Responsibilities. Those darn responsibilities! They can really knock you off balance and create misalignment with your needs and values. Not only are there the day-to-day responsibilities of taking care of business but there are also those moral responsibilities that reside in our being. These are the responsibilities we hold to ourselves in the form of our self-value, self-love, commitment to social justice, and our overall moral compass. More and more, with our current state of events, the convictions we hold with society and ourselves are constantly being tested in what seems like almost every hour of the day.
Overwhelming, yes? Let’s take a breath.
I remember a certain time in my life when I counted at least 5 different challenging situations happening to me all at one time. I literally would lock myself in my room and listen to my music to pass the day. If I didn’t have to go to work or take care of my basic needs I wouldn’t leave because I truly believed that if I left my house another challenge would land on my lap. I was THAT emotionally drained.
Obviously I couldn’t do that forever. But when I felt ready, I opened myself up to invite in the shift that I needed. The steps below are some steps I remember taking during those times. And they remain strategies I use today (as best as I could) when I’m faced with challenges or feel overwhelmingly stressed out. They ground me and bring balance to my being and realign me to my core values.
When I began inviting in my intuition I GAVE myself the permission to practice these actions and craft my own strategies. Hold these actions in your own way and allow these steps to guide you through your own process for balancing and staying in alignment with who you are.
BRINGING IN BALANCE
1. Check in with your HEAD and your HEART
There will be times where all you can do is FEEL then REACT. You may not have any words or know exactly what’s going on, but doing a quick check-in on what’s going on in your head will always be connected to what’s going on in your heart.
Sit with the situation and check in with your head and heart with statements such as these:
“When ____________ happened I felt ______________ in this part of my body”
“When they said ________________ it triggered the memory of ____________ and made me feel ______________”
“When I saw _____________, my first reaction was to ______________ because it would make me feel _______________”
Many times the interactions we encounter with others are simply a more convenient manifestation of deeper issues. When you begin to connect those physical manifestations to your deeper emotions this opens the pathway to possibly NAMINGwhat’s happening with the situation or at least gaining an understanding to takeOWNERSHIP of the situation. These can be one step in the direction of understanding what type of action you need to take place immediately. And what a relief it will be when you have a better idea of what to do next!
DO WHAT YOUR HEART TELLS YOU!
2. Seek validation in YOURSELF & from your COMMUNITY
It’s so important to feel supported when things get overwhelming. Validation is the first thing the heart seeks at the moment of being hurt or dismissed or even when you’re in the rawness of your wounds. It’s critical to know you’re not alone and that there are those around us that are there for us.
To seek validation with yourself is to give yourself permission to FEEL and know that whatever it is you’re feeling at any given time is TRUE.
Validation can come in many different forms. From your community, it might look like a simple check-in conversation with your most trusted friend or ally; someone you know that can simply offer a listening ear or someone you can trust to have wisdom and insight to your challenges. Sometimes these people show up as our favorite authors, poets, musicians, etc…
Trust that when you seek your community, you are often calling on individuals that mirror some part of you. Recognize who is mirroring the parts that you seek to LEARN from and know that each person has gifts to offer you.
BRINGING IN ALIGNMENT
3. Remember Your Values
It’s the traditional, “don’t lose yourself” lecture. But it’s an important one and if YOU DO feel like you lost yourself take it as an indicator that you’re longing for an alignment to your core values. Remember what those core values are; they come from who you are, your life story, and world view.
Remember what values drive you to keep pushing forward. If you’ve never written out your values, now’s a good time to start thinking about them. Don’t forget that your life story holds all the gifts you have received to be who you are today AND they have gotten you this far. No doubt, just as nature continues so will your story, page after page.
4. Begin to ILLUSTRATE Your Identity
Who are you by the way? What I’m talking about is your identity to SELF.
Who are you, REALLY?
Sure, you can think about the categories that society places on us, like your type of personality, behavioral tendencies, physical qualities, etc... When you begin to express your identity you will notice deeper patterns and meaning to who you are in this world and why you are the way you are. This is liberating in that to know who you are is to know the boundaries you have with yourself and others so that you can flow in a more harmonious cycle beginning with yourself.
You can start by writing an “I AM” expression and asking yourself empowering questions. Download the activity here.
Read your expression aloud to yourself or someone you want share it with. You may find yourself reminded of who you are or an unknown part of you may show up!
“The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” -Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
5. Create a VISION of Where You Want To Be
How will you know when things will become more balanced and aligned? Well you plan for it, of course! Whether you make an actual written down plan in your calendar, or commit to waking up with a specific intention every morning, think of your vision more like you’re setting your intention specific for creating balance and alignment. Plant the seed, nurture it, and let it grow!
Examples of intentions around balance and alignment:
I intend to check in with my head and heart before entering staff meetings that tend to be stressful.
I intend to think about what my personal core values are and how I am honoring them in my life.
Set your intention and craft a more balanced day-to-day being aligned with your identity and core values and it will happen! ...But not without doing the work.
Whether creativity calls you and you are inspired to do a vision board, do it! If you’re into writing, get those intentions down on paper and make it visible in your work space. Just like our deeper emotional issues can manifest in physical behavior, so can our dreams of becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. So get a project started that honors your ambitions and goals and begin shifting into balance and alignment!
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