Benjamin Franklin wrote: “If you want to enjoy one of the greatest luxuries in life, the luxury of having enough time, time to rest, time to think things through, time to get things done and know you have done them to the best of your ability, remember, there is only one way. Take enough time to think and plan things in the order of their importance. Your life will take on a new zest, you will add years to your life, and more life to your years. Let all your things have their place.”
When you read Franklin’s words, what do they mean to you?
Do you have enough time to balance your personal needs with your commitment to the outside world? Is stress causing havoc in your life? What exactly does it mean to have your life in balance and how do you achieve it?
Balance is defined as stability of mind and body; a state of being in balance; and harmony in the parts of a whole. The Chinese art of Feng Shui describes balance as being comprised of Yin and Yang energy. Yin is the calming and peace-giving energy and Yang is the action-oriented dynamic force. Yin energy engages receptivity and allows rest, rejuvenation, healing, dreaming, and acceptance. The fire energy, Yang, makes achievement of dreams a reality and creates success. Feng Shui believes every ‘whole’ person requires balance in his or her life force energy.
The key to creating ‘wholeness’ is learning that we must take care of ourselves in order to be able to give what we want to give in our roles as parent, spouse, employee, etc. When we do not take care of ourselves, we end up either sick and/or feeling burned out, as our bodies and mind will make us take the time if we will not do it for ourselves. Emotional and physical health requires taking responsibility for our own well-being.
Most of us have the fantasy that somebody will come along and tell us ‘it is now our turn,’ and so we put off the biological need for rest and relaxation until we are ill. After learning that there is not going to be anyone to rescue us, we realise that the only one who is going to take care of us is, in fact, our self. Once this is recognised, the emotional and physical healing of self can now begin. (I don’t know about you but I am a slower learner. It took me a long time to learn this. In fact, I still get a wake-up call every once in a while when I choose to get sick rather than rest and take a break.)
We need to allow time each day in order to take care of ourselves. When we do take time, leave the guilt and thoughts of ‘I should be doing…’ outside the door. Instead, recognise that we deserve a few minutes of time for self and that we will be able to function better afterwards. Enjoy that time.