I like to think that keeping life in balance can be compared to riding a bicycle. If your tyre pressures are not even then your journey will take on a different feel. If the pressures are too high, or too low the ride won’t feel comfortable either. You have to find the perfect balance for the terrain that you are travelling on at that point and review it each time you take that bike out for a ride as your environment will change. The same can be said about managing life expectations.
Are you in a good place at the moment? Emotionally: physically: spiritually? Does your life make you smile more than sneer? Do you have a clear head at the end of each day or are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders by the end of the day?
It’s very easy to fall into a self-fulfilling cycle of negativity and then to lose sight of what is important to you. Thinking about what makes you feel content and happy and keeping far away from negative thoughts becomes almost impossible. Are you keeping life in balance? Are you working towards positive outcomes that fulfil your needs and desires as a human being – a partner, parent, friend, relative, and your own self?
Making a list of what makes you smile and feel good is a starting point. Write down the things that are important to you and you like to do. Then make a list of the things that you do regularly.
Do the two lists match?
If they are poles apart you have your initial focus point to start planning and making changes from. If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. It takes strength to dig into your inner ‘fierce’ to identify what is of value to you. If you do this regularly you have a good chance of stopping yourself slipping into a cycle of negative thoughts and consequences.
What if you are already in that negative cycle – it feels much harder to stop it in its tracks? Yep, we fully understand that… we had a tough year in 2015 (due to bereavement, loss, illnesses, accidents, injuries) and were almost believing that we clearly had done something to deserve the sad, bad, challenging and downright ugly situations that we had to contend with during a never ending 12 month period. We learnt a lot about ourselves during this time and we worked out how to work through it all together and as individuals. What did we do? Well there isn’t a magic button to push or wand to wave and perhaps our approach won’t work for everyone. But we are back to feeling far more positive – our mantra of ‘anything and everything is possible’ is firmly at the fore our minds again!
Our ‘super hero’ underwear felt a little grubby. We accepted that we were human and that the feelings we were experiencing were part of our life. What we would normally have been able to manage on a day to day basis seemed to get heavier and less manageable simply because there was just too much all at once.
We asked for help where we needed it. We spoke to our friends, family and clients, sharing our concerns and realised that we were not alone.
We celebrated our family accomplishments and achievements of the year that we had swept under the carpet while dealing with sad and challenging situations and made sure that we paused to enjoy the positive aspects of each day.
We put each situation into its own file. Yep a physical file. Dealing with each situation from that file as a focus point meant each activity was focused.
We started a gratitude diary again that we write in when we want to, noting down a good thing about the day. We took the time to enjoy the simplest of pleasures rather than rushing them. Whether this was walk with the dog, volunteering, having a meal together, sitting with a cup of tea and a book!
We were very fortunate to have had a holiday rescheduled at Christmas together. We had a break from ‘normal’ which allowed us pause, reflect, review and plan, and to draw a line beneath everything.
A cycle of negativity can be very destructive but it also allows for the opportunity of change. Find your inner ‘fierce’ and get yourself on a positive path so that the detours to the negative are limited and managed. Check your tyre pressures daily to make sure you enjoy each day as much as you can. If you forget first thing, that is ok, you can get off the bike and make changes as you need to.
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