Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘balance in life’

Have You Arrived Yet?

Have you ever had someone ask you to call them when you have arrived at your destination? How did you respond? Did you interpret it as a sign of caring and love or an infringement on your personal space? The truth is that like many things we do in life we interpret things as a negative or positive based on our early conditioning.

People who dealt with fear growing up as a predominant factor in their early lives often need reassurance that all is okay. It is such an integral part of their makeup that they unwittingly perpetuate it on others and, at times, restrict growth. Taken to a further extreme they may even help create a fear of life in those they love the most. Do they do it purposely? Absolutely not! They are simply living out the life they experienced and passing it on to their loved ones. Is it time to hit the delete button?

As adults if we fall into the category of fearing life we can begin to confront that free floating fear and work through it by refusing to allow ourselves to continue to live in a state of constant anxiety and worry. The other option, of course, is to blame our responses on our upbringing and continue to live out a life script of fear. The truth is that once we come to grips with the fact that 99% of everything we worry about never happens we are at a cross road for decision making. Do we continue to worry and fret or slowly, gently wean ourselves away from the need to know – to control – to have something to worry about.

Teenagers often interpret the request to ‘check in’ as a sign of lack of trust. Sometimes it is due to events of the recent past. We know that as our children become young adults everything in their world becomes an issue of control. The challenging yet critical issue for parents is the gradual timing of letting the reins out slowly as our children mature. Too fast and they flounder, too slowly and they resent it.

For those who did not have an adult – a consistent mother figure in particular – in their lives that tried to loving watch, suggest, even direct the actions of their children at times the idea of ‘call me when you get there’ is foreign, an affront even, to them. They may stay stuck in the stage of a rebellious child for the rest of their lives. Deep down they know something was missing – what that was exactly – they are not sure.

Everything can be taken to an extreme. From eating and drinking at one end of the spectrum to advice giving and the ‘checking in’ factor to the other. Anything can become excessive. If we encounter a behavior or response directed to us that appears to be excessive try a gentle reminder to the person. ‘I’ve got this handled,’ is a statement that speaks volumes about personal responsibility and independence. Like life the issue is one of balance. It is a tricky road to negotiate at times.

Responses change as we mature in life. That is the beauty of it all. We don’t have to remain stuck behaving or responding the way we did in the past because everyday with each new life experience we are given the choice to see it as a potential for growth and deeper understanding or an excuse to remain stuck in the past. It is always up to us.

Maybe the next time someone asks you to let them know when you have arrived at your destination, you can take a deep breath and be grateful that someone who cares enough to request it is still in your life.

Lessons from Leonardo DaVinci

The famous artist, Leonardo DaVinci, lived by five principles according to author Michael Gelb in his book, “How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci.” These principles are well worth our consideration.

Curiosity – If we question things to seek additional information and to discover the deeper ‘why’ behind the idea or situation we are attempting to create a richer context, purpose and understanding in the moment. Knowing the ‘why’ helps us make connections in our brains by creating new synapses. Basically, knowing the ‘why’ makes us smarter.

Risk Taking – when we force ourselves out of our comfort zones we expand our awareness of life. By doing so we develop greater self confidence. We experience new things and become more interesting to ourselves and others. Is it easy … no but is it necessary… absolutely!

A Deeper development of our five senses happens when we bring our total attention to a circumstance. Feeling, seeing, hearing, tasting and touching are senses that can be taken for granted on a superficial level or experienced at a much more significant level when we bring our total attention to the situation. We are able to connect with our subconscious memory and experience the full effect of the experience when we are fully present in the moment.

Chaos – predictability can be reassuring but it can also become boring. The ability to handle ambiguity tolerance allows us to ‘allow’ life to happen. It deepens our life experience. The best teachers have this critical skill. They move with the tide and do not try to force the water to remain still. Life gives us hundreds of opportunities to develop our skills of listening, waiting, observing before we decide on a particular plan to move forward. We simply need to learn to allow and relax in the knowing that all will work out as it is suppose to in life.

A mind-body balance. Life is all about learning balance. Too much of a good thing is simply that ….too much. It takes discipline to learn a personal balance in everything we do but it is possible when we realize that, ‘if it is going to be it is up to me.’ Choices can be a gift or a burden it simply depends on our attitude.

Like a kindred spirit, Leonardo DaVinci also believed that everything happens for a reason. Adopting this belief helps us to accept life and stop using the blame game on ourselves or others. It helps us live fuller, richer lives and we become fearless when thinking about the future. We know that we will survive and learn the lessons we have chosen to learn. We are personally responsible for the challenges, the lessons and the learning involved.

Living with these principles can cause us to begin seeing with the minds eye of the artist. We can become more happy, healthy and fully functioning human beings when we apply what this master has set out before us. We can sketch our canvas anyway we choose because it is simply, magnificently all up to us and “All is as it should be.”

Have a great few days!

Balance – the Key to Life

In this classroom called life we are each working on learning our individual lessons. What seems difficult for one may appear easier for another. Not to worry, it’s all fair ultimately. Each of us has signed up to learn certain life lessons – no one gets a free pass on planet earth. When we think about what is THE most difficult thing to accept and learn to handle with grace we are uncovering one of our own lessons.

Learning unconditional love, letting go of the fear of living life fully, compassion for others, and truth are major themes that seem to be repeated in the lives of many. We know that whatever the lesson, the Universe will continue to present the challenges we need until we master it. Remember the saying, ‘First God whispers, then talks and may ultimately have to shout to get our attention.’ Whatever name you give the power greater than yourself, the process seems to be the same.

What if overriding all the individual lessons that we are working on is the granddaddy of them all…BALANCE. It seems the more I observe the challenges we have in life the more it all boils down to achieving a sense of balance by enjoying the journey, bringing our entire self to the game, as we work on our lessons.

Do we work too hard and resent the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the week? Are we eagerly waiting for the time to come when we can be done with our hectic work schedule? Is that when we plan on enjoying life more fully?

Do we demand that things be ‘just so’ in our lives and come unglued when people or things do not meet our expectations? Good luck with that – sounds like a never-ending story of disappointments as we face the twists and turns of life on a daily basis.

Are we constantly on the hunt for ‘things’ that we want rather than being satisfied with things that we truly need. Funny thing about consumption – the more we have the more we want. It becomes a cycle of temporary gratification until the next ‘want’ pops into our minds.

Maybe life is a bit simpler than we imagine. Maybe it really is about learning to balance our needs, wants, lessons, achievements and ‘things’ with living in the now – being present in our thoughts, feelings and behavior. It may be near impossible to do so if we allow ourselves to be on a fast-paced course to get to tomorrow, next week or next month.

Simply put, we only have today. The future may be a fleeting thought that will never be realized. Something to think about when we are hurrying to get to the next meeting, rushing to catch the green light or half listening to another who is in need of our time and attention. The only sure thing we have is this moment.

The next time we are feeling rushed, overwhelmed or frustrated maybe we could take a deep breath and realize that if we continue living at warp speed we may ultimately regret the journey.

Have a great few days!