Is your life in balance? You probably know the answer to that question but sometimes you don’t really know how much you are struggling with balance. When I want to really know the truth about something about myself. I ask my body.
Yes, I talk to my body and really listen because I know my body doesn’t lie whereas my mind — well, it’s untrustworthy at best.
I personally have always had a tendency to focus more on others than myself. I used to have this recurring dream where I was following a big semi-truck up and down a narrow, winding mountain road. In this nightmare, there was a super steep valley on one side of the road and the sharp rise of a cliff on the other. It was getting dark and I was focusing hard on following the truck’s taillights. The truck suddenly veered off the road and careened down the side of the cliff — I just followed it.
The recurring horror imprinted on me the roar of the car as it went airborne. The feel of the sharp drop as the nose of my car pointed straight down. And the sense of impending doom. I always woke up in terror before the car hit the earth.
I had this dream so often that I began to use it as a marker that I had lost my balance. I’d awake from that dream and focus on who or what I was following off the road and to my demise. It was always someone else — usually a boyfriend, husband, or my daughter. Symbolically, I followed many, many people off the edge of their cliffs.
Eventually, I reached my own bottom with my behaviors and finally began to focus on getting my life in balance. I learned to crawl one day at a time out of my co-dependent imbalance toward a more grounded life.
From my years of crawling and then walking out of losing my balance — I give you this easy way to determine if and where your life is out of balance.
Take this little test
Stand on your right foot and lift your left foot off the floor. For your safety, stand next to a wall, counter or chair to catch yourself when you fall. Try to hold and notice what happens. If you wiggle, wobble and fall down — it means — you are out of balance with things outside of you like work, family, friends, pet care, or these days — political news.
Stand on your left foot and lift your right foot off the floor. For your safety, stand next to a wall, counter or chair to catch yourself when you fall. Try to hold and notice what happens. If you wiggle, wobble and lose your balance — it means — you are out of balance inside of yourself. Maybe you’re not getting enough rest or eating bad food. Perhaps you are giving too much and not getting enough support for yourself.
It’s time to get real with yourself
Is your right foot wiggly and wobbly —
It’s time to consider what’s not working for you around things outside of yourself. Ask yourself and be honest — are you spending too much time and energy working so that you don’t have enough time to take care of yourself?
What about your family? Are you constantly up in their business and you aren’t minding your own?
How about friendships? Do you spend too much time thinking about what your friends need and want that you forget about your own needs and wants?
Are you obsessed with your girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, husband, wife or kids?
Do you listen to too much news?
Are you keeping yourself too busy?
Do you watch too much Netflix?
Take some time and write down what pulls you outside of yourself. Then sit and reflect on ways you can set boundaries to stop being pulled out of balance by them. Make a list and choose just one of the boundaries you need to set with the outer world and begin to practice it this week. Pinky swear with me that you’ll practice the new behavior for this whole week. Do it! Notice and see what happens.
Is your left foot wiggly and wobbly —
Get real about YOU! Are you eating healthy food? Do you binge on sweets? Are you eating too much junk food and take out? Do you drink too much alcohol or smoke too much pot?
Does your day start with just you on your mat doing your movement practices?
Do you drink enough water?
Are you taking enough time in your day just to be — not do — just be?
Take a moment and really get real with yourself. Then sit and reflect on ways you can take better care of yourself. Write out that self-care list and choose one item on that list and do it this week. I mean for real! Make a promise to yourself and do it! Notice and be so proud of yourself for the gift you are giving yourself — even if it seems like such a little thing.
What if both feet were out of balance?
Time to really face yourself. What is taking you out of balance around them and you? Lots of us are out of balance inside and outside of ourselves. YOU are not alone. And you must do the work to crawl out of this full-body imbalance.
You can do it. Make coming into balance your priority. Step away from your nightmare of losing yourself and come back where it’s safe. Inside of yourself in balance.
Do this week’s Ageless Movement Practice. It will open your feet to help you root down to find your balance — no matter what is going off the cliff around you.
Share what knocks you off balance in the comments section below.