One of my favorite sayings in my twenties was “Work Hard, Play Hard.” In my thirties it became “Work hard, Play HARDER!” Now in my forties it is closer to “work hard, play hard, rest hard!”

This is the journey to finding balance!

I am a good student. I live by my lists and thrive being productive. And, I might be a bit of a workaholic.  I stay up to date on the tangible and honorable requirements for my coursework. I did, after all, earn a scholarship. It is with gratitude that I intend to glean and absorb every bit of personal development and growth that I can. I’m excited that I GET to do it! 

I learned that one of my Personal Pivotal Needs (PPN) is Autonomy. I hunger for independence and freedom with such deep desire that I am willing to do anything to get it. Including, burn myself out.

I recall being introduced to acupuncture in 2010. Carolyn has become an essential part of my supportive network. And although our relationship is mainly clinical, I do consider her a friend and mentor.

From our first meetings, Carolyn talked to me about Yin and Yang. I have a lot of Yang.

Yin, not so much.

If you are a work hard, play hard type and personality, you are most likely the same.

If you enjoy yoga and meditation and daily quiet walks, you probably are further along on the whole balance concept.

Balanced ScalesWhich is kind of ironic (am I using that correctly Alanis?) considering I’m a Libra – the sign of the scales.  

Does that mean I live a balanced life, or does that mean I struggle with balance?

At this season in time, it means I’m seeking balance and ultimately, more Yin as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Which plays right into my second Pivotal Personal Need of True Health. Here is an excerpt from my Definite Major Purpose (DMP):

Before March 31, 2017… I have TRUE HEALTH in body, mind, spirit, and emotion. Daily I read, sit silently, and write.    My life is in BALANCE with work, play and rest. I sleep easily and soundly and wake up VIBRANT and JOYFUL.     I laugh with ease.    I radiate COURAGE, POWER, and CONFIDENCE. I spend a week in December on vacation in Mexico!     It feels wonderful to relax, rest, and play!    The sun on my skin is warm and the sound of the ocean is music to my ears!

While it is not always first nature to me, I am reprogramming my blueprint with good habits AND with balance. I’m learning to listen to my body. When my days allow it, I sleep in. Other days, like today, I awake at 4 a.m. “… with a vitality I have never know before!” (Og Mandino – Scroll I). I get up around 4:45 to write. And then, at 6 a.m., I go back to bed!

I have embraced naps!  

It usually only takes 20 minutes or an hour. Sometimes two. And I awake feeling remarkably better. Ready to conquer the world. Or at least my small part of it.  Ah, the restorative benefits of sleep.

I have a feeling I’m not alone in the work hard, play harder mentality. I’ve heard many say I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

We push, and push. We burn the candle at both ends. We work hard. We work harder. And yes, we play hard to. We may occasionally add in some yoga but our morning stillness and quiet meditation is the first to get dropped when our schedule gets busy.

And slowly, the accumulative effect of stress starts to manifest with illness, anger, frustration, break down, and overwhelm. Suddenly we find ourselves burned out. We are fatigued, screaming at our kids, partner, loved ones, co-workers, employees, boss. We hurt relationships and situations in our life and we lean into fear instead of love.

BEFORE we get to that point, and especially with the holidays coming, let’s turn this train wreck around!

Let’s take a time out. Let’s say “No” more often. Especially to things that don’t align with our DMP and PPN’s. Let’s cross off the morning and evening hours on our calendar and schedule it as sacred, “me” time. Let’s take baths. Let’s read books. Let’s go to sleep early. Let’s relax with our love. Let’s breathe deep. Let’s quiet our mind daily. Let’s create good habits.Let’s laugh. Let’s play. Let’s love.

Let’s take care of the gal/guy in the mirror.

Let’s make sure our cup is filled so that we can participate in the powerful law of giving.

As we strive to manifest our dreams, let’s be sure we stay balanced and enjoy the journey!

And of course, let us greet this day with love in our heart.