One of the exciting things I am doing in the fresh stART project is sending participants Mindfulness Prompts each week. The course of our project is approximately 20 weeks so there will be 20 prompts in all. The intention behind these prompts is to lay a strong foundation for making a fresh stART. Participants are encouraged to view ordinary things in their daily lives with a new perspective that will inspire them to delight in the present and have gratitude for the simple pleasures that are easy to overlook.
Our first prompt focuses on Balance. Wednesday, September 22 marked the Autumn Equinox and the first day of Fall. The Earth was in perfect balance for those 12 hours. We celebrated and honor the Equinox by reflecting on Balance.
Balance is essential to everything and everyone. Think about balance in Nature. Sunrises and sunsets, the ebbs and flows of tides, the waxing and waning moon...these are just a few of many beautiful examples.
Also consider how balance plays a role in your life. Are there parts of your life that are out of alignment? Often, when we desire a fresh start, it is because something doesn't feel right or might be off. The awareness that an adjustment is needed can be a catalyst for new beginnings. There may be a transition period where tiny changes lead to big shifts. However, you can't move forward without taking stock of where you are right now.
The pandemic upset our normal routines and threw our lives completely out of balance. On top of this global crisis, we have had to counterbalance the continuous stream of somber, heartbreaking and unsettling news that fill our daily lives. Whether we realize it or not, we have had to balance out this difficult, troubling time with sparks of hope, optimism and joy in order to remain the kind, caring souls.
With this in mind, achieving balance is a process that is ever changing and often challenging. The Earth can only achieve it 2 times a year. Consider tweaking something small this week in hopes of finding more harmony in your day. By being extra intentional with your thoughts and actions, perhaps you can pinpoint some factors that might cause an imbalance.
Here are just a few ways to encourage a healthy balance in your thoughts and actions.
-if you experience negative self talk, counteract it with positive affirmations.
-if you are anxious and fearful, do something that makes you feel confident and grounded.
-if you back down about something, do something where you stand tall.
-if you have a difficult challenge, balance it with a comforting experience.
-if you are feeling more introverted, try being more extroverted.
-if you are stuck in an old routine, try doing one new thing this week.
-if you spend time taking care of others, make time to care for yourself.
-if you are impatient and irritated, find time to be calm and patient.
-if you are online a lot, disconnect and make time for at least a 30 minute outdoor break.
-if you question something, take time to answer something else.
-if you hold tightly to something, also experience letting go of something.
-if you downplay something, also highlight something.
-if you are searching, may you also be finding.
-if you earn something, may you also give something away.
-if you silence your voice, make the time to activate it as well.
-close your eyes and dream, yet also open your eyes and live.
-take a break from something, yet find a way to get involved in something else.
-accept help when necessary and offer your service when needed.
-if you dwell on the past or anticipate the future, be sure and delight in the present.
-remember that you aren't defined by your failures nor are you defined by your successes.
-if you are recharging your phone battery daily, are you recharging your own battery?
-if you feel tight, impinged or constricted, take time to stretch.
-if you are dragging low to the ground, go outside and reach for the sky.
-if you are surrounded by darkness, find the light and feel the sun on your face.
-if you are languishing during the day, find your North Star at night.
-if your "to do" list is full, make sure your "just be" time is included.
Balance is the cornerstone for building a healthy, satisfying life. A successful fresh stART can only happen when there is an equilibrium in our lives.