What is it? How do I find it? Once I find it, how do I keep it? These questions remind me of a scene in one of my favourite movies; The Princess Bride. And in remembering that scene (I won't tell you about it...watch the movie...its great!), I'm reminded about how such things infuse our lives with fun, long after the experience is over. They contribute to that feeling of being in balance.
To me, balance is really about living life with rhythm. It's about feeling peace, and being able to move with life. Living in rhythm is a constantly shifting, changing state that can be called balance as long as you are feeling at peace with where you're currently at. Rhythm is about how you react to what you are choosing to do in your life.
For example, just now when I remembered that movie I enjoy so much, I stopped writing for a minute. I remembered that scene, as well as a few others that happened to pop into my mind. I smiled, even laughed a little at the memories before coming back to my work. It hardly took any time at all, but experiences like that make all the difference between living a life that is in rhythm, and one that is not.
For the person who's life feels out of balance or out of rhythm, often everything is a rush. They tend to focus on "what's next". Its rare that they ever get the chance to really enjoy anything as they are constantly thinking about what else they have to do. When something fun pops to mind, they squash it down, and push themselves back to the task at hand, or worse; worry about the work they still have left to do. Even events that are fun take on a rushed, harried feel since these events are usually back to back with other errands or work to be done.
A person who's life feels rhythmic is focused on what is happening RIGHT NOW. They attend to the task at hand without worrying about what else has to be done. Many people call this way of being; "living in the moment". Not a bad description, but one that I prefer not to use. I don't see anything wrong with thinking about the future, as long as you're thinking positively. And I don't see anything wrong with thinking about the past either, as long as you aren't wallowing in something negative that happened, or reliving a positive experience so extensively that you're forgetting to live now.
When is the last time you just relaxed and let yourself be where you were? Or just let yourself enjoying a memory? When is the last time you really let yourself go into a memory of something fun without reminding yourself to get to work?
Rhythm is achievable and surprisingly easy to start creating. Just one small step will help you to start feeling less busy. Are you ready?
Here it is:
Stop thinking about your "to do" list.
That's right. Stop THINKING about everything you have to do. Make a list of all the tasks on your mind. Work on the tasks one at a time, and focus on that task while you're doing it. When that task is done, check it off, and move on to whatever it is you need to do next.
This is a small change that can be very challenging when you're in the habit of thinking and worrying about everything you have to do. Just be aware and when you catch yourself starting to fall into your old thinking patterns, gently bring your mind back to the task at hand.
You'll be surprised at what a difference this process can make.
Wishing you all the best,