He was my whole life”. “They were my whole world and now I don’t know what to do with myself”. “My job meant everything to me”.
Ever heard anyone say something like that? Perhaps you have felt like that. When someone (or something) THAT big leaves our life, of course there’s a gigantic hole that needs filling! But the huge void isn’t necessarily caused by their departure, it’s often because there’s nothing else to take over from that one thing…it was my WHOLE world…my WHOLE life…there’s nothing else in there to replace it. But if we have a balanced life, and a life that nurtures ALL the elements of our self, then when one portion of that life leaves us, we are not left with such a big feeling of emptiness.
How do you lead a balanced life? You begin by identifying the important aspects of life and the parts that nurture you as a human being. And you make sure that you fill each of those parts of your life in equal amounts.
MIND: Expand your mind and treat learning as a life-time pursuit. Always look to improve and broaden your knowledge. Example: Reading books, doing workshops, extending your brain with crosswords, learning a new craft or skill.
BODY: Keep your physical body in peak condition. Example: Get active, go for a walk, swim, garden, go on a diet, choose healthy food, anything that helps to maintain your health and tells your body you care about it.
SELF: Do nice things just for yourself, so you know you love you! Example: bubble bath, quiet time reading a book, coffee with a friend and without the kids, a massage, a facial, shopping for fun, sitting on the beach doing nothing.
LEISURE ACTIVITIES: Have some fun and enjoy life with hobbies and pastimes you love. Example: dancing, model making, scrap booking, photography, flower arranging, fishing, golf, going out for dinner.
SPIRIT: Nurture your soul. Example: reading books on the beliefs you have, listening to someone that inspires you, creating your own meaningful pictures, prayer, contemplation, meditation.
FRIENDS: The people in your life you love to be around — don’t lose them, and make new ones too! Example: Invite them over for dinner, talk to one on the phone, write a letter, organise a reunion, mend an old rift.
FAMILY: Society was built on family — we need them and they need us. Example: call your dad, visit your sister, offer to babysit the grandkids while your own kids go on a “date”.
CAREER: Do something that you love and be a useful member of society. Paid or unpaid, it doesn’t matter. If you don’t work or are out of work at the moment, volunteer your services. Example: offer to drive for meals-on-wheels, read to children at your local kindergarten, do an hour a week in a charity store.
CONTRIBUTION TO OTHERS: Focus on helping another and make a difference in the world. Example: coach a sports team, be on a committee, take an elderly friend grocery shopping each week. Every day you should aim to do something that nurtures EVERY part of your life. When one part begins to take up a lot more time than others, it is no longer a balanced life. Would you ever consider driving your car with two deflated tyres? Of course not! It’s no different in your life — you must keep everything in balance or you will not have a smooth ride!
How Do You Create A Balanced Life?
The best way to ensure a balanced life is to make yourself some mini goals for each portion of your life.
HOW are YOU going to honor that part of your being? And then from those goals, make some action plans or “to-do” lists of WHAT you will actually do to achieve each of those goals. THEN DO IT! And make sure you always check in on yourself. Have you been sticking to the plans? Have you done something from every part of your life today? Ask yourself…”How whole is my life?”