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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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In The Other Side of Organized, Linda Samuels, CPO-CD® will encourage you to get organized enough to reduce the stress of life’s details and make time to embrace your passions. Already, thousands of clients and readers have found help and inspiration in her advice, personal reflections on change and connection, and vision of what can be accomplished when you find that sweet spot between chaos and perfection.

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How to Immediately Put Back More "B" in Balance

It’s so darn easy to get out of balance. It can happen in an instant like when one of life’s emergencies surprises us. It can also happen ever so slowly when we get busy and aren’t able to carve out time for any self-care. So how can we get some of that daily “B” back into our lives? I suppose the first important thing is to recognize what it is you need to feel more balanced. It could be having some alone time or having more time with people. It might include eating more healthfully or getting more sleep. You might need one small tweak or some major changes. And frankly, some of us just like the chaos and prefer being out of balance all of the time. Where are you right now?

For me, well, I’ll admit that I went through an intense period that resulted in a wonderful balance. It didn’t happen overnight. It began about a year ago when I took an 8-week mindfulness course. That led to many shifts including changing my eating habits, journaling daily, seeing a nutritionist, doing back exercises, walking regularly, meditating daily, and losing weight. I felt less stressed and more energetic than I had in years. I didn’t expect or even plan for all of those changes to happen. One good habit led to another and then another. They became my balance building blocks.

Then starting in late summer, things slowly began moving in the opposite direction. The balance that I’d achieved began to slip away one habit at a time. My mom needed my attention and it made it increasingly challenging to focus on my routines. And just as slowly as I’d developed some great balance-producing habits, those same good habits managed to disappear one by one. What the heck happened? I worked so hard to get to that better place and then bam…many were gone over a few months!

It happens. Balance is like that seesaw. It’s not always level, but in a constant state of motion that requires thought and action. The intensity of what my family needed has subsided. My mom is settled into a new place that she loves. The family home is cleared and ready for sale. I am ready to refocus some of that energy back to myself. It almost feels selfish making that declaration, but truthfully, if we can’t nurture our core, how can we be available for anyone else?

Slowly, I’ll bring back some of the “B’s.” In the last few weeks, the short list has included:


  • Spending more time with friends and family
  • Having some alone, quiet time
  • Taking more photographs
  • Eating more vegetables
  • Walking more
  • Writing more regularly
  • Enjoying the beauty of the first snow


The operative word here is more. I don’t expect instant. I do get that if I consistently do just a little more each day, eventually I will get or surpass where I was six months ago.

There are more good habits to bring back. But as I’ve learned before, each good choice begets more good choices. We just have to be willing to:


  • Determine your balance and self-care needs
  • Commit to one, small change at a time
  • Recognize that change happens when we make different decisions
  • Cut ourselves some slack when we go off course


I wish you all the best as you find your right balance. What will be included in your balance plan? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation!





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Reader Comments (10)

We had something this weekend that has thrown the family out of balance. It is a situation that won't be easily solved, and definitely knocking me out of balance. I take comfort in the idea that balance will come and go... and come back again, especially if we pursue it. I trust that things will resolve, though there is no guarantee of that. Investing in getting more balanced, even in a small way, will ease tension and remind me that we are in the season of joy! Thanks for sharing, and I'm so glad that the intense time of dealing with your Mom's living situation is mostly behind you. FYI, I do back exercises too:)

December 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

As a child, I had a tall inflatable clown. If you punched him, he would fall over, but he always bounced back up. When I read about your experience over the past year, that clown came to mind. Just like the clown, something happened that knocked you off your feet, but because you had a strong foundation to start with, you were able to pick yourself up much more easily than if you hadn't developed good life habits.

For me, carving out more time and brain space for my photography will make a big difference. I take part in a weekly challenge that runs from Monday to Sunday, and more often than not, I'm scrambling to take and submit my photo on Sunday. This makes it feel like something on my to do list instead of a creative outlet. On the few times I've taken a break during the week to work on my photography, the benefits have far exceeded the interruption to my work.

December 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

I love reading your posts, Linda. Life is truly like a see-saw. Just when you have it balanced something happens to offset that feeling. I love what you said about being able to regain that balance by focusing on one small change at a time and letting each good habit lead to another. I'm so happy for you that you have your mom settled and the house ready for sale. What a relief.

December 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

@Seana- My heart goes out to you and your family. Life's curve balls definitely play havoc with our balance. But they can also help us to put what's most important into perspective. The challenging times are rough, but they can give us clarity too. I wish that for you...and for finding small ways to feel some balance during the hard patches. Nice to know we're "back buddies!"

December 11, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Janet- Oh! I remember those punching bag clowns. I didn't have one, but one of my friends did. I love the metaphor you made between having that strong (or weighted) base and being able to pop back up again. It's a great image to hold on to. Thank you.

It's wonderful that you've identified a way to feel more balanced by focusing some of your creative energy on your photography. I also get what you mean about sometimes it feels more like a chore than a joy. It also sounds like you're open to figuring out ways to make that small tweak so that it will be a happier, more fulfilling experience for you. Go, Janet!

December 11, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

@Diane- Thank you so much. I appreciate that you are a regular contributor to the conversations. You always add so much. Especially when we are overwhelmed or completely out of kilter, getting "back" happens more easily when we take a tiny step in a more positive direction. And as you know, the smaller the better. The positive outcomes make us want to do more and that's how change happens.

December 11, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Balance is one of my favorite topics! It's started years ago in pilates, when my teacher said that in pilates balance is achieved by the movement of many parts simultaneously moving to achieve balance. That has created an awareness of how to keep in balance, with sleep, exercise, mindfulness, support, and nutrition. I keep in balance by having each of these play a role in my daily and weekly life.

Being out of balance happens to us all. It's when we are aware that we can make a change to get back to being in balance.

December 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

@Ellen- What a beautiful description of balance! I never know how philosophical pilates could be. How lovely. Kudos to you for finding ways to integrate so many healthy choices into your daily life. And of course, as you too have discovered, things can go off course. But awareness, as you said is the key to bringing us back.

December 12, 2017 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

What a great post! I use the imagery of a gymnast on a balance beam to express how balance is not stagnant. Even the best gymnast is constantly making adjustments, some are big and some are small. We feel the tug of life and we need to lean in one direction or else everything will come tumbling down. I love your point of just doing "more." I find that I am an all or nothing girl. It's a good reminder to take it slow and build the habit.

January 22, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Steele

@Jaime- Your gymnast-balance beam analogy is wonderful. As I read your words, I could see the gymnast making those slight adjustments. And that's so true to life, isn't it? Sometimes it's the little tweaks and other times the grand gestures. I get what you mean about being the all or nothing thinking. And there are times when that can propel us ahead quickly. However, most things require patience and a consistent effort, even if tiny. Those efforts add up to something big.

January 23, 2018 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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