In a previous article, we took a close look at the word “bliss”, just one of the many words being touted to working moms as an ‘attainable’ destination. Today, our discussion continues with analyzing the word ‘balance’ as in the coveted, paradise state of ‘life-balance’ that all working moms crave, yet few seem able to attain. My goal is to enlighten, and release working moms and mompreneurs of the guilt and shame that enshrouds their busy, over-scheduled and burdened lives. I aim to empower your decisions and actions by debunking the myth of a noun-defined state of living.
Now onto my next favorite word to debunk for working moms...
Let’s talk about balance, shall we?
Let’s take a closer look at another term that has eluded most working moms for several decades now, balance. As in: “I just need to (fill in the blank with the zillion things you’re not doing that regularly cause you stress) to have a better life-balance.”
Again, we find that the word ‘balance’ is a NOUN with three distinct qualities:
- the state of having your weight spread equally so that you do not fall
- the ability to move or to remain in a position without losing control or falling
- a state in which different things occur in equal or proper amounts or have an equal or proper amount of importance.
While conveniently labeled as a noun… upon further analysis (especially by busy moms who are ashamed to admit they don’t feel this balance often), one might argue that the attempt to ‘get balanced’ has more verb-like than noun-like qualities.
So, how do we find balance during the time of our life that is most filled with obligations, activities and tasks based on others’ (namely our children’s) needs?
I argue that both Bliss and Balance should be redefined for working moms as verbs… because the ‘noun’ form is really only available through rigorous routine and consistent action:
As such, if you desire your life to be in balance or filled with bliss, you must get in action in the areas where you are feeling loss of control, or those that require higher amounts of importance.
It would follow then, that both Bliss and Balance can be achieved (if only temporarily) through the routine and ancient practices of that which satisfies, engages and stretches you emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Balance begins with awareness…
Finding your bliss is a journey and balance is the result of behavioral rigor that begins with awareness. To feel balanced, you must become aware of what satisfies you at very deep levels. Balance is a stepping stone on the way toward finding your bliss.
10 steps to living in balance while finding your bliss…
- Carve out some time to create your own life-timeline. Depending on your age, you may do well to tape several 8 1/2 x 11 pieces of paper together so you can chart your entire life on one graph. Mark your age of your earliest memories on the left, and then mark your age today all the way on the end of the right-most page on your timeline.
- List any and all milestone memories that has an emotion attached (positive or negative). Take enough time to really think this over and add to it over several sittings. When you feel complete with your memories, move on.
- Of all the things you listed on your life’s timeline in the previous exercise – Identify the milestones in which you experienced the most satisfaction… EVEN if it was something like attending summer camp.
- Once you identify all the times you had satisfaction, highlight any similarities between them and what else you notice.
- From here, see if you can begin to generate a list of ‘satisfiers’… life qualities or experiences that you really enjoy. While doing so – see if there are categories that pop out for you: things like working with children, the elderly, physical activity, or being outdoors.
- Now, generate your list of ‘Personal Satisfiers…’ qualities that you really love, and would seek out if you had the opportunity.
- Once you do this, do the opposite to identify the milestones in which you experienced the most DIS-satisfaction.
- Once you identify all the times you experienced dissatisfaction, see if there are any similarities among the things that dissatisfy you. Likewise, with dissatisfiers, while observing similarities for yourself, see if there are categories that pop out for you. From here, see if you can begin to generate a list of ‘DISsatisfiers’… life experiences, conditions or people’s qualities that you really would prefer to avoid.
- Now that you’ve generated your lists of qualities that both satisfy, and those that you would prefer to avoid, what do you notice?
- Use these two lists to adjust your pursuits, relationships and past-times to eliminate dissatisfaction, and find more opportunities to enhance satisfaction.
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Knowing the things that both satisfy and dissatisfy you is a critical exercise to finding clarity and figuring out what your next best step is.
Remember – Feelings and emotions are our human navigational systems that help guide is toward our next best decisions. So many people have put these systems to sleep.
The exercise above raises your awareness and helps you identify the things in your past that you’ve loved and that you may have hated. It is important for you to stay alert and aware of the emotions that surface during this process. When you have clarity in your past, you can be more objective and take actions that restore ‘equal and proper amounts of importance’ to items activities and practices that both stimulate and satisfy, as well as steer clear of those that do not lead you toward balanced and blissful living.
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Please try these 10 Steps and let me know how they work for you! I’d love to know your thoughts about this process in the comments below!
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