Can You Be Successful Without Sacrificing Well-Being?
If you told me five years ago that I would have a balanced life, I would have laughed at you. “Balance” in my world had connotations like lazy, complacent and, well, unimpressive.
I learned in the real world over the course of many years that the “super-achievers” I had modeled my life after were actually falling to pieces. Constant illnesses, insane stress, premature aging, and the ever-present depression usually somewhat medicated by, at the very least, intense amounts of caffeine and alcohol, if not drugs: not a pretty picture. It’s always ironic to see someone spending thousands of dollars to de-stress and undo the damage caused by the lifestyle that's supposedly making her successful.
There’s nothing wrong with achievement, but if it comes at the cost of your well-being, where do you draw the line?
I realized quickly when I started on my feng shui adventures about eight years ago that there would be no way to help people if I was still living in the land of extremes. I sought out people who understood how to blend work and life beautifully… who took time for their family … who were grounded and happy. Now, if I see someone living a balanced lifestyle, I'm in awe. Generally, those balanced individuals are also kicking major butt in life, the opposite of my preconceived notions.
Balanced people generally sleep enough, they don’t drink a ton if they drink, they concentrate at work, they exercise in ways that they love, they tend to have other balanced friends who are happy and successful and they have lives that lack drama.
Here are a few really interesting feng shui-based ideas about balance that might strike a chord:
Too much of anything good will become bad.
Lately, I've encountered people who are vastly imbalanced — but imbalanced with wellness habits gone into addictive territory. While I think it's safe to say we're all wellness enthusiasts and that’s a great thing, too much of any one thing will not necessarily be better! That’s why I love the vast diversity of ideas and breakthroughs being documented here on MindBodyGreen. You can really design an integrated wellness lifestyle with lots of variety to keep things fresh!
When you simplify and declutter your life, you can do so much more in less time.
One of the big benefits of decluttering your home (and your life) is that you increase the metal elemental energy in your environment. With more metal energy, you can focus. You'll also be more motivated without the mass of clutter in your way, tethering you to the past. Clean space helps you to be much more present and engaged, so that more of your greatness can pour into every moment. Being focused, motivated, present and engaged hardly seems “boring!”
Yin and Yang create balance.
If everything is quiet and still and meditatively focused all the time (Yin), you'll lack energy, excitement, and even physical circulation. If everything is loud and active around you constantly (Yang), you'll be overstimulated, lacking focus and rejuvenating rest. There’s room for some wildness in a balanced life, and room for hanging out over herbal tea, too. There’s no reason that balance should be boring, because if it's boring, its not balanced
Oh and a bit of a note here: balance isn't easy for most people to maintain. You might want to set aside half a day once a week (ok, how about two hours?) when you unplug all the electronics and check in with yourself, your week and the flow of your life. When you're living in balance you’ll know because you’ll love it. Balance is wildly wonderful.