BTBS Strategies for finding balance in our lives.
Whose name is on the top of your Holiday gift list? Your children, husband, parents, in-laws, teachers, friends, mail carrier, and neighbors? Let me guess: it is not yours! Do you even make it on the list?
Beyond the Bus Stop has the perfect Gift for you to give yourself for the busy holiday season. We only have one requirement to receive this gift. You must put yourself FIRST on the list.
As busy, fully loving moms, we want so much to be all we can to those we love only to find ourselves exhausted, tired and frustrated that we didn’t get to do the stuff we wanted for ourselves. Another day when we were just short of achieving that ever illusive balance, just the right mix of being the keeper of all, the fixer of all, the best darn chauffer, financier and master chef and, Oh! Me time!
At our October meeting of the Chester County PA chapter of Beyond the Bus Stop, we opened the door and looked at how to achieve more balance in our lives within the different aspects of our lives. It was a wonderful meeting! Having that shift in perspective proved a great way to begin to see the area(s) where we would like to feel more satisfied and balanced.
So often, we find ourselves screaming inside for balance in all aspects of our lives. Balance, one of those things that we are forever seeking, is a very big core personal value and one that we often find ourselves in conflict with throughout our busy days. Children, jobs, our homes and family so often take us off our planned path for the day. We tend to feel that if we do not take care of the needs of our family above all (especially our children) we will miss some golden opportunity to show them how much we love them and we hope that one day they will love us more for the self sacrifices we’ve made.
However, fulfilling and replenishing our need for balance is the primary priority. The more we can truly recognize exactly what we need and understand what works best for us to sustain balance, the clearer our loving action for our family will be -- fully enjoying our lives, reacting and acting in a much more loving manner, keeping us in harmony with our core value, reducing our inner conflict.
Following the meeting and discussion in October, we received a great question from one of the members. Simply put she asked:
“How do we find the balance on the front end...instead of the back end? [Recently] I realized my life was lacking the needed balance too late. Life was already a tumultuous mess; seeing the need on the front end would have been a huge benefit for me and for my health and wellbeing.
Balance is about knowing what you’re doing and why you’re doing it and feeling that sense of control over your life.
Ok, you ask, but HOW? Well the old cliché “the answer lies within”, does apply here. Don’t worry I won’t leave it there. Yes, that is absolutely true! The reason that is, is because you know you, you know your family and you know your current life circumstance better than anyone. There are many reasons we spend most days begging for balance, peace and an easy life. The truth is every moment of every day we are given the opportunity to achieve a sense of harmony, peace and alignment.
Why is it so illusive? Because every time we feel responsible for something and we say “Yes” we become over committed and over scheduled. Moreover, mostly that has to do with the fact that we as “Moms” feel like we need to control everything. We of course do this with immeasurable love but it often ends up at the expense of our own balance. When we take all the responsibilities for the all that happens in our household we immediately loose sight of ourselves. We are too busy for ourselves!
Achieving balance is always about doing it on the front end. However, sometimes we get caught up with our day-to-day routines and lose sight of the opportunities life has to offer. We get busy with too much work, too many obligations, and say “yes” too often to things that are out of alignment with our Personal Core Values or with the things we truly want. Giving ourselves what keeps us in balance up front (before we implode or explode) - is what I think it means to be mindful of ourselves (putting yourself first on the list) in the most kind, loving way.
–Remembering you -As an example, BTBS is the "front end" by way of a place for us to take the time for ourselves to identify and/or remind us what keeps us in balance. Is it more time to ourselves, a place to express our passions and interests, explore our purpose for the things we like to do today (not a life time), or, best of all, time to share and connect? Whatever our goals, we get to step outside of our lives for a new, fresh and untangled perspective and are able to find the answers that lie within.
– Self-assess and reflect – Beyond the Bus Stop members who attended the October Chester County Chapter meeting in October received a ‘quote card’ to take home that says this perfectly: “WOMEN NEED REAL MOMENTS OF SOLITUDE AND SELF-REFLECTION TO BALANCE OUT HOW MUCH OF OURSELVES WE GIVE AWAY.” We need down time!
What does the “front end” look like for you? That is what you need down time, space and a place to figure out. The more centered we can get to figure out how to protect and preserve the base of our "cups", the more we will realize that we give out more than is necessary to quench the thirst of our loved ones.
- Make a shift – consider things from every angle -We also need to bring our awareness to what it is that drains us and start asking ourselves – Why do we feel drained from our current circumstance? Do we really need to be involved to the point that it drains us? How can we step back from the chaos and find the calm in the situation (usually staying with the facts helps)? We must try to discover our own inner wants and needs. Potential ways to start to bring awareness might be to take time, ask different questions then you already ask yourself, step aside and do the opposite of what you normally would do. Just trying to realize what is narrowing your vision and causing you to feel as if something is missing will be the beginning of a new perspective and a way re-balance and re-claim our own lives. Then cast your vision wider step-by-step.
–Setting boundaries and saying “No” more often -How does this compare to time spent pursuing pleasurable activities or spending time with family? Just as people might do with a budget list, taking an honest assessment of imbalanced factors, trimming and delegating where possible may help achieve a greater sense of balance.
- Persevere, re-balance and re-claim - Lastly, life will get out of balance at times. Complications arise, people get sick, jobs get lost and any number of things can occur that cause people to shift focus to a specific aspect of life. These situations usually do calm down after a while and allow people to return to more balanced living.
Be gentle with yourself if you forget and get unbalanced and remember we all need reminders now and again.