In one of my last posts I wrote about how I reconnected with my intuition and started my journey to live a life in balance.
Balance is not a final goal or a state of being but a process from my humble perspective.
The understanding of balance can vary according to each person so this is a short list about what I’ve been testing out in my own life:
1) Setting life priorities in the short, medium and long term. I’ve been working on this the past 2 years and at the end of this post I share some programs and resources that helped me. Defining that is important because if you don’t know where you are going and the rhythm you would like to follow, no road can get you there. Also, as a retired workaholic I can say… it’s easier to set the importance and boundaries of our professional lives (and the time we invest) once you are clear about your priorities.
2) Organizing my calendar based on my priorities. Once you know what your focus is, it’s easy to identify how you should invest your time, organizing your daily agenda and saying no to several things that will appear along the way, which can be super fun and interesting, but won’t help you to feel satisfaction. I realized time is my most valuable asset and that finding balance requires a combination of better time management, boundaries, and persistence.
3) Exercising the body to calm the mind. I never enjoyed working out, spending hours running or weight lifting. Maybe that’s why my previous exercise experiments failed. I’m energetic, creative and intense, so most of the time if I don’t find a way to use my energy I’ll end up feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. I realized that walking/hiking in nature and especially yoga really works as stress and anxiety relievers while helping me to improve flexibility and strength. It’s been amazing investing time reconnecting consciously with my body and trying to attain a more peaceful state of mind.
Notes for yoga beginners: I tried to do yoga a few years ago but I just couldn’t let go of all the thoughts that came to my mind and I felt very intimidated due to my beginner status with all poses and movements (there was a lot of people mastering the practice in my class). So I quit. Sometimes finding a class or a teacher that is the right fit for you is not that easy. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready. It’s ok to respect your time and desires.
4) Practicing meditation. I’m not an expert on this topic (or even the other ones) but I can speak sincerely about my feelings. I confess I’ve been trying a lot of meditation practices and 15 minutes is the maximum amount of time that I can concentrate. I started with 5 minutes that became 10, that transformed into 15 minutes (hope the time I spend meditating keeps increasing). With those practices I realized that my inner world of thoughts and feelings and my body sensations, sounds, and energy is as much alive and vibrant as the exterior. If I’m aware of that I can have better awareness of myself and my surroundings. I’m glad I realized that relaxation, focusing fully on each moment/experience is important for my well being before it was too late. How many sunsets and spontaneous moments have you missed because you “needed” to check your phone? Usually the most well-known benefits of meditation are letting go of accumulated stress, strengthened brain functioning, and increased physical vitality - but better sleep was the biggest perk for me.
5) Increasing awareness of my emotions. Understanding my feelings has been essential (also challenging!) and meditation practices have helped me a lot to explore that. I’ve been paying attention to my reactions and thoughts in different moments and also having therapy sessions once a week. The negative emotions are part of our journey and I’m choosing to embrace, and not to fight or be absorbed by them. As I change my perspective they become growing opportunities, helping me to catalyze the right energy and resources to face them. Expressing and managing my feelings and behaviors has a cascade effect. You start understanding, accepting and transforming yourself and the depth of self awareness helps you to make better decisions, managing conflicts and building stronger, more respectful and trustworthy relationships. It’s hard work but very rewarding!
6) Do things that I love. I’ve been working hard not only to make my career and passions come together, but also investing my time to do what brings me happiness and excitement. However, it wasn't always like that. In the past, I felt guilty when I was having fun traveling or even resting for many reasons. I had to go through the process above to understand that doing things that make me feel good doesn't need to be an exception. I don’t need to enjoy recreation for only 2 weeks of vacation per year type of thing. It’s a constant movement of self-care that brings an opportunity for growth and learning. It also encourages and inspires people around you when you are happier and have things you're passionate about to share. You feel like a magnet attracting other people and situations in the same vibration.
7) Keep testing it. This world is full of resources, people and professionals willing to share knowledge and tools. I’m humble enough to be smart. I’m always in beta.
Search Inside Yourself (Mindfulness programs for all practice stages. During the training you learn practical activities and the science related to it.)
1440 Multiversity (All sorts of programs to help you with search while relaxing)
Wisdom 2.0 (Gatherings that explore the encounter of mindfulness,wisdom and technology modernage).
Insight Timer App (free guided meditations)
Finding purpose/ Life goals-priorities:
1440 Multiversity (All sorts of programs to help you with search while relaxing, have nourishing meals and activities at a beautiful and inspiring place)
Hive Global Leaders (Meet amazing people from around the globe and get clarity on your purpose and goals, habits for the next phase of your life)
StartingBloc (A transformative leadership program for a more sustainable world).