slug)?
* What are your warning signs for when you're off balance (feeling overwhelmed, cranky with others, make mistakes, isolate, numb out with distractions or substances)? What motivates you to get out of balance (what are the tapes that play in your head, are you motivated by sense of responsibility, fear, guilt, undeservedness)?
* What are the payoffs (be honest with yourself, you wouldn't do it if there weren't payoffs - do you get to feel important, do you get attention, does it give you something to whine about, are you attached to excitement or what about misery and martyrdom)?
* Get in touch with how it feels to be out of balance, let yourself feel this and see yourself going through a day like this with all its discomfort. Now start to shift and imagine releasing the motives and payoffs for getting out of balance. Thank them for what they've given you in the past and say goodbye. Imagine your ideal state of balance. Notice how it feels, fill up with the energy of how it feels to be in balance. See yourself going through a day in your own state of balance. Set your intention to create balance in your life by stating to yourself that you choose to have your own unique balance in your life on an ongoing basis.
* As you go through your days, pay attention to your warning signs that you're getting off balance. When you notice something pulling you off track, take a moment to ask yourself what the motives and payoffs are. Be aware of what you are honoring, and if you can, honor yourself.
* Throughout the day, practice checking in with yourself to see what you need in order to have more balance in your life. Try it right now. See if you can give this to yourself.