Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Balance Your Act

Everyone's talking about balance these days. Balance your diet with these supplements and that juicer. Balance your time with this timeshare or the latest electronic gizmo. If you use this abdominizer, that rubber stretcher or this electric shock heating pad, you'll balance your body in no time flat!

Balance doesn't come in a bottle or a box. It comes with Time and what you do with each moment.

Balance is the ultimate state of being. It's a completeness that can generate health and longevity. You see it mentioned in eastern philosophies where the yin and the yang have to be in harmony.

But you don't have to sit in silence for hours on end to achieve balance. In fact, the person who "works hard and plays hard" might actually be in more balance than anyone else.

So how do you get balanced? It's actually fairly easy in concept... and just a bit more difficult in practice.

Just add the other stuff...

It really is about ADDING, not SUBTRACTING. That might seem scary, considering all the stuff you already do; but if you realize that Time is finite, adding what you really want will help to push away the stuff that's putting you off balance.

It's also important not to subtract first. That creates a void? and anything can fill up the void, including the thing you just stopped. An example of that would be like a diet where you cut out sweets, but don't eat anything else? only to end up hitting the cookie jar at night. Adding gives you the control to have what you want.

Take time to play, if you work too hard.

Work, if all you do is play.

If you sit all day, go for a walk at night.

If it's too noisy, sneak away to a place for a moment of silence.

Eat some healthy food.


Do something, however little, for yourself every day.

It doesn't have to be equal time for each thing. Five minutes of quiet can balance eight hours of noise. A moment of play can counter tons of work. It's about HAVING this stuff in your life, more so than how long you have it.

It's your time, your life, your choice.

Add accordingly.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Being Present

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The greatest gift you can give to someone is being Present

There is a special magic that happens when you acknowledge another person's existence. It doesn't have to be much… a smile, a kind word… just something to yes "hi, I know you're here."


Being Present

The closer they are to you though, the more of "you" they need, in order to feel that sense of commitment. It's very simple in its principles, not always as easy as it looks, yet farther reaching than you can ever imagine.

To make yourself "present" to someone, you have to bring yourself into the present moment fully, and remove all distractions so you can focus on being with that other person. Here're some hints to help you get there:

Maintain eye contact
When someone is talking to you, they can see where your focus is in your eyes. Looking away means your mind is there too. Looking them in the eye connects you.**

Don't pay any attention to that voice that's competing inside your head. Be silent, and really take in what they other person is saying.

Acknowledge what they said
"Uh huh... Yeah… Uh huh," is not acknowledgement. Make sure you let them know that you don't just hear what they say, you understand it too. Even paraphrase it in your own words and say it back, or ask them a question that furthers the conversation along.

Add to their conversation not your own
Your experience can be invaluable to them, but not if it's going off in some self-centered tangent. Make sure what you have to say is relevant, or else (again) they'll realize you weren't really paying attention.

Don't judge their viewpoint
This can be a tough one, because in order for you to understand them, you have to filter it through your own set of beliefs. You just have to keep your values to yourself, and not prejudge what you're hearing.

Forget your past
The mind is a funny thing most of the time. They'll say one thing and you'll be catapulted back to High School or Summer Camp and completely leave the present behind. If you get into those moments, get back to the Present. You'll get there by looking at the person with you and listening,

Don't anticipate your future
We also like to race ahead, way too often. Even if our intention is to hurry up and get to the answer, racing too far ahead will leave the solution behind. Besides, the person you're with might veer off at any moment, leaving you once again, not paying attention.

Give them your time
Don't rush things. Time is your life. The other person knows you value your time, so when you give of your time, you give of yourself. They get your present when you give a whole bunch of your present moments.

** Be aware that eye contact varies in different cultures… and the connection that comes from it might be construed as disrespect. Stay within the boundaries of comfort here, or else you'll miss all other points.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Love, Love, Love

The Beatles sang "All you need is Love." Although two slices of bread and Love won't make a sandwich, they definitely were on to something. Love, when applied properly can make the difference between an ordinary existence and a fulfilling Life.

To get your life in line with love takes a three step approach…

Do what you love, love what you do and share it with those you love.


Do What You Love
Whether it's your job, or your family or just a hobby, if there's something you really enjoy doing, do it. There's no point putting up with a lot of "stuff" that you don't enjoy waiting for something better to come along. Even if you have to start small, don't put it off for another time.

Love What You Do
When you're doing something, do you take the time to take it in? Do you use that time to express yourself through it? Not everything is black and white, and it's not all gray either. There're a million colors out there to experience. So even if you're doing something that isn't completely fulfilling, bringing in even the tiniest bits of love can change your whole experience of the moment.

Share It With Those You Love.
Fulfilling moments last for the time they happen. Sharing the experience with those you care about elongates the moments… it changes them, enhances them and enriches them. And enriched moments make for a more fulfilling life…

…and to get there, all you need is Love.