What is balance? It is defined as finding equilibrium for the body or mind. I've been on a mission to find both. As an entertainment journalist by trade, my days are filled with juggling deadlines, dashing to work events, rushing home to feed my dog, attempting to schedule dates night with my boyfriend and squeezing in early-morning gym time. Trying to fit this all in is flustering, and with nonstop Tweets and Facebook status changes on top of it, I'm often overwhelmed. This constant attention on the world and people around me has subsequently shifted my focus away from my mind, body and spirit, creating an ongoing imbalance in my life. Why was I sabotaging the three things that help me get through each day? Though these responsibilities would not go away, I needed to take action and find more balance in my life. I discovered a simple yet powerful way to find harmony each day. The two-part process consisted of a Jewish philosophy of saying 100 blessings a day and fitness tip of walking 10,000 steps a day.
My mom sent me an article called "The Jewish Practice of 100 Blessings a Day Develops an Attitude of Gratitude" by Nina Amir. She says: "In Judaism we are taught to say 100 blessings a day. All of these blessings really are times when we 'bless' God by saying thank you." This idea of constantly giving thanks for even minute things is the key to changing our overwhelmed thoughts into a constant positive mindset. The 100 Jewish blessings start off in the morning by giving thanks for simply waking up. After losing my father tragically I have become acutely aware that waking up each day truly is a blessing. I started to begin my day with that simple gratitude and continue it throughout the day. When I'm late to an important event because my cab is stuck in traffic, rather than getting frustrated, I say, "I am thankful to live in such an amazing city." Even in a 10-minute taxi ride, I could always control and make time for my thoughts. As these thoughts began to consume my mind rather than complaints, I was able to open myself up to receive more things to be grateful for.
The more I became appreciative, the more I wanted to take better care of the various aspects of my life, including my body. During a typical busy week of darting from event to event, I met celebrity trainer Harley Pasternack and asked if I was giving my body enough exercise. But he told me that my current schedule of five days a week at the gym wasn't going to cut it. Great, I thought, I am going to have to up my workouts to two hours a day, seven days a week. But to my surprise, Harley told me not to stress so much about the treadmill or spin bike, and instead aim to walk 10,000 steps a day -- no matter what. I purchased a pedometer immediately. Shockingly, despite living in a city, I was walking about half that.
My new 10,000-step goal forced me to walk outside on my lunch break, take my dog out more or enjoy an impromptu romantic stroll with my boyfriend. This constant activity not only helped me stay in better shape, but created more time for enjoying the outdoors, engaging in conversations with friends and ridding my mind of unnecessary stresses. It is on these walks that I remember to be grateful for my friends, grateful for my body and grateful for my life. This only perpetuated my positive mindset, initially set up by the 100 blessings. Without much effort at all, I was able to find and maintain that balance I was so desperately seeking. One hundred blessing and 10,000 steps seem like large numbers, but their easy implementations can create subtle shifts with miraculous and harmonious results.
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