Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Balance Check #1

It has been two weeks since I posted about Balance in my life. I realized that my life often consists of these all-or-nothing phases...i.e., a phase in which I am absorbed in my thoughts and isolate from people, and then a shift to almost the complete opposite. And there are variations of phases but in every one of them, I am absorbed in one or two things but neglect all the others. So, I have been very conscientious about maintaining balance in my life these past two weeks and these balance checks are more for me than anything...posting about them here keeps me accountable. So, here it is:

Soul. I have been going to yoga each day for the past 11 days. I had taken a yoga class here and there in the past, but never dedicated myself to this practice. It is amazing and applies to more than just my soul but truly, it is such great exercise for my soul. Each day I go in, I dedicate my practice by setting an intention. Sometimes it is as simple as a dedication to just get through a day that is challenging because I feel down or frustrated. Other days it is an intention for other people I love, sometimes even for people that are no longer in my life but will always be special to me. And many days it is an intention to continue striving to be a better person for myself and the world. I also try to take a walk each day to enjoy this beautiful time of year. That undoubtedly inspires my soul. I have also been reading a wonderfully soul-inspiring book and that too has been incredibly beneficial. I am ever-mindful of my soul these days and am constantly challenging myself to let every action be a reflection of my soul and my true self. Overall: Great.

Mind. When I posted about balance two weeks back, I was so absorbed with thoughts at the time. So, I've really taken a break from over-thinking. The tendency is always there but I need to find ways to effectively engage my mind and thoughts but not obsess. Reading, like yoga, also covers a lot of these areas that I wish to achieve balance among. Reading is wonderful for my mind as it engages my thoughts but in a soothing and fulfilling way. I've been able to read enough lately but would like to read a bit more than I have been these past two weeks. I want to find additional ways to harness the easily and overly stimulated mind of mine. One thing I am hoping will be beneficial in that regard is French lessons. I bought the Rosetta Stone French language lesson series and have heard wonderful things about it. So, I am going to incorporate language lessons three times a week. When I was taking intensive classes last summer, it felt wonderful to exercise my brain in a way that I am not accustomed to. But I have been pretty good at keeping my mind from becoming too absorbed in unnecessary things. Overall: Very Good.

Health. Obviously, the yoga is improving my overall health in a huge way. I haven't gone to the gym in so long which feels good to break the monotony but I'd like to re-incorporate weight training and more cardiovascular activities into my life. I work at home and on my computer so much that I need the break and fresh air. And given where I live, with an abundance of parks and wonderful walking paths, hiking trails down the road, the city...and the beautiful summer weather...I should be out there more. So, I need more outdoor activity, even if just a leisurely stroll for that fresh air but the daily yoga is a huge improvement and great challenge for me, as I've really just done weight training and gym cardio for all of my 20s. Overall: Great.

Humanitarian Endeavors. I've committed to helping an incredible budding philanthropist with a worldwide community networking endeavor. It is an exciting project and I am thrilled to be able to help with it. A couple of weeks ago, I was on fire doing research for this and really focused on it. Last week I slipped and was consumed with my little self too much, so I didn't make much progress. But this week is starting off much better and I'm being productive. Still, for important as this is to me (and the world!!), I need to dedicate more to it. Overall: Okay/Not so Good.

Self: Peace & Acceptance. I've been feeling really peaceful these past two weeks. I've been wholly dedicated to being still and appreciating the here and now without anxiously looking toward the future or wanting more. Yoga has been huge in this regard. I've also been working on acceptance. For the most part, I am really good about accepting others (but still have moments) and abandoning judgment of others but I am hard on myself. But I'm working on it and accepting ourselves is no easy task. So, although I have much work to do in this regard...much diligent work...I am really always focused on it. I appreciate that there are trying times that I'm not able to get through so easily. It's part of the process. Overall: Great/Good.

Interests. My primary interests currently being: reading, French lessons, French culture, philosophy, blogging, and well, football is coming up! I have a lot of other smaller/not-yet-developed interests: art history, graphic design, photography, and many more. I have been reading a bit and doing okay with blogging and commenting on my favorite blogs but not much else at all. I did get the Rosetta Stone for French lessons. So, Overall: Okay/Not so Good.

Family. Things have been pretty calm on the family front. If I had posted this ten days ago after my sister's bridal shower, I may have responded differently. But despite fundamental differences and challenges with family, things have been calm for the most part. I talk to my parents periodically and I'm spending some time with my sister E this weekend. I do need to call some of my siblings from time-to-time. Overall: Very Good.

Social Relationships/Getting Out. Part of being innately introspective and focused on developing my self and soul more fully, I tend to lack a social life. Sure, I have a big ass family with lots of birthdays and such that I am a part of. But I really don't have a good core group of friends. I have a few friends that live about 90 minutes away. When I moved, I sadly could not keep up the bi-weekly cocktail dinner with my friends from my magazine days. Nor can I meet my good friend Vicki for breakfast each week, a wonderful tradition we started shortly before I moved. And I need to make time to get down there and see them. The drive isn't far at all and I miss them. But I also would like to have a few close friends up here. But not just any friends. I really want people in my life that inspire me and vice versa. I want meaningful relationships and I need to focus on that. So, it may take time but I do need that. I do appreciate and enjoy those brief daily interactions with strangers...a simple smile to a mother and son in passing, my yoga instructor and classmates, etc. I am almost always really content on my own and that's great but a life in such seclusion is not desirable. Overall: Needs Serious Work.

Work. Yes, I put this last for a very good reason. I have always been (and increasingly so) a big proponent of enjoying work and not letting it dictate my life or happiness. I still really enjoy my job and am taking on new elements as the company grows. I get to work from home, save for the one afternoon every two weeks that I spend in the office. I love the people I do work with and feel appreciated. So, that's all great. But, I've taken on a bit more each week since I moved and I'm working 6-7 days a week, even if one or two of those days are half-days. Some days I'm very efficient and others, I'm terrible. So, I need to cut back on workload and focus on efficiency. Happily though, I am headed to the high desert this weekend with my oldest sister, E. We are going to stay in a fabulous lodge suite for one night and go to dinner, have drinks, and enjoy the beautiful landscape out there and each other's company. So, those two days will be incredible for me! But back to the matter at hand. Where work is concerned...Overall: Needs Serious Work.

So, those are the categories for now. Likely, some more will be added. Major aspects like Love are not yet considered because I'm not ready. I think about it all the time and of course, like anyone, I really want it. But right now, I need to take care of myself and really feel good about who I am and where I'm at in life. I want to make sure that I am strong in my sense of self before gauging what kind of man will be good for me and vice versa. Those of you who have actually read this entire thing are so incredibly kind or really bored! Either way, thanks for indulging me.

Phew...it feels good to look at these things and just free write about it all. We'll see what the next two weeks hold!

*Image nabbed from here: http://www.stevehiggs.com/gallery.php


Richard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard said...

Balance is a tricky thing.

There are no magic formulas in life. Work is definitely the great unbalancer. Some advocate that work should be a social place, since so much of our time is spent there - but in my mind, work is work, not a place to socialize (this does not mean I am unsocial with my coworkers, by the way). You can read my thoughts last year on balance here.

Peut-être je doit renpondre en français pour t'aider avec la langue française. Mais, mon Français n'est tres bon. Je lire mieux que je parle ou ecrit.

Cavalock said...

hey, yoga's great. although i don't do it, i know people who do and they all enjoy it.

bout what u said bout social relationships n getting out, well, i can understand what u mean when u say being really contented to be on yr own...sometimes i feel the same way too. sometimes i just wish the "contentment" doesn't go away. but it always does, and i'll feel all alone again.

b said...

richard...balance is tricky indeed. and yes, there are no magic formulas in life and work can be a great unbalancer. this is particularly true given the structure of our society. i have never really enjoyed work relationships in the traditional sense. when i worked in a corporate environment, i was never really fond of work friendships. it seems that almost all of the conversation in and out of the office was work-related and that was more than i wanted from a job. but i have found that when i am doing meaningful work, those relationships are wonderful. i am gradaully working toward that in my life and job right now.

ah...it always comes back to meaning, doesn't it richard?

and yes, you should absolutely comment in french, to challenge me. i too am much better at reading french than writing or speaking it. in fact, i was able to translate your comment perfectly but when it came to responding, i decided to take the lazy route and stick with english. haha...i need to work on that! keep challenging me!!

cavalock...yoga is amazing. it really does draw upon the mind, body, and soul...creating such harmony among all three. it has been my sanctuary as of late.

as far as being happy on our own, i think it is a great thing to a degree. again, no man is an island and there is a reason we need that interaction. that's why i really have to force myself to focus on that balance because i too easily slip into that comfortable isolation and after a point, a disconnect is felt. i'll always need that time on my own, more than many perhaps, but i just can't do the all-or-nothing bit anymore. it is very unfulfilling.

b said...

richard and cavalock...by the way, i forgot to thank you for actually reading this post! that in itself was a very kind gesture!! :)

Richard said...

What? Yoo think we comment without reading?

Tumuli said...

Someone has undertaken quite a lot, and succeeded. ;)

Ancilla said...

wow b, you do yoga?
i envy you then. i want to do that for quite long ago, but still... time limitation.

people change and as long as it moves to a better one, then it would be great.
keep on moving.
but don't expect something instant, rite? :)

yes b, i guess i can understand the html of your blog. can u send it to me? ladyducky1982@yahoo.com
tx in advance.

b said...

richard...haha. no, i don't think you comment without reading. i just appreciate that you read through that entire thing!

tumuli...it does seem like a lot and yet, it seems as though it should be so simple! thanks for the encouragement!

ancilla...yes, i have been going to yoga diligently. really, i felt that i didn't have time for it either but i made time and somehow, i am more efficient than i was before. it is so good for your mind, body, and soul! i absolutely agree that we change. i see it as a progression/evolution. we evolve and grow. nothing easy is ever very gratifying, is it?