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As You Keep Your Life In Balance, Your Weight Stays In Balance!

                                                                   

Help! I need to slow down. I’m movin’ too fast. How can I do it?

Learn how to come up with a plan to change the RECIPE of your life!
By Bob Wilson BS, DTR

Notice that we live in an environment—modern American life—that is over busy and over stimulated. This contributes to restlessness and a feeling of depletion, compulsion, and overwhelm. We are trained to multitask. It has come to feel like we are wasting time if we do nothing (rest) or if we just do one thing at a time. We also might find that we are not enjoying the thing that we are doing because we are always rushing to the next thing that has to be done on our list. We have become human doings instead of human beings. We have an addiction to technology and consumerism and have lost the ability to live life with wisdom, inner peace, and enjoyment. To go SLOWLY in this society is to go “against the grain.”
 

                    Our collective choices (our minds) have created a culture out of balance!

We have created a style of living that is unsustainable.

                                                     

To change the way one lives requires intention, courage and lots of practice. Peer and cultural pressure keep us on the “river of excess” for security to feel accepted. How can you get unstuck? Build up the confidence in yourself? First, accept the responsibility for your present level of activities (with no self-put downs) and notice the results. You can then see what changes you would want to make in the future.
 

Cultivate daily choices and insights that support balance.

Think of small ways

to change the recipe of your life.

 

Your life can be different

In any moment you choose

To change your choices!

Slow Down, Take Time

Stop believing the treadmill leads anywhere!

Being the fastest, the richest, the thinnest, the smartest on the treadmill won't prove anything.

Relax, Observe, and Allow

Emotional and Spiritual Tune-Up

Simplifying Our Lives By Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron Simplifying Our Lives.pdf

Explore your rushing energy!

Write ideas on index cards and review:

Pay attention to how it feels in your body. Notice if your being overwhelmed affects your healthy lifestyle choices.

  • When you’re stressed out, pause. Take some down time. Reflect on all of the things that you are currently doing right now in your life. Notice the habit of mind of feeling rushed and pressured. The mind gets addicted to the pressured state. We run on adrenaline.

  • You can ASK yourself: Do you need to do this thing? Really? When you make an appointment, when you get in the car—be deliberate about it. Prioritize and simplify? What is really most important?

  • What would happen (inside) if you didn’t choose to do all these things? Example, choose to do some things versus all things? Would your mind be more calm and peaceful? Centered?

  • Leave lots of time in your schedule so you don’t feel anxiety and pressure to get somewhere.

  • We all feel like we are “so busy.” Our lives are living us! We feel that we don’t have a choice. We feel like a victim. Notice what we say to ourselves: “I’m so busy because I have to do something.” Versus “I choose to do…” Ask: What effect does this change in focus have on your mind? Does it make you feel calmer and less pressured? Does it make things feel more like opportunities versus obligations?

  • Notice a voice that says, “not fast enough!” (an addiction to accomplishment). Look at the emotions underneath: terror, unworthiness, loneliness, aversion and desire (running away from pain or compulsively towards something)

  • Where do you get stuck in making priorities? Check the underlying motives:

    • “I have to do it” versus “I choose to do it?”

    • A deep desire to be of service?

    • People’s requests?

    • Perfectionism?

    • Professional/job requirements?

    • People pleasing? Fear? Care about other people’s perception of me?

    • Praise/recognition/expectations? Do I communicate my limitations?

    • Feeling important? My role is critical! “I see myself as a responsible person, therefore I have to…” (To fit my image of who I am.) “I’m so important, I have to…”

    • Buying into societies values?
       

  • Accept yourself with your limitations. You’re NOT a project to be changed. You can change through the process of awareness and self-acceptance, NOT by pushing and punishing yourself. Face your present lifestyle imbalance with gentleness and joy! Congratulations, you noticed! You now CAN practice making changes.

 

Lifestyle Awareness Training: Do less. Enjoy what you do more. How?

Appreciate the sacredness of your life!

  • Just don’t do something. Sit there! Have unscheduled time. Practice slowing down and doing nothing every day. Practice useless gazing. Really, observe the world around you. You will probably feel uncomfortable at first. Choose to act outside of your normal routines.
     

  • Observe (be mindful of) what you are doing with each of your daily activities:

    When you wake up
    As you get ready for work
    When you use the toilet
    While you brush and floss your teeth
    As you wash your hands
    When you take out the garbage
    Be present as you wash dishes or clean up the kitchen
    Notice the sensations as you drink coffee or tea
    Be present when you hug someone
    Notice how your breakfast and other meals taste     
    Notice your “hungers”—for food, rest, affection, accomplishment, and nurturing activities
    When you go for a walk
    While you talk on the phone
    As you drive your car
    When you grocery shop or do errands
    As you turn on the TV—also notice how what you see effects your emotions
    Be deeply present as you meet others
    When you get sleepy, celebrate your blessings of a comfortable place to lay your head
    Notice how your emotions change throughout the day depending on activities, people, places and things you come in contact with

     

  • Pay attention. Don’t just do your activities on autopilot. Have a sense of the sacredness of your life. Your life is rich and valuable. Celebrate your wild and precious life!
     

  • Resist rushing. An example from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book Present Moment Wonderful Moment (mindfulness verses for every day life) and Peace Is Every Step deal with driving, something that most of us do every day.

    When we are driving, we tend to think of arriving, and we sacrifice the journey for the sake of the arrival. But life is to be found in the present moment, not in the future…each mile we drive, each step we take, has to bring us into the present moment. When we see a red light or a stop sign, we can smile at it and thank it, because…it is helping us return to the present moment. The red light is a bell of mindfulness. We may have thought of it as an enemy, preventing us from achieving our goal. But now we know the red light is our friend, helping us resist rushing and calling us to return to the present moment where we can meet life, joy, and peace.

    Another excellent book is Practicing The Power Of Now (pages 21-23, 30-38) by Eckert Tolle.
    See also, The Beginner’s Guide To Insight Meditation, (pp. 157 – 161), by Arinna Weisman.

Explore alternatives to your present schedule.

  • How do you spend your time?
    Think of each day and remember you get 24 hours/day and 7days/week to do everything.
    List Your Activities You Do Each Day.

Sunday

24 Hours

Monday

24 Hours

Tuesday

24 Hours

Wednesday

24 Hours

Thursday

24 Hours

Friday

24 Hours

Saturday

24 Hours

             

How do you fit in: house cleaning and maintenance, family (husband, children, elderly parents), friends, gardening, job and travel time, professional commitments, spiritual connection, volunteering, shopping for daily needs, grocery shopping, fixing food, time for exercise, recreation, paying bills, watching TV, computer, e-mails, 12-Step or other support groups, time to do nothing (practice useless gazing)?

  • Make a list and figure out the approximate time that each task requires.

  • Will your “to do list” fit in 24 hours? Fit in 7 days a week? Can you really get it ALL done without going crazy or feeling overwhelmed?

  • Is there time for you--to relax, to prepare for, plan, and cook, healthful meals, to enjoy an active lifestyle, to have time to have meaningful connections with others, to take quiet time to reflect on your choices--within your normal daily routines?
     

Earlier in my life, I did this evaluation and found that I needed 9.5 days per week to accomplish all that I was doing each week. I was astounded. I finally understood WHY I was so stressed out and overwhelmed. At that time, I was drinking alcohol and using drugs to help me cope. I noticed that I needed to do something different.
 

  • To make changes, the first step was to observe that my present pattern was harmful to me. I learned about my patterns and how they affected me by keeping a journal.

    Explore your present lifestyle patterns and their consequences:

    Here’s what I learned about my patterns and their consequences.
    Taken from my journal on February 22, 1992:
    What I’ve learned:
    1. My body and emotions have specific, definable limits.
    2. When I spend all of my energy at work, there isn’t much time or energy left over for friendship and fun.
    3. I become ill.
    4. I overeat.
    5. I become depressed, exhausted, and enraged.
    6. These results are NOT fun!

    On one other occasion, I learned about personal boundaries when someone requests something of me.
    1. I get asked to do something that will push me beyond my limits.
    2. I feel guilt. I want to please, to help out.
    3. I want to be MORE than human. I don’t like having limits!
    4. Great distress spirals into depression, anger and compulsive choices.
    5. OOPS, these results aren’t fun either!

    Through keeping a journal, I discovered my patterns and gained knowledge about the consequences of my daily choices. I then contemplated OPTIONS. What could I do differently? As I pruned back my life, how would this choice help me? I sought out the help of a counselor to advise me and help me sort through options. I rehearsed limit-setting messages and new ways of responding.
     

  • The next step was to come up with a PLAN to do something different. My schedule was “all work and no play time”. Taken from my journal:
    1. Cut back on my professional and work commitments.
    2. Take extra time for daily meditation, spiritual reflection, and study
    3. On Tuesday afternoon get a massage and go to a comedy club
    4. When I get my paycheck, I will put no money in savings or giving to others. It is to ALL to go for FUN! I tend to be over responsible and pay all of my bills first, before I allow myself any fun. A note: I usually pay all my bills off as I go. I rarely use credit to fund my householder needs. I also do frequently give to various charities. In this season of my life, I had gotten out of balance.
    5. I will call up several friends and go out for dinner, and a hike to a beautiful spot.

    I actually followed through with the above plan. After awhile, with lots of practice, I was able to change how I spent my time. My life gradually came back into a healthful balance. Ah. My mental, emotional and physical health improved. I still have to watch and be vigilant. I still have tendencies to get over committed. My brain and heart still can make commitments that by body can’t keep! When this happens, I laugh at myself, say, “Oh, Bobby sweetheart, here we go again. I love you. What do you think you want to do differently? Any ideas?” I then PAUSE. I REFLECT ON all of the ideas that I have just shared with you. I come up with a plan and make changes. My life then comes back into balance. Yay! For me, it took 2 – 3 years to change my habit of “movin’ too fast.”

    So, how about you? I encourage you to explore your present lifestyle patterns and their consequences. Notice what happens for you. Come up with a plan. Try out baby steps towards a new, healthier and more balanced life. Honor each step you take. Have fun and enjoy your journey! For me, it took years, and several "cycles" of imbalance to notice this pattern in myself, and then cultivate new daily choices to escape the messiah trap! The patterns came up in 1985 - 1987, then in 1991 - 1993. Now, I'm much more skilled in this area and know what choices to make.

    An excellent resource on this area is Take Time For Your Life by Cheryl Richardson. See resources below.

    Questions and reminders that I used after reflecting on these ideas. I came up with my personal maintenance schedule--what do I need to be a healthy, happy camper.

 

Consider the aspirations:

 May I free my heart from suffering!

I take in life in perfect balance.

I have the capacity to take in the fullness of life!

Whatever I need to know is revealed to me and whatever I need comes to me in Divine right order.


What had I learned from this exercise?

How can I integrate this into my life to change my future?

Remember EVERY DAY, to rearrange my lifestyle according to what is important.

What ongoing choices will I make? Have realistic expectations.

Persistence pays off. You create your world through your choices. Think about what you want to create for yourself and what daily choices will bring that to you. Take the time.

Nurture the 9-P’s: prioritize, plan and prepare, practice, persist with patience, apply positive and powerful problem solving!
 

Take Action! Worksheet for Your New Life:

Sunday

24 Hours

Monday

24 Hours

Tuesday

24 Hours

Wednesday

24 Hours

Thursday

24 Hours

Friday

24 Hours

Saturday

24 Hours

             

This life is about CHOICES. Learn about where your and other people’s choices lead us. Towards well-being and harmony? Or, towards disease? Over time, healthy choices form healthy habits.

For a PDF --printer friendly: Slow down. I'm moving too fast-MAN-WOMAN-mod.pdf

 

It’s a gift to yourself when you choose to take time to meet your needs!

 

Divert Daily.

Withdraw Weekly.

Quit Quarterly.

                           Abandon Annually.    Janae Carver

 

 

Resources to Help Guide Your Life Back to a Greater Balance

 

Take Time for Your Life: A Personal Coach's 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want : Cheryl Richardson : ISBN 0767902076Take Time for Your Life, Life Makeovers, Stand Up for Your Life, by Cheryl Richardson, (1999 – 2002), Broadway Books, New York, NY.

Take Time for Your Life: A Personal Coach's 7-Step Program for Creating the Life You Want provides a program for creating the life that is in HARMONY, and allows you to BALANCE THE LOVE AND SUPPORT THAT YOU GIVE TO OTHERS WITH THE CARE YOU GIVE TO YOURSELF! Gives 52 practical & inspiring ways to improve your life one week at a time. 

These books are excellent! Electronic newsletter at:  www.Cherylrichardson.com  

 

Work to Live, by Joe Robinson, (2003), www.worktolive.info   Reclaim your life & sanity! The guide to getting a life!

You're not imagining it. Almost 40 percent of us are now working more than 50 hours a week. We put in two to three more MONTHS in total hours on the job each year than the Europeans, 2.5 weeks more than even the Japanese. We're now working more than we have since the 1920s. Our already paltry vacations are being stalled, cancelled, and shrunk into non-existence. The result is record levels of stress, burnout, depression, divorce and latchkey kids. And what do we get for all the extra hours? Vaporized 401k's and corporate scandals.

WORK TO LIVE
shows you how to beat the unwritten rules of work life, the stuff no one ever talks about that drives overwork, missed vacations, and you to wits end. Find out how to get more time for life and avoid being a gibbering stress case. Get the tools you need to:



Break the Ten Office Commandments, the rules of work life that keep you overdoing it
Escape the automatic stress cycle
Increase your vacation time
Work fewer hours and get more done
Beat the false urgency of 24-7 technology
Set clear boundaries between work and home
Resist pressure from the company and culture to overwork
Practice the Worth Ethic and enjoy the time you clear without a shred of guilt
Rediscover the outside world through the magic of direct experience
Create your Personal Life List (what do you want to do on this planet?)

Another excellent resource is Take Back Your Time Day at: www.timeday.org John de Graff explores excellent ideas about putting our lives back into balance. He explores how we can have a more satisfying, less hurried lives that prioritize relationships and communities instead of products. This is an organization that brings together leaders in the Voluntary Simplicity movement to create new strategies for sustainable consumption, economic justice and balanced lives.

Simplify Your Life- 100 Ways To Slow Down and Enjoy The Things That Really Matter, by Elaine St. James, (1994), Hyperion, New York
The Simple Living Guide, by Janet Luhrs, (1997), Broadway Books, New York
 

See  Bob's Story for For ideas on how I GRADUALLY applied the AMAZING WISDOM that is contained in the resources above. Check out:

To help TAKE CHARGE of this pattern, Explore:

A Daily Reminder

Change your moment-by-moment choices, change your life!

Pay attention! Live in AWARENESS, not just on autopilot.

Notice your PATTERNS. WHO is going to live your life?

YOU or your patterns?

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              Copyright © 2001-2015 Bob Wilson BS, DTR  All Right Reserved. Articles are for personal use only. Please request permission for other uses. Thanks!