Regaining Balance

Life is a balancing act.

I am reminded this every couple of months when I am on the brink of a breakdown due to social, professional, or personal pressures I put on myself.  And here we are again.

In college it was my responsibility to balance my academic, athletic, and social obligations.  Often, I would reach a point where I was overwhelmed and needed to put something the back burner in order to get something else done.  After graduating, my responsibilities shifted slightly, but the need to maintain balance has stayed the same.

It is not rare for me to bite off more than I can chew (truly a figurative and literal statement for me).  I am by nature a people-pleaser.  A quality I find to be a duel-edged sword.  What suffers when I take on and take on and take on is more often than not myself.  I become exhausted and stressed striving to make others happy, or honor my commitments, or meet a deadline until it gets to be too much.

My mom always told me, “You can do everything you want.  You just can’t do everything you want at the same time.”

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn.  Because I want to do it all I think I can do it all, and I think I can do it well… and that’s just not realistic.  If work and my social life are going to be my priorities, my personal responsibility to manage my stress, watch what I eat, and get enough sleep will suffer.  Likewise, if my social life and personal responsibility take my focus, the amount of time I spend at work and the quality of my work will get less attention.  Without prioritizing my obligations I become overwhelmed with all that’s on my plate and fall victim to distraction rather than making dents anywhere.  That’s where I found myself this week.

I am trying to juggle my ever growing To Do List for an upcoming event at work, while looking ahead and planning out a career and location change, while keeping and making plans to see friends and travel on weekends, but also save money and budget, and also tone up and hit the gym and eat right and when do I have time to sleep?!  I could argue that everything on my list is the most important.  So how can I focus on one long enough to cross anything off?

When my head gets so cluttered with everything that I have to do and I start responding to the anxiety by doing nothing.  At least for a day or two.  Or in this case… four.  But now it’s time to regain some focus and get back to it.

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

So I’m taking my first bite in the office.  I have to bring my focus to the workplace for the next two weeks.  I owe my attention to this event, to my colleagues, and to myself.  My personal life can take the front seat the following week and my social life and relationships can for my friend’s upcoming wedding.

Slowly, one day at a time, I will readjust the balance of all three.

Do you find yourself having similar challenges meeting your obligations?  How do you sort it out?

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Done with Drafting

Okay, I know.  I know it looks like I haven’t been writing…. but that’s just a lie.  I’ve been writing.  I’ve been writing quite a bit.  I’ve just been… drafting.

I’ll be honest… the whole blogging world kind of intimidates me.  You see a snippet of someone else’s filtered life and all of a sudden begin questioning your own.  In today’s world it’s become increasingly more difficult to “be yourself.”  With all the social media platforms and reality-that’s-not-real-at-all television comparison is killer.

And I buy into all of it!

True Life:  I’m a stalker.  It started with Facebook of course, and has since moved to Twitter, Instagram, and now blogs – Ah!  There are people whose profiles I check regularly, most of whom I don’t even know.  And sure, I’m entertained, often inspired, enlightened or motivated… but you know what else I feel?  Inferior, insecure, jealous, self conscious, unsure, insignificant…

“I wish I had her hair, boyfriend, body, job, motivation, wit, friends, money, clothes, tan, social life…”

When did what I have no longer become good enough?  When did I become this person who cared so much what other people think?  I find myself muted or competing for posts and retweets without even realizing it!  I started this blog for me.  Because I wanted to tap into my creative side, to put thoughts and feelings into words, and commit to taking time to get to know myself and who I want to be.  So this should be a safe space for me, right?  It’s mine.  So what am I so afraid of?

What if I’m not that interesting?  What if I don’t have a good picture to go with my story?  What if all I at made today was a PB&J?  What if I have no jokes, or revelations, or funny stories from the weekend?

Then I remember why I started this.  For me.  Sure, I’m not perfect, but neither are any of the other bloggers or ‘grammers or tweeters I stalk from afar but they’re putting themselves out there!  I write because it’s therapeutic, because I like expressing myself and making sense of my thoughts and feelings.  And let’s be honest… I’m totally stalk worthy and can make a good candidate for your own personal life envy (kidding… kinda)!  But really, there’s nothing to be afraid of.  So here I vow…

  • To be kind to myself and stop striving for perfection – nobody’s perfect.  Period.
  • To minimize comparison
  • To write when inspired… or frustrated, or sad, or confused, of excited, or curious.  To write raw and write for me.

See ya out there!

Tapping into our Stressors

Well here we are day two into my challenge and I’m already feanin to share one of my reflection pieces.  (That is correct, I just used feanin in a sentence.)

So Monday morning I was fortunate enough to stumble across a link for Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles conference.  I mean how perfect is it that on the day I challenge myself to be more reflective and connect with my own thoughts I come across this free motivational web series?  Took me back to that Swiss Miss quote,

“When things fall into place it is the universe telling you to keep going.”

Gabrielle Bernstein was pinned by none-other than Oprah Winfrey as a “next generation thought leader.”  Author of Spirit Junkie and Add More ~ing to your Life she is set to release her new book, May Cause Miracles this year.  “Gabrielle Bernstein believes that simple, consistent shifts in our thinking and actions can lead to the miraculous in all aspects of our daily lives, including our relationships, finances, bodies, and self-image.”  I mean seriously? This chick rocks.

But you might be surprised to know, Gabrielle isn’t the highlight for tonight’s post.

Meet Nick Ortner.

Nick was the first interview that I listened to from the May Cause Miracles series.  He is the CEO of The Tapping Solution and focuses on EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).  This practice involves tapping parts of your body to achieve a physical release of negative emotions.  Now I’ll admit, I found the whole thing a little funny to begin with but once I got to listening and furthered my research I think there’s somethin to it!

I remembered what I would always say to people when I could sense their stress or anger bubbling, “tap your third-eye 21 times!” I think I picked it up from a Kardashian show or something.  I used to think this exercise was just a calming alternative to counting to ten before you speak.  When counting to calm yourself, you run the risk of staying inside your head (which can be a cluttered and negative place to be) or masking the real problem (leaving the true issue to surface unannounced).  Unlike the counting method, tapping provides connection between your mind and your body so you are able to acknowledge and release your true negative feelings.

This whole “real world” thing has me well exercised in dealing with stress.  I’m always looking for new ways to manage it and create that healthy balance in my life.  Maybe next time I’m feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or stressed I’ll try and tap it out!

Tell me, how do you deal with stress?

This indecision has got me cringin…

Story of my life.

After experimenting with roughly twenty different blog templates only three posts deep I figured it was time I acknowledge my indecisiveness.  Yet another thing I’m working to limit… call it another healthy habit!

Know what you want and put it out there.  

My dad jokes on me because “I don’t care” comes out of my mouth far too frequently.  I recently heard someone say that life is made up of a “sum of choices.”  The words made me ask myself, “Would you rather live a life of choices or reactions?”

Choices.

Indecision can add unnecessary stress … something I’d rather not welcome and can be related to lack of self confidence… something I’d rather not lack!  So starting with tonight’s menu (which I’ve been mulling over and asking for help with since yesterday) I will begin taking ownership of my choices.

Who’s with me?!

And just for fun, I’ve included the song where the title of this post comes from!