In every moment, your mind is writing the story of your life. It exerts the greatest influence on your body and is a major contributor to your being out of balance. What you think and how you perceive everything happening for you is all thanks to your mind’s interpretation. That’s why when you change your inner world, your outer world will change as well.
When our health is challenged, as often is the case with modern lifestyle, or something doesn’t go as we planned, the thoughts start pouring in:
What’s wrong with me?
I should have taken better care of myself?
Was the stress worth it?
Is this as good as it gets?
Whatever our mind is telling us, if we could shed those thoughts and instead replace them with more nurturing thoughts, they would shift us towards balance and a state where we can take more control over situations. And with more balance and control comes greater satisfaction in our lives.
In today’s podcast, I will share a tool to improve how you handle life’s ups and downs and how you can use it to ultimately upgrade the reality you experience. So, let’s jump in.
Hello fellow Clarity seekers. What a week it’s been. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling a little out of balance. And not in a good way. It’s not fun when the side of imbalance detracts from your well-being. It’s actually quite uncomfortable. When I’m out of balance, nothing seems right, and I tend to make decisions that aren’t in my best interest. I keep reminding myself that everything in life happens on a continuum, and we tend to be happiest when we can be as close to the happy middle as possible – in balance.
When we are unbalanced, we feel pressured, stressed, taxed, drained, anxious or depressed. Nobody wants that. And in balance, we have a true sense of well-being, ease, peace, and we feel relaxed. I want to be Signed me up, right. So that’s why I decided to address this topic today. Balance is the middle ground between comfort and discomfort. And I think it’s safe to say we all want that!
Can we all agree that stress and overwhelm are magnifiers? They really warp our perspective on what is actually happening.
Here’s the thing – stress is not the enemy; it’s actually the result of having a meaningful life. Seriously. Just hear me out. Really and truly, if you think about it, all the things that matter the most are probably stressful to some extent. Right? If you have kids, you love them but worry about their safety and happiness.
If you have fur babies, you want to keep them comfortable, safe, and entertained. If you are working, you want to make sure you do a good enough job that your company values you and keeps you if there’s a downturn. And this list goes on. It can be stressful to care. That’s is being human-we think. We analyze. We are always trying to make things better. I say this with confidence- most battles begin and end in your mind. Knowing this is golden. Using our minds to reframe things changes absolutely everything. The thing is, clarity is necessary to see where to start.
A friend of mine was telling me one of her bucket list items was to ride in a helicopter. A few years back, they hosted a meeting at their business, and one of the attendees arrived in his helicopter (sign me up to avoid traffic and the TSA). So at the end of the meeting, he offered to give her a ride around the area. She told me when the helicopter lifted up, she had this bird’s eye view. Seeing everything around from a totally different perspective. Getting to her brother’s house, which was on the other side of the woods from the office, took several minutes in the car and two miles, but from the helicopter, it was evident it was just a short trek through the woods. When we rise about the situation and see things with clarity, our perspective shows us alternate solutions to stress and often quicker ways to get to what we want.
Think about going to the playground as a kid and riding the see-saw for just a moment. One minute you are up. The next, you are down. Neither was bad. You just enjoyed moving between both, right? Occasionally, you and your friend teetered in the middle. How cool was it when you found balance and both could dangle your feet right in the middle? Fun, right…. Also short-lived because I bet after a moment – you both decided to go right back up, down, up, down. Laughing away, just enjoying the ride. And life, if you think about it, is just like a see-saw. And what would happen if you could just enjoy the ride? Up and down, back and forth, comfort and discomfort, and occasionally teetering in the balanced middle. You can learn to enjoy the ride if you have one specific tool.
So, if you could apply the see-saw experience to daily life, how’d you like that? What if you were ok being up AND down and also enjoyed those moments of balance in between? How different would your life be? I would venture to say pretty darn good.
When things are out of balance, the first thing people grasp for, me included, is the solution. Have problem. Need solution. But that’s like putting the cart before the horse. There is a critical first step almost everyone skips. So, I’m sharing one of the biggest balance builders (try to say that 3 times real quick) right off the bat. Are you ready for it? The fastest way to improve your health and well-being is to bring your awareness into balance.
What does it mean to bring your awareness into balance? When your awareness is in balance both your mind and body are in the present moment. I’ll tell you more about that in a moment because right now, I have an inkling you may be thinking when I’m out of balance; I just need a solution.
Here’s the thing if you skip straight to the solution without having awareness around the situation, oftentimes, the situation will keep presenting itself in different flavors until you get what you need from it. You see, the benefit of being aware and coming into the present moment is you aren’t looking at the past. You aren’t looking at the future. Just the situation here and now. In that moment, with awareness, you have freedom from fixed beliefs and habits, which ultimately results in your ability to creatively address the situation.
Awareness lets you sort out what you are doing (or are going to do), how you feel, what you fear, hope, and wish for objectively, and that is key to sustained balance. Unfortunately, most people operate through life with their awareness turned off, and everything they say or do is a result of conditioned cycles. Here’s the thing when you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always had. So, let’s look at how awareness impacts balance in terms of one area of life- your health.
I don’t know about you, but when I am faced with an obstacle that impacts my comfort level, my mind immediately shifts to feelings of anxiety, disappointment, overwhelm, denial, and the list goes on. One of my go-tos has always been food. Sweet, salty, fatty, and fast……check all the above. Food has always been a soother for me. Food is a go-to for a lot of people because, in it, we find comfort. And since we are talking about the scale of discomfort versus comfort and you need an opposite to bring your back toward the middle – why not food?
So, you experience situation A that slides you towards the zone of discomfort. The feelings of anxiety or overwhelm start slipping in. Your see-saw starts heading down. Your first step (pre this podcast of course) Grab for the solution aka food or whatever your comfort fix is. You solve the feeling short term, but not the underlying root cause. IE. It’s a temporary fix. So, let’s look at the same uncomfortable situation through the lens of awareness with clarity.
Situation A happens but instead of reaching for your go-to solution of the past- food, wine, whatever it is. You pause and pull in the biggest balance builder- (again, try that 3x) awareness.
What does this battle with discomfort now look like?
Well, with awareness, it’s like going up in that helicopter – you instead become the witness to all aspects of the situation. Yours, the other parties, and the middle ground. You can see the benefits in both up and down simultaneously and really appreciate them for what they are all while remaining judgment free.
As a bonus, you can also look for other solutions instead of the habitual patterns you typically use for dealing with problems. When you do so, you get to the midpoint without necessarily resorting to things that don’t serve your well-being.
And then Bam. One moment you are at the bottom- in total discomfort feeling all the things that come along with discomfort. And then next, with awareness, you are ready to push off and start moving towards the other end of the spectrum, hopefully stopping at balance to dangle your feet for a moment along the way and think, “this is cool- I got this!”
- So in full transparency, this whole process takes practice. You don’t wake up and one day say I think today I’ll fix all my imbalances; I’m never going to experience overwhelm and stress again because I’m going to start using my awareness. Well, you can say it – but I’m here to tell you it takes practice. I’m still working on it myself. But I can also tell you each time you lean into awareness, each time you create more clarity in your life, it becomes easier and easier not to get triggered by stressful situations.
I gave you one example of how a lot of people cope with imbalance, but there are so many more solutions or coping mechanisms that we readily rely on when we bypass awareness. Rarely do people pull in that one thing that changes the paradigm, though. And here’s the thing as modern humans, we get out of balance way more frequently. When life gets hectic when there are too many things to focus on at once. These are the times when overwhelm starts to slip in if we don’t have the tools and systems to keep things in check. Before you know it, if you are reaching for food, wine, the tv remote, or whatever it may be that you use to numb the feelings of discomfort, eventually, it seeps through all the other areas of your well-being.
So, awareness, lots of people are talking about it, but because so few actually use it, I think many miss what it really means. To me, awareness is that voice deep within that knows what you really want (and how to get it) but can look at everything objectively. It’s that gut feeling that guides you when you are lost. It’s that pull where you don’t have to think and analyze- you just know.
Awareness is always with us; like I said, the problem is many of us have forgotten how to connect with it. That’s ok- I’ve got plenty of resources to help you with that too.
When we connect with our awareness no matter where we are on the see-saw of life and then extend that balance to our body, things begin to shift. They shift quickly and dramatically, AND it becomes possible to experience well-being no matter what challenges, how busy, or how many directions you are being pulled in. Integrating this one simple tool creates a ripple effect throughout your entire life. Ha ha – why do you think I named the podcast the ripple effect!
Before we wrap this up, let’s clarify well-being, as it’s another misunderstood word. Many people think well-being is having a healthy body, a good weight, being physically fit, and not having any looming health issues. Well-being is that but it is so much more. Well-being touches on how you feel- your emotions, your thoughts. It’s how you view the world and your place in it. Well-being is the satisfaction you feel in your relationships, career, and finances. Well-being touches on every single aspect of your life that makes it worth living.
That’s why this work is so powerful, and That’s why I get super excited when I get to share powerful techniques that lead people out of stress and overwhelm into a state of well-being where their responsibilities and decisions become effortless. And yes, it is possible.
So, if you are so busy that it feels like you are constantly walking a tightrope between success, obligations, and your well-being, today’s episode is actually a really important one because you now realize that with awareness, you have the invitation to find balance in your life.
And here’s the thing, there’s a ton of information out there on well-being.
Quite frankly, it can get overwhelming really quick. I know because I’ve been studying the components of well-being for years – everything from psychology to nutrition to eastern spirituality. And I’ll tell you a lot of people have different perspectives., so on this podcast, I want to share with you information backed by scientific research that has helped improve the key areas that contribute to the well-being of millions of people. And hey, if it works for that many people, I’m willing to try to integrate it into my life, aren’t you?
In life, even though we fluctuate between different ends of one spectrum each day most of us when we are balanced, we don’t seem to notice. It’s only when we are out of balance we sense things are off. Let me tell you, balance is a very dynamic state that needs constant nurturing.
So if you are out of balance, don’t get disheartened. It’s a very easy state to get back to. Our body’s natural state is homeostasis. Your body is pre-wired to stay balanced, even though it may not seem so right now. All of our systems are wired for balance. Just remember at the end of the day, it all boils down to awareness. Become aware of what you are experiencing-not, the actual events but the thoughts that arise from them, and you’ll find you don’t have to struggle or force situations to go your way. It becomes natural to just be in the flow and approach situations with ease. This also goes for your body too. If you tune in with awareness, you’ll realize your body automatically follows the law of least effort and rebalances itself naturally.
With practice, building your well-being muscles with awareness gets easier and easier each day.
So each week, this podcast will invite you to balance by sharing new information, insights, skills, and momentum so you can really move forward in your well-being journey. And it’ll offer different ways to reframe things and tips to help bring more ease and fun into your life. You may even find yourself wanting to go to a playground and get on the see-saw for old times’ sake.
One caveat as I sign off is for you not to expect super long podcasts. As they say in the south, “Aint nobody got time for that.” I’m a firm believer that sometimes less is more. So, until next time – cultivate clarity!
This is Micah Hill signing off.