Many of us are looking for better balance and happiness in our lives, but we're missing one essential truth: We don't need to search outward for anything -- the balance we seek is already within us.
In 1996, I began research on my first book about balance. One afternoon, as I was watching my young nieces playing, I noticed how they were happy, creative, and flowing effortlessly through all their activities. They weren't filled with doubts and complaints -- like so many of us adults -- they were tuned into their natural state of happiness.
At that moment, the biggest truth was revealed to me: Like happiness, balance is also a natural state. And returning to this natural state meant removing the blockages within us, many of them created by our own thoughts and behaviors as we age.
Now I help guide people to reconnect with their own natural balance -- that inner happiness -- by reminding them of one simple factor: the power of their choices. Through my writing and coaching, I empower my clients to harness the power of their awareness; align themselves to what they really want; and activate this understanding by choosing what to include in their daily lives.
Part of this process is to simplify three areas that influence their perception of balance: choices, relationships, and perspective.
Simplify Your Choices
•Pay attention. Optimize your power of choice by paying careful attention to the results of your choices. Make your decisions and take note of the outcomes. Learn from yourself. If the results don't please you, choose again. And if you're still not pleased, be willing to try something new.
•Give yourself options. Keep it simple by simplifying your options. For example, I let myself choose from three different health-related activities each day: walk, the gym, or nap. I need to choose one activity, but I don't have rules about which activity or how often I can choose it. I give myself the three options and allow my inner nudge to point me to whatever feels good that day -- no judgments.
•Give your health a hand. Keep a supply of healthy food choices stocked in your cupboard, refrigerator, and within arm's reach at work. Avoid running low on nutritious snacks or you might be tempted to binge on something your body doesn't need. Save the treats for special occasions.
Simplify Your Relationships
•Take a relationship inventory. Who is adding to your life? Who is taking up too much time and energy? Who is really supporting you, or who is waiting for you to do something for them? Think carefully. Choose which relationships to nurture accordingly.
•Invest in the important people. Ask any banker -- there is tremendous power in incremental investments. Think of your most cherished relationships like contributing to a bank account. Adding a small deposit each week can equate to a larger payoff down the road.
•Soften your stance. Align yourself with what you really want out of each relationship and stay focused on the goal while approaching it with a spirit of collaboration rather than control or coercion. Be confident, but willing to be flexible. Seek win-win.
Simplify Your Perspective
•Own your unique outlook. When you realize that all of your choices--and ultimately, experiences -- are rooted in your individual perspective, own it. Your experience is meant to be uniquely yours, so comparing yourself to others is unnecessary. If you want to see changes in your life, you must be the change agent.
•Develop a higher tolerance for uncertainty. Our lives are filled with unknowns. Developing a higher tolerance for uncertainty means being more at ease with not knowing. In other words, we need to allow ourselves to learn from the momentum of our experience. We don't need to figure out everything right away. Be patient. Watch. See what happens.
•Accept things as they are. Simple? Yes. Easy? Not so much. When we start allowing the things and people in our environment to exist without judgment (no right or wrong, but just different), then we are in harmony with nature. Live and let live. We are only responsible for our own journey.
Find more tips for returning to better balance in 21 Days to Better Balance, or another book from Michael's collection at michaelsunnarborg.com/books
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