We plot. We create. We keep trying to push the ball up the hill, figure it out, make it happen. Go. Go. Go. Don’t let the balls drop. Keep it moving forward.
You can’t see straight anymore because you’ve become a rubber band that’s stretched out to max capacity and are about to SNAP!
Signs you’ve gotten here:
- Getting stuck in your head, thinking in circles.
- Being caught in loops of trying to figure it out.
- Doubt, self-consciousness, and insecurity dominating your perception.
- Feeling tense, helpless, worried, and drained.
- Unable to see the big picture of why you’re doing what you’re doing anymore.
- Feeling lost and confused.
You know this place. I know this place. It’s the last stop on the road telling you to pull over and regroup before you enter the next place of wanting to destroy everything in your life and run away or hide because you’re so frustrated.
BALANCE. SOUNDS NICE BUT WHO’S GOT TIME FOR THAT?
Our culture has no rituals or love for taking breaks. We don’t value reflection time. We value doing. We have a martyrdom belief that we’re only justified in taking a break when we’ve literally worked ourselves into the ground and can’t move anymore. And even then, it’s more to “zone out” than center. This even bleeds into how we approach our one agreed upon refuge, the weekend, approaching it more as warriors of activity than seekers of rejuvenation.
Yet… when we take vacations, we long to go to Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Spain, Bali because these places are more relaxed. Marinating ourselves in their vibe and beauty, we can genuinely take a load off and peel the layers of stress and tension off and feel ourselves again. We become lighter. We sleep better. We’re more ourselves.
I once read that Deepak Choprah was in the habit of taking one week a month to be in silence. I thought: how fabulous and decadent! When I’ve stayed in Spain at different times I was thrilled that businesses really do close for siesta and everyone really does take a 2-3 hour break each afternoon. I loved it! I’ve had many friends, both Jewish and not, who observe Shabbat. Lots of people have daily meditation and/or yoga practices.
What do you do to re-set yourself?
We NEED to hit the reset button. To let go of all the pieces we’re holding, drop the striving and figuring it out, shut our phones off, zoom out from the details our lives, and get CENTERED.
So many people I talk to are stressed out, confused, anxious, and tense because they haven’t developed the practice of resetting themselves so they’re way out of balance, and caught up in old patterns, fear, and ego. They wonder why their lives feel stressful, but life’s awesomely nourishing opportunities, inspiration, and well-being can’t easily flow through a person that’s wound really tight.
You gotta let go, relax, unwind, ground, reset. Then things flow. It’s amazing the moments I’ve had when I get wound up trying to push something forward only to let it go and go for a bike ride that then leads to window shopping or getting a treat to then come home and find emails from people I’d been trying to get ahold of and new inspiration waiting for me.
A lot of people give relaxing, centering, and grounding a lot of lip service but it’s not a thought or a conversation – it’s an action. A habit, a practice, a routine or series of routines we set up to cultivate balance, and it’s close companions well-being and flow, and keep them high priorities in our lives.
Some things I do are:
- Meditate for 10-15 minutes after meals.
- Notice when I’m getting tense when working and take substantial breaks.
- Try to have (at least) one full day a week I spend with myself with no other plans and as little computer/online time as possible.
- Couple time a year trips to Wilbur Hot Spring which is off the grid to completely chill out and reset.
- Sleep 8-10 hours a night.
- Go for walks in my neighborhood several times a week.
- Take stretch breaks.
- Keep my phone ringer off for most of the day and check it when it works for me instead of it dinging all the time.
- Remind myself that if I’m leaving the realm of calm, I’m likely entering into the realm of ego so stay calm.
- Eat organic, home cooked food for 90+% of my meals and make my best effort to stop what I’m doing to actually sit down and eat.
- Light candles and incense in the evening to create a peaceful vibe.
What do you do? Daily, weekly, yearly? Can you imagine… taking more breaks? Shutting your computer off at a certain time each day or for a whole day each week? Taking meditation or stretch breaks during the day instead of having sugar or another cup of coffee? Having one weekend a month you’re completely offline or that you go someplace that soothes you?
You can have this.
In fact, if you’re in human body you likely need it. Our go-go-go, pack-it-in culture isn’t going to make it easy but it’s your life, your nervous system, and your overall state of well-being and balance so do what you need to do. Weave in mini and macro rituals into your life that bring you into greater balance. Hit a few more yoga classes. Do one of Deepak & Oprah’s meditation challenges (I have a few friends who have done them and they love it). Learn to sit and enjoy a cup of tea without doing anything else but that. I’m willing to bet that the more you find ways to reset yourself, the more flow, ease, and positive synchronicity will come into your life. That’s just the way it works.
My last ten cents: A lot of people feel guilty doing things for themselves. They feel selfish setting boundaries with others, especially with their partners and close friends, and spending quality time with themselves. Perhaps it’s because I’m an only child, but if you get caught up in these things and say yes to plans when you’d rather be saying yes to yourself, if you feel trapped in being a people pleaser, if your life is full of leaks and you feel like you can’t step out of the machine to relax, I want to be your champion to place yourself as a higher priority in your life. At the end of the day, the person you’re responsible for loving and caring for is yourself. Other people may want things from you but what’s more important is what you need and give to yourself. Balance, well-being, and clarity aren’t foreign concepts only Tibetan monks get to experience. They’re for you, me, and everyone. For realz.