In today's busy world balance is a foreign world. How to juggle all we have going on and stay happy and sane, much less balanced?
There is a new buzz phrase in business these days: work/life balance. It refers to work not taking up your whole life and allowing you to have a life! It used to be we worked to put food on the table and some clothes on our backs and have a roof over our heads. Now we work to pay insurance, cell phone bills (with enough data to handle the kids texting), Netflix, after school programs, our parent's now or future needs, and maybe maybe put some away for our 401K or kids' college. No wonder we work so much!
On top of all that we have these amazing expectations we are to live only the life we dream and anything less is not worthwhile. We are to be our purpose, save the world, save each others, and feel guilty if we fall short of it all. Oh- and Instagram it so people like it and follow us on that world stage that is always watching. So the life part has become work too!
When I discovered mindfulness it was the most freeing thing. I am an ambitious, creative, ADD, idea person by nature and I come form a family of perfectionist over achieving performers.
So the idea that I could just breathe and be seemed counter intuitive to me. Aren't I supposed to be doing to be happy? Aren't I supposed to get somewhere, do something? Aren't I supposed to be working? Nope.
The simplest form of mindfulness is just breathing and being. No fixing. No creating. No doing. It was weird. But the first time I did it I was in the middle of a panic attack and I had no other choice. I had to get control of myself and my perfectionist emotions or I was going to completely lose control. I went for a drive to clear my head and found mindfulness.
I breathed. I looked around. I actually said out loud "I see trees. They are green. I see the brown road. I hear birds. I feel my heart racing. I am alive. I am breathing. The sky is blue. The ground is brown." and soon I could feel I would be okay.
It was an amazing moment. I had pulled myself out of the hamster wheel that lives in my head and sometimes cannot stop on its own and into a place of Zen where I could just be. I went back inside my house to deal with the mother-in-law situation that had driven me into anxiety and handled the day in balance. Not in perfect balance, but in better balance than before. And that was enough.
Today it seems we all could use a bit more better balance. May you find the moment to breathe and just be - even if it means becoming a toddler again and naming the colors of the things you see out loud to yourself while driving down the road!
* If you want to hear more inspirational stories and be inspired to be mindful, check out www.mindfulnessmothers.com and if you are a mom, grandmother, aunt, or caregiver,
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