A balanced lifestyle. What does it mean to you?
A balanced lifestyle. What does it mean to you? To me, a happy and healthy balanced lifestyle is pretty simple yet a very challenging thing to achieve. I’d like to break it down to two components for the sake of this post: mind and body.
Lets start with the most challenging one: the mind.
The mind is incredibly powerful and it’s something I have always been so fascinated with. As some of you may know, I have my bachelors in Psychology. The classes I took to obtain that little piece of paper were extremely fascinating and I learned SO MUCH.
I learned all about diseases, stages of childhood and how our brain develops along the way, how addiction is triggered, how to skip class without getting caught, how to survive Psych class with a horrible hangover….
Oh sorry. My mind started drifting to the reality of my college days.
Anyways. No amount of high stress tests and quizzes on how the hypothalamus functions can compare to learning from your daily life, and it certainly won’t teach you the keys to being happy.
My greatest teacher on happiness and life has been my experiences. Are you rolling your eyes yet? I know it sounds so cheesy and cliche but it's true. If you have an open mind, an eager soul, and an invisible shovel to dig a little deeper- you may find that you already have the keys to everything you need.
Life situations come in all different forms.
Lying and hurting someone you’re close to. Falling in love with the wrong person, or falling in love with the right person at the wrong time. Traveling to a foreign country and learning the ways they live. Death. Birth. Breaking someones heart, or getting yours shattered. Visiting someplace new and marveling at new beauty. Betraying a friend or getting betrayed. Experiencing “karma” first hand. Learning to enjoy your own company. Making bad decisions left and right…. Making incredible decisions.
Life is full of ups and downs and twists and turns…we live and we learn. It’s up to you to take whatever comes your way and transform that into fuel for understanding yourself, understanding life and understanding love and happiness.
What’s the first step?
ACCEPT your life as it is.
Let go of the past.
Let go of the negativity, judgments, regrets, jealousy hate….
Let it all go! Cue “Let It Go” song by Frozen... JK PLEASE DON’T
I know it’s so much easier said than done right!?
I kindaaa feel like a hypocrite typing that knowing I go through negativity, judgment regret, etc… ALL THE TIME.
However letting go of these debilitating feelings is something I strive for daily, and I’m improving. But more importantly, I find myself a lot happier in the process.
One tool to help let this all go is to stay present.
Live in the moment.
This is the most profound line for me personally.
I have a bracelet that says “stay present” as a daily reminder, as well as “live in the present” typed on a piece of paper and taped to my apartment door to remind myself that here and now is everything.
Live in the moment and open your eyes to the beauty of the world, in all of its different forms.
Focus on making YOURSELF happy before anything. It’s OK to be selfish with this because if you aren’t happy within yourself, it’ll slowly (or quickly) start to affect the outside world, especially in your relationships.
“The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the project of loving yourself.” – Sahaj Kohli
So dig deep and find your happiness, and don’t stop until you’ve achieved it.
Once you start loving yourself, you may just find that the other side of the balance beam starts to wobble towards even: the body.
There are so many components to “the body” and I could go on about holistic medicine, fitness, dieting, foods that heal, etc etc etc… because I LOVE this stuff, but I’ll try to stick to a couple simple angles because here’s the thing:
EveryBODY is different…. *Like what I did there? ;) sooo clever.*
- There is no magic pill to make you drop 10 pounds in a week.
- There is no cream that’ll make you have flawless skin.
- There is no 21 day cleanse that will make you all of a sudden love your body.
- There is no diet plan that works for everyone.
Because it's not that simple, and everybody is uniquely different.
The most important thing is to accept and love your body the way it is… and then take action if needed.
Are you 15 pounds “overweight” and want to lose it? Totally OK. But is it because you feel like you’ll be fitting into what society thinks is right or because it’s what’s best for your overall health?
Are you thin and want to tone up your figure? Great. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting a strong, healthy and attractive body. But do it because you love your body and want it to be as healthy and strong as possible, not necessarily to look better in a bikini.
Every persons health is unique due to genetics, hormones, circumstances, etc….
This is why knowledge is power. Meet with your doctor and/or a nutritionist.... Get your bloodwork done, find out what you may be deficient in. Do your research! With this you can find out what foods and vitamins you need to be consuming to balance your body from the inside out.
It may even be worth your while to meet with a physical trainer to help put together a fitness plan that you can stick to. I'll do another blog post on my favorite strengthening exercises soon. Or maybe a video!?
Listen to your body and figure out what works best for YOU. Eat nutritious foods. Take your vitamins. Move, WORKOUT, sweat. Do it daily.
Do it because you love your body.
When you’re happy with yourself as a person both emotionally and physically, you’ll find yourself effortlessly creating a healthy balance in everything you do.
I’ll end on my favorite quote from the Yoga Girl book by Rachel Brathen that I just read in one sitting this afternoon:
“Balance is key in everything you do. So dance all night long and practice yoga the next day. Drink wine, but don’t forget your green juice. Eat chocolate when your heart wants it and kale salad when your body needs it. Wear high heels on Saturday and walk barefoot on Sunday. Go shopping at the mall and then sit down and meditate in your bedroom. Live high and love. Move and stay still. Embrace all sides of who you are and live your authentic truth! Be brave and bold and spontaneous and loud, and let that complement your ability to find silence and patience and modesty and peace. Make your own rules and don’t let others tell you how to live according to theirs.” -Rachel Brathen (AKA my spirit animal)
OK I'm emotionally and physically drained from typing...
TIME TO GO MAKE A SKINNY COCKTAIL AND GIVE THANKS FOR IT.
Hey balance is key, right? ;)