On balance… October 11, 2017 by Jamie WestermanLife is an intricate balancing act. I am a Libra. If you know anything about zodiac signs, you know that the sign of the Libra is a scale, representing balance. When things feel out of balance in my life, I am a crazy person. Ask my family, my friends. They are afraid of me when the scales are tipping too heavily in any direction. When this happens, I am frantic to try and restore the balance and often this can be at my own expense. Why? For me, living a balanced life is my comfort, my freedom. To maintain harmony, in my relationships, work and home life, and in my own head requires the skill of a tightrope walker. At times, a small wobble in life can throw the entire system off balance enough that I wish there was a net to catch me. At other times the fall comes quickly and there is no hope to regain stability without a steep fall and treacherous climb back up. And, every once in a while, the balance is so symmetrical that the tightrope feels effortless. How do we maintain this smooth sailing when life seems to throw us so many curves? First, how do you feel when your internal and external world are in balance? When your mind and heart cooperate and the world around you (work, family, fun) flows simply? Oftentimes the first thing I do is complicate things. I look around, panicked, worrying about when the shoe will drop. Too often we miss the beautiful balance because our brains inexplicably create a sense of urgency. I am working to instead shift my meandering mind to gratefulness. To focus on how calm and grounded I feel when the scales are so exquisitely level. Life out of balance is ugly for me. Some people can thrive through change and stress. As a Libra, I am apparently astrologically challenged when it comes to disarray. I truly believe when I can glide across the tightrope I am more successful in all arenas. It seems to come to me painlessly. When the wavering starts, it can be subtle. Or, if I am not paying attention, it might overtake me. Good grief, you should have seen me during my divorce, when my scales were literally spinning. My outside likely just looked tired and frazzled, my inside was the aftermath of a mosh pit at a Marilyn Manson concert – trampled and broken. One of the first things I need to do when I find myself out of balance is to simply acknowledge it. If I can identify that my chaos is due to teetering too heavily in one direction, I can take a breath and make a plan. This realization is easier said than done of course, especially when we are so caught up in life that we have blinders on. Because I know I am a “head down, get shit done” kind of girl, I have to force myself to evaluate my balance. I usually do this weekly on Sundays as I mentally prepare for the week’s clutter. Even just realizing, ok this week will be a hot mess of disorder, can help me to tackle it all. If I haven’t announced this to myself, I find mid-week I am like a walking time bomb, don’t get too close. Empowering myself with a little physical and mental prep by setting goals and reflecting on what has helped me get through imbalance in the past is critical. For the weeks that my old habits take over, I truly apologize to my loved ones. If you struggle with balance, who doesn’t now and then or all the damn time, just know you are not alone. Work-life balance is always an especially hot topic in our world. Check out Nigel Marsh’s Ted talk to hear his view on it all, with a little humor and an accent to boot! Wishing you balanced scales and harmony this week.