How Balance in Life is About Boxes

 

The science shows how multitasking isn’t really a thing. Our brains switch quickly from one task to another, yet we are never simultaneously thinking about two separate things at the exact same moment.

So it doesn’t make sense to try to live like we are able to multitask.

Leading a more balanced life isn’t about having two items on the same scale and weighing them equally. It is about only having one item on the scale and allowing it to weigh in fully.

 

I describe this with the metaphor of boxes. Think of all the important areas of your life, like work, family, personal goals, etc, each as their own box. In the ‘family box’ are all the activities that are required for a good, healthy family life.

The key is only having one box open at a time to play in fully and recognising you need to carefully put the lid on one box and store it before pulling out and opening the next.

 

This mental act of putting the box away signifies the space between, also termed the ‘third space’ by Dr Adam Fraser. It is the space between two different tasks/areas of your life, where you reset yourself. In this space between you release all that was going on with the first box, into that box and close the lid. Then ready to be fully present you can open your next box.

I have found and have coached people in using this tool which has proved extremely helpful in stressful situations.  When working on the stressful item, open the box and be fully in that box working on the task to effectively work through it, but when it is time to put it away pack it up fully so you don’t take it with you into other areas of your life.

 

Another consideration is how often each box is coming out. 

It isn’t healthy to spend most of your time in the ‘online world box’ and only short amounts in the ‘sleep box’. Nor can you spend all your time in the ‘work box’ and little in the ‘family box’.

But special projects do come along in life and one box may be out more often than the others for a while. As long as it is balanced in the long run this is healthy.  For example, you may have a large work or personal project you are pouring yourself into for a couple months. But in doing so you know you will dedicate more time to the family later such as scheduling a vacation.

 

To be mindful, present and find more simplicity in these crazy times:

Keep one box open at a time.

Mentally put away the box before opening the next.

Ensure over the medium to longer term all boxes are opened regularly.

 

 

P.S. If you want a ‘social media box’ have one but don’t take it to dinner with you and open it at the table.

Rejection Creates Freedom

Deep in the pit of our heart sits fear of rejection, neatly tucked behind fear of not being enough.

The times we have experienced it.

The fear of refacing it.

That deeply burrowed seed of not being enough.

We convince ourself of perceived rejection, blowing someone else’s fear and rejection – their reactions of hurt – we take and make our own. A cycle arising from not being in touch with what sits behind our fear and so continue the lash out cycle rather than find a way to say what catches in our throat, but doesn’t make it past the lips.

Mostly because we don’t dare acknowledge it.  The fear arises from our heart and our head rejects it, creating anger, rage, frustration, stress as a more tolerable way of letting the energy of it out.

When it arises could we seek to clarify rather than assume?
We often don’t out of fear of true rejection, despite the low chances. We would rather take all the assumed rejection rather than the true 5%. Crazy that we allow our fear to pull in feelings of rejection 95% of the time just because we won’t get out of our own way.

And that 5%. It’s not really there either. That 5% that we did seek to clarify is only someone else’s ideal. It isn’t who we are. But again we give away the power to stand firmly grounded in the truth of doing the best we can, acknowledging all our good intentions. We give away that most precious part of ourselves every day of our life.

You know – we don’t have to accept criticism. We don’t have to take it in.

I struggle with how difficult it is daily to truly live in the spotlight of my magnificent worth.

I know my heart wants so much good for me, sees it in others and strives for it in the world.

If only the doubt monsters didn’t create a daily struggle that pulls on my attention. They are death by a thousand cuts, always nipping at our heels, like the bit of dog shit we cannot quite scrape off, that disgusting smell that lingers.

But, I am practising at having the tough conversations.  I am asking why and all I am finding are reasons that have nothing to do with me, and everything buried in another’s fear of rejection.

And the best bit, rather than be another channel that reinforces their hurt, by asking and clarifying I can give support and love.

Where darkness shadows take a light, not a bat. See what is truly there instead of fighting imagined demons.

Your strength to do so is in the truth of all that is amazing in you-you know it’s there.

Please, join me, let your amazingness come shining out of you, bright enough to help light the darkness of another.

Let’s take a light, not a bat and bring love where there is hurt.

 

 

Photo by Lesley B. Juarez on Unsplash

Life IS About Feeling Unsure, Uncertain and Afraid

Let’s embrace the reality.

We are unsure.

We are afraid.

Most of us don’t have a single defining purpose, and that is what is real and true.

I am asked what I want to be still at 34 years of age like each change is supposed to be heading my ‘life/career/hobbies’ in a specific direction.

For me, life does have other plans and rather than get frustrated when my initial direction takes a turn I have learnt more wisely to enjoy the ride. These unexpected turns have led to some of life’s biggest joys and breakthroughs.

The breakdown of a dream is hard, stagnation sucks and mistakes are embarrassing, but they are also a part of life.

The life flow I have learnt to be ok with has included years of feeling lost, sometimes career wise, sometimes personally, sometimes in every single area of life. There have been times where I feel like I have gone backwards and some, where I have felt held down.

It is extremely hard when you’re left without an answer or direction.

Whilst it is hard, I now practice surrender. I am learning to ride the wave of it without letting nausea take over, knowing the feeling of being a lost ship does result in turning up on a beach somewhere but that never feels soon enough in the storm.

There is a lot of noise about pushing yourself to be, to do, to define it all and I am over that noise. Turn it off!

I wrote about how sometimes no answer is THE answer, read about it here.

I have learnt that being held down is still leading me somewhere – time will go on and the sun will rise again. The last lull forced me to come back in and find a pause. To be okay with the stillness and uncertainty in direction. And oddly enough only when I found a settled space in myself and surrendered to being there did the new direction appear – it was a

The last lull forced me to come back in and find a pause. To be okay with the stillness and uncertainty in direction. And oddly enough only when I found a settled space in myself and surrendered to being there did the new direction appear – this most recent voyage spanned two long 2 years.

Let’s more wisely recognise that life is all about cycles. Sometimes we will be uncertain, sometimes we will fall, get stuck and not know what it is all about or for.

And that is so very okay.

 

 

 

Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

Endings are not the Point

One of my favourite philosophers Jason Silva muses in this capture of awe about the impermanence of love.

I see this hesitation, deliberation, almost a reason not to – at the impermanence of things by many in this world yet it has me baffled.

Baffled because it is all so very impermanent. Because impermanence is all there is.

Life is impermanent yet we live it anyway.

The rollercoaster is impermanent, we ride it anyway.

Love can definitely be impermanent but it comes with the opportunity to experience our greatest natural intoxication of bliss, connection and joy.

We go to sleep to rest and restore, only to get up and wear out, rinse, repeat.

I don’t stay in bed all day thinking, how impermanent the moment may be so why bother? What an odd contemplation.

For me, impermanence is the fuel, not the extinguisher.

I know I have limited time so yes I will love with every fibre of my being. And yes I have lost love and had my heart broken. Am I bitter, turned off or hesitant to love again pondering the point – no way. I don’t have that kind of time to spare in this one precious life. Afterall, the grieving and heartbreak following a break-up will last long enough. Once I have recovered and am ready I want to experience again.

Everything in life is a cycle. There will always be an up and always a down.  There is a coming together and moving apart, sometimes this means endings, sometimes it just signals a new cycle within a larger one.

At the end of the day, life is about living it. Losing yourself in it. Going in so deep the bigger picture is a blur around the edges.

The only things we will regret are the unknowns, what we didn’t try to know what the outcome was.

So yes I love again, live again, have good days, bad days, progress and stagnate – I respect it is all part of this wonderful, magnificent journey and invite you to dive in too.

Ponder, but then blur the edges of the big picture and go in deep. I’ll see you at the surface again in due course but you have to see what is down there for yourself.

Photo by Felix Russell-Saw on Unsplash

The Space Between Pursuing Everything and Pursuing Nothing

I find most people are in one of two categories. They are either trying to do everything or nothing much.

There is no right or wrong.

There is no big life rule that says you must push yourself to achieve all you can possibly achieve, nor is there any rule that says you must spend your down time as just that and nothing else.

Yet, we guilt ourselves no matter our situation.

Those chillin cats savouring the fruits of their laborious working hours with slow walks, a good TV series and a number of well read books are watching the busy bees pondering if they should also be striving to achieve in their downtime.

For the busy bees, there is guilt in not achieving enough, fast enough or successfully enough with the flipside guilt they are not getting enough downtime, whilst asking them self, ‘What is the most productive way to have downtime?’

I am a busy bee and I do look on a little enviously at the relaxing downtime of those chillin cats. But I acknowledge I cannot sit still for long periods of time. My ideas would swell inside until I burst.

Just a someone who enjoys their unscheduled downtime should definitely dive into that guilt free.

I appreciate the calm and steadiness someone who can chill brings into my life. I need them. They balance me. Just like I need other busy bees to buzz around with sometimes.

There is no doubt the chilling cats need a buzzer to sometimes pull them along. But they also need times with other chillin cats to be at ease without having to discuss what to do, how to do it or where to go.

The key is losing the guilt and finding your unique flow into one, the other and the spaces in between as it works for you.

It is important to check in with yourself to make sure you are ok; you are not running yourself ragged, nor are you letting life’s dreams float on by.

All in all, being the person you are is the perfect way to be.

There is no guilt in being who you are; a busy bee or a chillin cat – just be you.

 

Photo:  Jorunn Lorenzen

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 20 |