I hope you are all doing wonderfully.
Today’s blog is about finding the right balance.
Being a super mom, a super friend, a super wife, a super everything is exhilarating and exciting but also exhausting. And sometimes you can get lost in it and end up wearing yourself out.
How do you find the right balance?
As always, there is certainly no one-size-fits-all answer. But there are ideas and permissions that we can give ourselves to move forward on our path to a more just and fulfilling life.
An old sage once had a tall vase and asked people to try to fill it with a mix of large stones, pebbles, and sand. What do you think would be the best way to go about it? If you put the sand and pebbles in first, you wouldn’t be able to fit all the big stones in too. So to fill the vase, you need to put the bigger stones in first, next the pebbles, and then the sand. This is a metaphor for life and how you can end up with a very full life without actually doing or experiencing anything meaningful. Also, I personally find that this story allows you to say to yourself, “Ok, I want to be on top of the big stones, the most important things in my life. And when it comes to the rest, I can let myself be carried more and put less pressure on myself.” By proactively identifying your big stones, you give yourself permission to pay less attention to other things that don’t matter so much.
So that’s all well and good, but how do you, on the one hand, determine what these large stones are and, on the other hand, say no to all that excess sand that takes up space. Here are some tips to help you identify your large stones.
(1) List all the things you do right now, would like to do in the future, your life goals, the people you want to keep in touch with, and those you’re less keen to see. This will give you a long list of everything you have or would like to have in your life.
(2) Then, each evening, look at the list, complete it if necessary, and put a little “+” next to the things that fill you with joy, or bring you a lot of well-being, or have a lot of meaning for you. Conversely, put a little “–” next to activities that eat up your energy and leave a frustrating twinge behind. Note that not all of these activities need to be eliminated: sometimes, the setting is just wrong. You will find out over time.
(3) A word of advice: don’t react immediately. Allow time to think everything through. I have great confidence in our natural ability to identify what is good and right for us in life.
(4) Then take a moment to think about 3 things you want people to remember about you after you die. What are the 3 things that would leave your mark on this Earth? It’s definitely a little creepy, but it really helps identify what’s important to you.
(5) Now you are ready to identify your large stones. In general, we say that you can reasonably have 3 large stones to achieve a good life balance. Also note that your large stones may change over time. Let me know if this was of any help.
In future posts, I’ll talk to you about giving yourself permission, letting go, being able to say no, finding settings that suit us, and much more. I’m full of ideas that I’d like to share with you! Hope you are as excited about this as I am.
PS: If you want to send me your list or discuss this or any topic, I would be happy to connect with you at firstname.lastname@example.org
PPS: If you want to dive deeper into the topic of the meaning of life, I really enjoyed this TED Talk “There’s more to life than being happy.” https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_esfahani_smith_there_s_more_to_life_than_being_happy