Are you looking for more balance in your life? Most of us are and yet few know how to lead a balanced life. Maybe you can’t even imagine what it would be like to live a balanced life. In the western world, we overvalue productivity and getting things done and undervalue self-care, renewal and rest. Most people are therefore living lives deprived of resting and relaxing.
The truth is that we cannot produce meaningful results without rest and relaxation. Learning how to relax and renew yourself is a very important, yet often overlooked part of improving your productivity and producing meaningful results.
Living in a high pace society, you are probably longing for more peace, calm. Yet, when you let go of some of the ceaseless doing, you may feel all kinds of undesired emotions, such as anxiety, guilt, worry, restlessness and fear. We are simply not accustomed to breathing space and our busy minds keep going a hundred miles an hour, when we take time to simply be.
There is a wonderful teacher of how to lead a balanced life: Mother Nature. She does this balancing between rest and activity very well on her own. For millennia each day has been followed by night, the tides keep on shifting, the seasons keep on following one another, everything in the natural world keeps on changing in rhythmic patterns. The same is true for our bodies, who are of course part of nature. Our hearts beat in rhythm, each inhale is naturally followed by an exhale and a myriad of body functions naturally occur in their own rhythm without us having to do anything.
The first step to learn how to lead a balanced life, is to become aware of and tune into the natural rhythm of your body. That’s why I am offering you two Mini-Retreats today that will increase your awareness of your body’s desire to shift from one state into another always creating a state of balance for you. These are two powerful steps towards becoming more comfortable with the natural shifts within you. They will help you embrace the natural rhythmic changes of your body.
First Mini-Retreat on How to Lead a Balanced Life: Breath Awareness
- Stand tall, feet firmly planted on the ground.
- Breathe in deeply.
- Pause for a moment and feel your body’s urge to breathe out.
- Follow your body’s urge and breathe out slowly.
- Pause for a moment and feel your body’s urge to breathe in again.
- Enjoy breathing in and out for a while in this rhythm, focusing your attention on the urge you feel in your body to shift from inhale to exhale and back, each time you pause.
- Take a moment to thank your body’s wisdom to guide you in this experience.
Second Mini-Retreat on How to Lead a Balanced Life: Folding and Unfolding
- Lie down on your bed or a yoga mat.
- Breathe in deeply and breathe out fully.
- With your next inhale, begin to curl your body inward, moving slowly into fetal position.
- Keep breathing in slowly and out fully as you continue to curl inward.
- Once you are all the way curled in, your arms wrapped around your knees, your chin tucked in, stay in this position until you feel the urge in your body to open up.
- With your next inhale, let your body begin to unfold very slowly, following your body’s natural urge. Continue to breathe in deeply and breathe out slowly as your body unfolds.
- Once you are all the way open, legs and arms spread out, enjoy this position for a while and listen to your body’s urge to shift back into fetal position.
- Enjoy shifting between folding and unfolding for a while following the guidance of your body.
- Take a moment to thank your body for guiding you in this experience.
Now that you’ve gained awareness of the natural balancing capacity of your body, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my body teaching me about how to lead a balanced life?
- How else is my body signalling me that it is time to shift from one state into another?
(Here are a few examples to get you going: yawning, blinking your eyes, needing to go to the washroom, hunger and thirst)
- What would it be like to pay more attention to my body’s signals and follow my body’s natural guidance?
- What small step can I take immediately to integrate my body’s wisdom into my daily life?
(Here are a couple of ideas to get you started: Commit to doing one of these Mini-Retreats daily, or create a reminder on your phone such as “body check” to remind you to check in with your body)
P.S. If you want to continue receiving this valuable content, simply fill out the circle beside the post.
Julia James is a certified life coach and award-winning author of the book, The Mini-Retreat Solution. With over ten years experience coaching people through positive career transformations, Julia is passionate about helping people connect with their true calling.