Sunday, June 30, 2013

Struggling to find balance?

You juggle so many things: marriage, motherhood, family, work, friends, health, ministry, exercise. You continue to give of yourself, pouring into those around you, often at the expense of yourself. You might even be at a place where you are completely worn out and feel like you have lost yourself amid all the other pressures of life. You struggle daily to find some balance.

The truth is: balance is elusive. You can strive and strive for it, but as soon as you think you have attained it, something new is thrown in the mix and you get off balance again. 

I'd like to suggest that instead of striving for balance, strive for RHYTHM.

Rhythm, as defined by is "the effect produced in a play, film, novel, etc., by the combination or arrangement of formal elements to create movement, tension, and emotional value in the development of the plot." This applies to life as well. You have elements in your life that are combined and arranged every day, sometimes regularly scheduled, sometimes completely out of order. There is movement, tension and lots of emotion!

Think of it like waves in the ocean. There is an ebb and flow to life that you must ride just like you ride a wave. If you fight the waves, you just get tired and worn out. But if you cooperate and join in the ebb and flow of the the waves, you find a rhythm that is manageable and often peaceful.

Here is an example from my life. I love to work out. I lift weights, run and cycle. My ideal world would allow me to work out 6 days a week and occasionally that happens. But more often, I can fit 3-4 workouts in, and some weeks, I don't work out at all. I used to get really upset when I couldn't work out. I would feel like I had been cheated out of something and worried that I would lose the fitness level that I had worked so hard to attain.

A few years ago, when a friend shared the idea of rhythm instead of balance, it occurred to me that I needed to apply this in my life, specifically to my workouts. I have found that life sometimes gets in the way and so I now just go with the flow, the rhythm of my life. I work out when I can, make the most of it, and am grateful for that time. When I can't work out, I know that it is not a permanent situation and that my fitness level will not die off for missing a few days or even a week or two. I feel much less pressure and have more peace.

I encourage you to shift your thinking. Accept the fact that balance is unattainable. Begin following the waves and find the RHYTHM in your life.

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