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Stop to find the balance

There are times in our lives where we rush around trying to fit in everything that we can, getting to work, doing a good job, pleasing people, a house to look after, animals to walk, children to take care of, other commitments that you've picked up on the way and the minute it starts to slip it's a dangerous slippery slope.  It only takes on misplaced footing for it to all feel like it's spiraling out of control and you become Alice and fall down a rabbit hole.

 We know we have responsibilities and as much as you would like to throw it all up in the air and walk away it's not actually that easy to do.  Have you ever gotten to the stage where you feel that you can no longer keep doing what you are doing but you still carry on regardless?

I did, I spent so much time putting 110% into everything that without realising it I was losing a percentage of me in the process, as much as I like to think I had a handle on it all, when I look back I know that I didn't.  I was still running and the wheel was still turning and there were times I would run faster and the wheel would turn faster but actually nothing was happening, I wasn't getting anywhere.  So I stopped.

Admittedly I didn't stop everything but I did take a few moments one afternoon to look at my priorities and put aside some of the things that as much as they are good for me are not as important in the day to day part of my life.   I realised there are somethings that I need to do to bring balance back into my life and it was important for me to get these right before I could move on and get my life back on track.

Back in early 2011 my son was studying different religions and one of them was Buddism, I was exceptionally interested in one part; the wheel of life and the six realms that form it which are considered not only as six separate realms existing in six particular place/times but also as a psychological map, a representation of the world that we create out of the passions of our own heart.   I won't go too much into this but I have left you the link to go discover if you are interested.  What it made me do is start to think of my own wheel of life and the realms being the sections of my life that represent my world which I have created from the passion of my heart.

I was searching for something I could use to map this out and I came across a wonderful website mindtools and it gave me just what I was looking for:

Can you see why my life was so off kilter, admittedly there are a couple of the sections that are not great representations of my life or the things that I had pressing me but it gave me a pretty good idea at what was throwing me off balance?  The more blue in the section indicated the satisfaction level of that section, however I changed it slightly and used the indicators to show me what percentage of my life was taken up by each of these sections.  There's definitely something wrong with this picture, can you see it? 

I looked at what I wanted and what I needed to change about this wheel and I set about putting things in motion.  I changed my outlook about work, it was taking all my focus and it was what was the biggest factor in why I was so limited in every other area of my life.  I appreciate that not everyone would be able to do what I did but I changed my job, I sat down and sorted out a plan for my finances, I got back in touch with friends that I haven't had much time for, I removed several negative influences from my life and I started to plan my freetime so that I got to do the things I wanted to as well as the things that needed to be done. I also started a course that I've wanted to do for a very long time.  It took some careful planning and a lot of consideration but I definitely feel the difference several months later.  So much so that I decided I would take another look at that 'wheel of life'.

Well that's more like it.

So tell me how balanced is your life right now?  Would you be interested to do a before and after to see whether the changes you make over several months have panned out how you expected them to?