How do you find balance?

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Katie (StormyKat) created the topic: How do you find balance?

Lately I have been thinking of balance. There are so many ways we try to find balance. There is work/life balance that most of us are constantly seeking. Beyond work/life balance through, there is so much more. We have to balance family, friends, personal time, personal care, work, taking care of the house, our hobbies, our Jedi coursework; many of us are also trying to grow professionally outside of work-whether it is finding a new job, starting a new business or going to school to get a promotion. That leaves a lot of stuff to do in 24 hours--not including sleeping, eating, and commuting. Repeat that daily and we do a whole lot in a week, or a mere 168 hours. Sometimes it feels like there just isn't enough time. Considering the repetitive cycle of life--dog has to go for a walk every day, most of us have to work every day, babies need their diapers changed every few hours, bills have to be paid every month--I sometimes wonder how any one makes any progress in life.
So I wondered, how do you find balance? There are so many different things out there about how to get more done in your day, but really, I think we should be thinking about quality, not quantity. Over the years I have slowly come to learn there is no single way to find balance. What works for me, may not work for you. I am curious though, how everyone works towards that balance. What is the first thing that gives when you are too overwhelmed? How do you recharge when you have lost the balance?

*oddly enough, as I was coming to start this post, I found this thread from Jax on Overdoing it. Something I am notorious for, and which I think many of us struggle with.*
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: How do you find balance?

First of all I would like You and everyone else who reads this that this sort of feel is something most of us if not everyone of us is or will be facing in the days, weeks, months and years to come. This is due to what I have learned during my Feng Shui studies. By the year 2017, according to the lineage I’m studying Feng Shui in, we will enter a new fate, a new time with a new quality. In addition we do have this year the year of the Fire-Monkey. Both, the new fate and the Fire-Monkey, are symbols for a very active, fast and in ways even aggressive energy and this shows in that we all are constantly feeling like there is too less time for all the things we want to do. But how do we balance that?

Getting back to your initial question, for me it is very important to stick with at least my morning routine meaning doing my stretches followed by the Qi-Gong exercises I do and the final meditation. This helps me to centre myself, to reenergise myself and to balance things. Another big point for me is my martial art training in general as it is for me a sort of hideaway where I can leave all the things behind and just focus on myself, my training, the techniques we are doing and the work with my training partner.
But in this it is as You said, it will differ from person to person what this kind of hideaway, this retreat can and will be. The important point is, obviously, that everyone finds one and makes use of it.

Once again I can only speak off myself and what I do to balance things, to make life easier for me. Right now I’m in the process to move into a new apartment which will get me closer to the company I’m working for. Already this single step should free up about two hours a day for me as I don’t need to commute any longer for like 1,5 hours one way. I still can keep the benefit that I can do my commuting to work by bicycle and the distance from my apartment to the company I have to cover will be something like 7,5 km. This already does give me a nice little physical activity before and after work which does help me to calm down and leave my job concerns behind and refocus on stuff which is important for me in my private life.
Then I’m doing the already named morning routine which does help me in general to get my day started in a good and clear way.
After the move I will focus on starting my own Dojo and when I have set that up it is another “activity” which does help me to balance my life as following my martial art studies is a crucial part for me in my life.

For me, balancing life has also something to do with optimising one’s life. As all our lives are as individual as are our personalities; I’m afraid but I guess there is no such a thing like a golden rule which one can follow. But what everyone can do is, sit back, create a list of what one is doing and how much time is needed, give it a sort of importance ranking and then think about if and how one can optimise things. Obviously this might mean that we need to accept some restrictions and limitations but it also means that we can find things which actually free up things and areas in our life we might not have been aware of otherwise.

So, finally, balancing my life means to me to take my time from time to time to sit back, reflect on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Then think about if it still holds the same importance of when I started to do it and if not, change it.

I don’t know if my rambling makes any sense to anyone or if it is of any help but that is how I approach this topic and how I work on balancing things and my life.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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Jax replied the topic: How do you find balance?

Thank you both. I'm always looking at this myself. Right now my struggle is getting the house in a finished enough state to where people could come over and it would look like we lived there instead of just moving in. I'm also trying to make time for my physical health, spiritual health, and my daughter/family. I have made progress on this, and even spent a little time coloring Saturday night instead of just cleaning. But every day it feels like I'll never catch up.

I don't know about feng shui but Yoshio's statement of things slowing down in 2017 seems plausible. In the meantime, just keep asking what is the priority for the day? And I often have to temporarily prioritize things that aren't normally prioritized. For instance, coloring which falls under the spiritual/emotional health category. It's too easy to let the physical doing of something take priority over something that is an emotional benefit.

My current plan is prioritizing the physical body this week. To eat better again. To do some yoga every night instead of getting on the computer. Then next week (or maybe this week) I want to add in walking and running. That means preparing my food better so I can have a snack late enough in the afternoon that I'm not starving when I get home. Then I can stretch a little, nurse Melody, and take her out in the jogging stroller. Then after it's time for her bath and bed. If I can eat at the right times and such that should work out. Then the trick will be coming down fast enough after a run to not be up all night. But, at least it's an initial plan. :-) As that becomes easier to pull off I can shift priorities again to whatever else is asking for my attention. Ultimately, I view balance as more a shifting of focus from one thing to another rather than fitting it all in at the same time. There just isn't enough time for me to do that right now.
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Katie (StormyKat) replied the topic: How do you find balance?

Thank you both.
Jax, reading your post I realized that I do have a shifting focus, what is the priority today. I do it unintentionally, unconsciously though, which might be why I feel like I am "failing" at everything. I am going try being more intentional when I focus my energy on one thing as opposed to focusing on what I didn't get done, or what I still have to get done. I am certainly aware when I have to let one thing go to do something else--for example resetting after a particularly rough day at work instead of writing--but I focus on what I am not doing.
Johannes, "optimizing my life" *sigh* in theory that sounds amazing to me. Sadly I feel I need to DO EVERYTHING NOW!

So, finally, balancing my life means to me to take my time from time to time to sit back, reflect on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Then think about if it still holds the same importance of when I started to do it and if not, change it.

---- love that. Great idea.

I suppose the way I attempt to balance is to try to figure out what I really want to get done verses what time I actually have available to me. What can I get done before work? Am I feeling strong enough to do bills, errands etc before work? Do I need to clean? Or can I try to write before work. Alternatively, was it a rough night and I need extra sleep and just relax before work? When I get home from work, it is mostly eating, winding down, spending time with Sneakers, and then bed.
I don't have the same schedule every day-which has ups and downs. Mainly I don't know when I am ACTUALLY getting off work; I know when I am scheduled to get off work, but that doesn't always match when I get off work. Those rough days require more time to recoup every day/week and means less of the things I want to do to grow myself. I have gotten better about family time. Tuesdays I start work really late, so every other week I go visit my Aunt and Goddaughter before work. We have lunch, I play with the baby while my Aunt and Uncle get a chance to rest. That way I am not always pushing myself to go visit family, I have a chance to see her regularly as she grows and I am able to use my time off for other things.
In the mean time I find things that help me refresh. Right now I am losing myself in the Hamilton soundtrack. Losing myself in books is also the best way for me to reset and pause. I also just deleted Facebook from my phone...we will see how long it lasts this time. :)
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Anirac Morgan replied the topic: How do you find balance?

Mostly I've felt work VS girlfriend as a troublesome thing to balance, regarding energyloss. Being at work drains me of energy & being social with the girlfriend drains me of energy, and the energy pot within feels only so big so I need to give it sparingly to both. Also being social VS alonetime. I need my alonetime, being a rather typical introvert. We've handled a lot of these balance related issues through communication and compromise. Sometimes I must push myself a little extra, other times she pulls back and gives me space & time to load up my batteries. But this isn't a one-person sort of job, it's cooperation and communication ensuring we've got balance in the home. When it comes to inner balance it can help me push a little extra to give more, but ultimately I'm somewhat dependent on her cooperation.

But yes, I find balance through maintaining center, getting enough rest & eating right + through good communication and a give/take mentality with the people closest to me.

Qui-Gon Jinn: "There's always a bigger fish."
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Jax replied the topic: How do you find balance?

instituteforjedirealiststudies.org/forum/11-health-and-fitness/31690-the-spoon-theory
For everyone, please read this. It's such a great way to explain and understand things relating to balance. :-)
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Kit replied the topic: How do you find balance?

Right now, I don't have balance between work/family/me. I'm fighting for every bit I can. "Me" is the first thing that seems to get sacrificed. And that is far from sustainable. It's about prioritizing. I can't get everything I NEED done, much less everything I want done. I just have to listen and understand what is the most important at that time. And try to keep things so the wants don't become needs. Having such limited time I really find what becomes most important to me. And it's less about time and more about the cost. How much energy? How much time? How much money? Is it worth the energy I need to put into it? Do I have the energy to spare?

*shrug* I don't have an answer right now. This isn't the first time this idea has come up in the last few days. I feel like if I got what I needed at work, everything else would fall more easily into place.

"I have come to the borders of sleep, The unfathomable deep Forest where all must lose Their way, however straight, Or winding, soon or late; They cannot choose." -excerpt from Lights Out by Edward Thomas
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Jax replied the topic: How do you find balance?

I will challenge everyone to examine whether the needs are actually needs, or if they can be shifted around, delegated, or skipped for a time. Maybe you could hire someone to do some tasks. Many people have found it's more effective for them to hire a house cleaner once a week or even once a month than it is to stress over not getting it done. Many times we as Jedi have a bad habit of doing everything ourselves, and burning out, rather than asking for help. Where can you/we ask for help or delegate?
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Johannes (Yoshio) replied the topic: How do you find balance?

That is a very good and valid point Jax came up with. For us as Jedi, we normally see ourselves in the role, the position of the one who shall be there for others to help them when they are in need of help. In this way we more often than not ignore our own needs. So understanding them and learn to ask for help and accept it is something we all, Jedi or not, need to work on and learn to do.

And before someone now shows up with the excuse that a house cleaner costs money and that one cannot afford it. Obviously, for some that might be a legal point but for many it is "just" an excuse so do your best and take a different point of view by thinking about how much the time you gain is worth for you when not having to do these tasks of cleaning your house, going shopping or whatever. I'm not saying that I have mastered that, actually far from that I'm. But taking this point of view from time to time does help to shift my perspective and therefore make it more likely that in the future I will make use of it.
If, in my example, I just always could be that rational by thinking: one hour of mine (being a aerospace engineer) is worth about 80 - 100 €. Getting my grocery delivered might cost a delivery fee of about 5 - 10 €. Getting a house cleaner - haven't looked into that - might cost about, lets say, 50 € per hour. In this way it would be very easy to see and understand that one hour of "me time" is always worthier than doing it myself. Obviously this is a very simplified view but it helped and still helps me to stay open for things like that. Maybe this approach can help others as well!?

Qui-Gon Jinn: "We cannot control our emotions, but we can decide how we go along with them."
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Jax replied the topic: Re:How do you find balance?

Exactly Yoshio. Thank you for adding the examples. I used grocery delivery a lot after I had Melody. It was so helpful!


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