January 4    

Today's quotation:

Balance in your life between work and your personal life is
very important.  Without balance, you eventually burn out,
negatively affecting your performance at work.

Byron Pulsifer

Today's Meditation:

To this quotation, I would change the end to "at work, in your relationships, and in your creative pursuits."  Because losing balance--or never finding it, much less losing it--is one of the most destructive things that can happen to a person.  Over and over in my life I've witnessed people being so caught up in something that they feel is extremely important, that they allow other areas of their lives to suffer.  Just think of the parent who spends so much time at work that he or she never develops a significant relationship with his or her children--it's a tragedy that plays itself out over and over again in life.

Balance is not something that we want to explore after we've lost it or when we feel we're missing it in our lives.  It's much like the oil in our car--if we wait until it's gone or if we don't watch its levels, then the engine will be seriously damaged or even destroyed past repair.  We're willing to check oil levels and get it changed regularly, but why don't we pay as much attention to the balance in our lives between our work, our leisure, and our relationships?

Sometimes, of course, there's no avoiding a lack of balance.  When a loved one is sick or in serious trouble, we'll probably neglect our work to a certain extent.  If there's an important project at work, we may spend some time away from home that we don't want to.  I used to coach high school sports, and the amount of time at work was significant--but it was always done knowing that the season would come to an end, and when it did, balance was restored.  If we regularly maintain balance, the periods of time when we lose it don't have nearly as strong an effect on us.

I want to lead a balanced life.  I want to be available to my loved ones, to my students, to the people I work with, to my friends, and to my self.  I know that sometimes life will take turns that will put me out of balance for a time, but as long as I'm aware of the loss, I'll be able to work my way back to a balanced state.  Because only when I'm experiencing balance in my life can I also experience peace, and loving others comes much easier from a balanced life than from an unbalanced one.

Questions to consider:

In which areas do you sometimes feel unbalanced?  To what do you give too much of your time?  Too little?

What causes you to feel unbalanced most often?

What do you do to restore balance to your life?

For further thought:

Are you balanced?  Do you share your time, your energy, your life, as much with yourself as you do with those around you?  Know your limits.  You are one of the most important people you need to look after and love.  Balance your time, your energy, your life with those around you.  You'll be able to give more freely and joyfully as a result, and you'll be more open to the gifts of the universe.  It's not wrong to give to others.  But it's okay to say yes to ourselves, too.

Melody Beattie

more thoughts on balance



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