Getting to grips with your life can be daunting and hard task. Everybody faces challenges in life whether it’s to do with work, if they live with fibromyalgia or in day to day family life. The key is to find that balance.
Life balance always seemed to me like one of these broad terms that cannot be explained in two words and that definitely cannot be reached in two days. Even though I am practicing life balance every day I still cannot say that I have mastered it completely and still have a long way to go before I do. However, this weekend I discovered a wonderful way to bring my emotions under control, to find peace in my inner world, to straighten out my thoughts and clear my mind, to enjoy a wonderful quality time with my family and even to fight a few of my fears. My life balance doesn’t seem so complicated anymore and it took only two days for me to discover why.
This weekend my in-laws rented a log cabin in the mountains and invited us (my husband, me and our twins) to stay with them for a weekend. I must admit that I was very skeptical about this trip and I was not sure that it was a good idea (you see, my babies hate their car seats and a trip that is longer than 30 minutes usually turns into a disaster. It takes 3 hours to get to the mountains so you can understand my “enthusiasm”). I must confess that this trip was one the best ones I’ve had in a long time. This trip taught me a few lessons and opened my eyes to a few simple secrets of balanced living.
The balance inside of you is closely connected with the balance around you. There is nothing more balanced than nature and no matter how hard humans try to create something terrific and magnificent they can never beat nature’s creations. Being surrounded by nature, admiring it and absorbing its beauty works wonders for everybody. The nature in the mountains was so magnificent that I could not stop marveling at it every second that I’ve spent there. All the problems that were troubling my mind seemed so silly and unimportant; all my concerns were so superficial and shallow. Nature is the biggest source of creativity and inspiration and spending at least a few hours admiring it every week is an essential part of life balance.
Country living is not for me and I do not think that I can live without a grocery store within a 10 minute drive, a big shopping mall around and a few dozens of restaurants that are at least a little bit higher class than McDonald’s and Wendy’s. However country living has its unique charm that helps you slow down and relax. To me this country charm consists of simple things like a small bluegrass festival, local barbecue parties, Dukes of Hazzard style driving (well we didn’t jump over anything) on country roads, and absolutely no hustle and bustle of the big city. Country living makes you more grounded, it helps you enjoy simple things that do not have high price tags on them.
Quietude and Solitude
How many noises do you usually hear in your house? The refrigerator is buzzing, the air conditioning unit is droning, your neighbor’s dog is barking, cars are constantly going past your windows, the garbage truck is beeping … All these noises are registered by your mind and they make it impossible for you to enjoy silence, to experience a complete vacuum of noises. It’s important to give your mind a break, to let it be still for a while. You can experience this silence and solitude on a lonely mountain trail, in a big field, on a deserted ocean beach.
Try something that you’ve always wanted to try or that you’ve always been afraid to try. When we are kids everything that we try is new and exciting. The older we get the less excitement we have in our lives, the fewer adventures we dare to try, the more boring we are. It’s important to try new things constantly, to experience new emotions and to enjoy life.
This weekend I tried horse-back riding for the first time. The minute I mounted that pretty horse (her name was Lucy) I felt something special inside of me. I was scared and excited at the same time and I could not stop smiling (I think I looked pretty silly though :-)) There was something very relaxing and real about horse-back riding through the woods, going through the creeks, enjoying the silence and the calmness of the world around me.
Experience media-free life
I was shocked to realize that I didn’t have any cell phone signal in the mountains (I can’t believe that there are still places where you cannot be reached). We didn’t have Internet in our log cabin and of course as usual we didn’t watch TV. I could do whatever I wanted to do without being interrupted by the outside world.
How long has it been since you last played cards or any other family game? I remember when I was little I loved puzzles, monopoly, card games, crossword puzzles and many other games. It has been years since I last played any of them and this weekend my husband and I decided to play Rummy. We had so much fun and I felt like I was a child again. No concerns, no problems, just having fun.
Hiking up a mountain is not just an exercise that is good for your body. It gives you the feeling of accomplishment once you’ve reached the pick of the mountain. It gives you the feeling of unity with the nature around you. It teaches you to feel your body and to be grateful for being healthy and being able to climb that mountain.
Run up a steep hill
My husband and I were walking around the area in the morning and we saw a very steep hill. We decided to have a small race just to see how far we could go. Not far, unfortunately but we had so much fun. When we are kids competitions like this come to us naturally and we enjoy running, jumping, falling, and climbing without any particular reason. You do not have to exercise because you need to lose weight or because your doctor says that it will lower your risks of heart disease, diabetes or any other medical condition. You can be active just because it is fun and because you enjoy doing it. Learn from your kids or from the kids around you to be active without any particular reason. Have fun!
If you want to balance your life then you must learn to have fun in your life no matter what. We all need to earn our living, to be serious at one point or another, to solve difficult life questions and to be … adults. However, if we forget about having fun then our life gets completely out of balance.
It’s important to have short vacations from your daily routines, to change your lifestyle completely, to learn something new and to remember something that you’ve forgotten long ago. It’s important to keep a childlike nature inside of you and to let this child play and have fun every once in a while (the more often, the better). It’s important to be closer to the nature and to draw inspiration out of it. It’s important to live a balanced life and I am sure that anybody can get closer to being balanced just by slowing down a little and getting back to nature.
Keep it balanced!