Everybody seems to be in search of that elusive life balance. That’s particularly true now when everyone is caught up in living crazy busy lives.
While everyone keeps looking for balance, few people seem to be finding it. That’s because one of biggest mistakes that people make is to create a faulty picture in their mind of a life in balance.
They think life balance means quiet, calm and peaceful. They picture themselves in a continual zen-like state of peace and contentment and are disappointed or frustrated when that doesn’t consistently happen. Life balance seems so elusive because we have an expectation that if we only had it – balance that is – life would always be calm and orderly.
Everybody can have a quiet, calm and peaceful life when things are relatively quiet, calm and peaceful.
True life balance happens when you are able to weather the times of what I call natural chaos.
You know those times. Things are going along pretty well and BOOM – something happens that disrupts the flow of life.
A traffic jam is a perfect example of natural chaos.
You are driving along in a hurry to get where you are going and all of a sudden you find yourself at a standstill. Traffic jams happen all the time and are pretty much out of your control. And many times you are actually experiencing the ghost of a traffic incident – there doesn’t seem to be any real reason why the cars are crawling along. You are simply caught up in the backlog from something that happened earlier.
Chaos comes in all kinds of forms:
a sick child
pouring rain for your big event
a flat tire
a power outage
a delayed flight
You get the idea.
Natural chaos is simply the unexpected and unplanned nature of life.
What do people typically do when natural chaos descends?
They fight against it and that causes a huge sense of imbalance. They direct a lot of energy into the chaos rather than having some strategies for going with the new flow of what is happening now.
Natural chaos swirls around us all the time.
It’s supposed to – that’s the natural part.
John Lennon said it best,
“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”
Here’s what I know about life balance:
It’s more about ebb and flow than it is a steady state. That’s because in spite of our best efforts, life sometimes brings chaos to our doorstep. It’s knowing how to fall in love with that chaos that puts you back on the path to balance.
Life balance is really about the ease and speed with which you can return to calm and contentment once chaos comes visiting.Life balance is really about the ease & speed with which you return to calm & contentment once chaos arrives. Click To Tweet
Life will definitely stir the waters for you. No doubt about it. The real trick with life balance is to make choices that for the most part allow you to feel like you are in the flow rather than paddling upstream.
That’s where mindfulness comes in.
When we pause and pay attention we can notice how attached we are to ”the way things should be” rather than seeing how they are in the moment. We are also more likely to make choices that allow us to go with the flow.
Mindfulness helps us work with what is rather than fight against it.Mindfulness helps us work with what is rather than fight against it. Click To Tweet
The other important thing we can do to feel more balance is to reduce the amount of chaos we create in our own lives. You know, the kind that comes from too many commitments, not making time for your priorities or not doing the things that help maintain a sense of balance.
Mindfulness helps us make conscious and intentional choices. When we are actually paying attention, rather than functioning on auto-pilot, we can be more purposeful about how we spend our time.
When chaos does arrive – and it will – then that’s the time to get back to basics.
Do the things that you know are important for your sense of balance and say no to the rest. That will allow you to ride out the chaos and get back to an easy flow.
Ebb and flow.
That’s what life balance really looks like.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment, share, like, tweet and/or pin this article.
What do you do when chaos arrives on your doorstep?