When the sun crosses the equator, the hours of daylight equal the hours of night. This occurs only two times each year - during the spring and the fall equinoxes.
These equinoxes are special times of year. At these moments, we are poised on the brink of extremes: Cold winter and scorching summer.
Traditionally, these moments in the year have been celebrated as a time of plenty and a time of balance. For thousands of years, people have recognized that having this balanced stability in our lives brings tremendous benefits.
So in this equinox tradition, I'm putting out a healthy work-life balance challenge:
Tap into this power and identify a few ways you can get closer to an even keel in your life.
You Never Really Achieve Work-Life Balance
As you well know, it's hard to attain and maintain balance in your life. You're usually too busy, too tired, too bored, too full or too hungry. Rarely do we feel like Goldilocks when she stretched out on the Baby Bear's bed and sighed, "Just right!"
But here's the thing, it's not necessarily a bad thing that we don't quite reach that perfect moment. The benefits of balance aren't necessarily found in reaching that zen moment. The power is more in the effort to balance out our excesses.
As any tightrope walker will explain, you're never fully in balance, you're constantly making adjustments to keep your equilibrium. The power is found in developing skills that allow you to make those adjustments so you can stay perched safely on the rope.
And when it comes down to it, this constant recalibration is really the core of life. In biology we call it homeostasis. Universally, all organisms are constantly working to respond to the environment and return their body to equilibrium.
We're no different. Our health depends on our ability to move away from extremes, respond to the various stressors that crop up in our environment and bring our lives back closer to the center.
Seeking balance keeps us on our toes, aware of our environment and our emotional state. It makes us creative, durable and sensitive.
Restore Balance In 3 Steps
Most organisms have only their instincts and built-in biological mechanisms for helping them regain balance.
We're lucky. In addition to our automatic equilibrium-seeking reflexes, we've got conscious thought on our side.
And you can use this consciousness to help you establish balance in 3 ways:
1. Be aware of your current state;
2. Be wise enough to identify what aspects of your life needs a counterweight; and
3. Be clever enough to figure out what you can do to bring some equilibrium to the situation;
So here's my Equinox challenge to you:
Take a half hour today and ask yourself these questions:
· Where do you feel out of whack? Where are you feeling like you're getting a little carried away?
· Are you eating a bit too much sweet stuff? Do you need to reign in your sugar cravings?
· Is stress becoming a constant instead of the periodic wakeup call that's part of a healthy life?
· Could you get some more good food in your life - more greens and whole foods?
· Are you spending a little too much time on technology and social media and not enough time on your real world social life?
· Are you getting enough sleep - or sleeping too much because you just don't feel restored when you get up?
· Do you have a hard time keeping your calm, letting small things agitate you?
· Do you have a hard time slowing down and relaxing? Or are you frustrated that you can't seem to ramp up your energy when you need it?
These are just a few good questions to help you get started.
Take this special day of balance to ask yourself these kinds of questions. And then create a plan to step by step work your way back towards that blessed state of stability somewhere closer to the middle.
It might mean changing your schedule around, adding more exercise in, adjusting your diet or even taking some time to meditate each day. While it may feel frustrating to look at the areas in which you're drifting over to the extreme, the good thing is there are plenty of tools to help you pull yourself back to stability.
Find Power In Balancing Your Life
No one ever achieves 100% balance. But you can steadily work to get closer to this state. And by doing so, you gain the power to achieve. Think about it: Is it easier to jump forward when you're off kilter or when you feel steady and poised?
When you bring yourself close to center, you're better equipped to spring forward and reach goals you're seeking to attain in life. By getting near this stable place, you can reach farther without toppling over.