This post is part of the Find Balance Feel Joy blog tour led by Alex Hughes, a tour of 10 Happy Mothers sharing Bits of Wisdom about finding balance and feeling joy. Friday, Pleasance Silicki reminds us carve out time for creativity, rest and quiet and tomorrow, Olga Bochareva discusses bully-proofing our kids.
There was no doubt I was feeling out of balance.
The end of the school year was fast approaching. My creative dreams were piling up, sitting cluttered in the corners of my mind. And while the house was in good shape, there were so many weeds growing, ideas waiting and adventures looming.
Rather than dwell in overwhelm, I chose to take control and do something that I knew would work instantly.
I spread my feet wide on the patio floor beneath me and stood strong in mountain pose outside, under the early morning sun.
I gathered my hands into prayer pose and took a few deep breaths.
And I closed my eyes and whispered … soften … soften … soften.
Our tendency as busy, modern mothers is to create a whirlwind around ourselves when things are feeling out of sync by doing more, researching more, spending more and organizing more.
It’s as if we think we need a hurricane to calm down the tornado that is inside of us.
But what I’ve been realizing — and what I’ve been teaching over the past decade to mothers around the world — is that if we want to find balance we must stop long enough to listen.
We need to stop long enough to be able to pay attention to what will work for us. Pay attention to the beauty. The abundance. The sounds. The smells.
And then we need to take action with even the smallest of things — baby steps that will allow us to actually feel balance in even the more chaotic of moments.
When I run an Abundant Mama class or program, I tell every single woman to start where you are … and that might mean in a bit of disarray or chaos — or even sadness and depression.
Because balance is the journey. Not the destination.
How do we find balance?
To find balance, we must be open to feeling joy in all moments — even the ones where we often tell a negative story over and over again. Perspective, in this case, is essential — and that’s why I offer Zoom Out as one of the 10 Habits of Highly Effective Mamas.
When we can see the big picture of our lives — and our childrens’ lives — we are able to relax more and lighten up. We no longer get so lost in the small details and are able to stand strong in really busy moments.
It’s a false assumption to think that other people are living balanced lives and we are not. And while there are some who are handling imbalance better than the rest of us, few people achieve a mastery of balance in their lives.
Balance is, at best, a daily goal that is rarely achieved but rather FELT in fleeting moments.
Every day you have a chance to start where you are … busy or not. Chaotic or not. And just focus on a single moment of time when your feet feel the earth beneath you, your body feels the breath rising and exhaling inside of you and your hands are skin-on-skin living a full life.
We must understand that each day offers more insight to who we are as human beings and mothers and to find balance in that journey we must begin with trusting that we are exactly where we need to be.
As part of my Abundant Mama alumni program, we’re going to be diving deep into restoring balance and setting boundaries this coming month and I put together a bunch of tidbits of wisdom to share with them — including these 10 quotes to help you find balance and feel joy.
10 Quotes to Help You Find Balance and Feel Joy
- “Whether you work or not we all have to decide how to fit it all in each day. The secret is not in having more time, it’s about having more intention about how you spend your time.”
- “Balance is a total myth. A flat-out lie. Look at anyone you know and you can believe without a doubt that they struggle between working too much, caring too much for others or not doing enough for themselves.”
- When you lead from the heart everything just feels good — even when we’re busy. So start listening to what your heart wants and do more of that.”
- “You can do everything at some point, but only one thing at a time. Living this message is the best way to slow time down to a more doable pace.”
- “Learn to master yourself. Stop worrying about all those outside factors you have no control over — and master yourself, your thoughts, your boundaries and your joy.”
- “Ignore the shoulds. The shoulds are the things that you believe you are supposed to do because of what OTHER people are doing. They are not YOUR priorities.”
- “In every moment we have a chance to restore balance … to keep things safe and secure, or to rock the boat and take a risk. And each moment needs a clear sense of action. Whatever we choose — so long as we choose it with intention – is the right choice.”
- “Sometimes we swing too far in one direction and then swing too far back to correct ourselves … that means we need to learn to lean less in either direction. Too much self-care and fun can create a feeling of lack in taking care of our responsibilities. Too much cleaning and doing can create a lack in time for ourselves. This is the true balance practice — noticing just how much to lean in to every moment, every task and every relationship.”
- “Balance is a feeling. Not a destination. You’re already balanced and whole.”
- “When in doubt, stop and breathe long enough until balance is restored.”
About the Author
Shawn Fink is an author and family wellness coach for mothers around the world who long to be more present, more peaceful and more playful at home and in their life. She is the author of two books, including The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow. Her work has been featured internationally including in Mind Body Green, The Huffington Post, Mamalode and The Shriver Report. Get more wisdom via email by signing up below.