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Friday
Dec162011

Is Balance Important?

Photo by Linda SamuelsYears ago I heard Dan Thurmon speak at a NAPO conference. He is a dynamic, entertaining speaker and author that juggles, flips, and rides unicycles while delivering his keynote. His book, Off Balance on Purpose, challenges the unrealistic goal that life should be balanced.

Much of my writing focuses on finding a balance that’s right for you. The idea of feeling balanced 100% of the time is unattainable. It’s not even desirable.  The search for balance is a constant negotiation between a state of unrest or chaos and that feeling of calm or flow. It’s essential to experience both calm and chaos. They each serve a purpose.

Without some tumult, we become complacent and too content. We stop searching for solutions or growth possibilities. I’m certainly an advocate for knowing how to just be, but that’s within the context of long-term growth.

With abundant chaos, we become so stressed and ineffectual that we can easily ignore our basic needs for self-care. If life becomes a constant state of activity with no time to restore, think, or just be, we lose our focus and energy.

So how does one find that right balance? The balance I’m referring to is really your particular mix of tumult and calm that fits your life, goals and needs at any given point in time. Thinking back to raising our family, life was far more hectic than it is now. The stretches of feeling like things were “out of whack,” were much longer than the calmer parts. Now being an empty nester, while life is still full, the periods of calm are longer. The mix has changed.

Balance between these extremes is not a done deal. It’s really a matter of what we choose to focus on at any given point. In this photo of the forest, the foreground is sharp and clearly delineated, while the background is foggy and hard to see. This mirrors our lives. The shift between chaos and calm comes from what we give our attention to. As our needs change, so does our focus. Pay attention to the clues, which will help you identity when it might be time for re-balancing.

When do you know it’s time to shift your balance? What are your clues?

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Reader Comments (6)

Hi Linda,

Thanks for this thought provoking post. I can tell when my is out of balance when little irritations in life have much more of an impact on my emotional state than they would seem to warrant. The glass left out on the counter makes me feel my whole house is a mess and the driver in front of me is going much, much too slow (to name but two :) I find that I can restore some equilibrium by carving out some alone time for myself and puttering around the house or taking care of some of those chores hanging over my head. Also talking about it with friends is a great help!

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShar

I should have married a professional organizer. Then my house would always be clean. :)

Selma Lockaby
All American Auto Transport

December 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSelma Lockaby

Shar- What a lovely, thoughtful response. You're ability to identify what your "cues" are is great. In addition, you know what you need to make yourself feel better when your balance is off, by having some me time, puttering, taking some simple actions, or talking things out with friends. Thank you for sharing all of these great strategies and joining in the conversation.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

Thank you for stopping by, Selma. You left an interesting comment. I'd love to hear more. Is there something about the way our homes feel that make us feel more or less balanced? Does the clutter level come into play?

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

This is a really good read for me. I just found your website a few days ago and I have been reading through it regularly. Thanks a lot for enjoying this beauty blog with me

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterftc identity theft

Thank you for stopping by to share your good thoughts with us. So happy to know you are enjoying the blog and read it regularly.

December 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Samuels

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