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Better Balance

Have the events of the past week shaken you up? How do we keep our balance when life suddenly shifts?

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of everyday life. Children clamor for attention, meals need preparation, work requires focus and, heh, it’s Monday again. How does time go by so quickly? 

And then, in the midst of such details, we hear the news that at least 340 people perished in a swath of deadly tornadoes. We see pictures of shredded homes and indeed, entire communities suddenly destroyed. One day, it’s life as usual, and the next, it’s life as we’ve never known it. It is events like these that make us stop and reflect on the bigger picture of life.

We can’t really prepare for such tragedy. Nor would it be healthy to live waiting for such a natural disaster.  So how do we keep our balance when this kind of news hits us hard?

One thing we can do is evaluate our lives and try to live as fully as possible. (That, and help support the victims of disaster, of course.)

Here are five simple but profound ways to add better balance to your life, whether you are a child, teen or adult. They are all free, and available to people regardless of education or vocation.  And, they work! Add them to the mix of each day, and you will have a healthier life with better balance.

GIVE THANKS.

A joyful heart is good medicine, according to a famous proverb. Living our lives with an attitude of gratitude is a way to ensure a steady stream of joy. If you find yourself in a grouchy place, stop, and consider what you have to be thankful for.  There is always a situation that could be worse.

"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow." --Melody Beattie

SHARE THE BEST OF YOU.

Some people shine as amazing examples for others.  The American Red Cross in Westchester County is actually looking for these kinds of heroes right now to honor at their annual event called "A Community of Heroes. "  

They are looking for people of outstanding courage, kindness, and unselfish character who have done something to make Westchester County a better place for the rest of us.  I’m sure it will be a stellar event honoring some incredible people.  Not everyone has that kind of sparkle.  But, I believe everyone has good things about themselves to share with others. 

Whether your sparkle is huge or just a spark, share it! Remember the phrase“Pay it forward?” How about “Put your best foot forward?” Both of these embody the idea that it is good to share the best parts of ourselves.

STAND UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.

Mark Twain put it this way:  “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”  I like that quote and can’t say it better.

GIVE and GET SUPPORT.

Young children are naturals at getting support. You know it from their plaintive cries or tugging at your arm that they need something. We usually grow out of this type of asking. But who doesn’t need some support even when older? We all benefit from a natural giving and receiving of support. It’s really about sharing.   Right now, the folks whose homes were wrecked by tornadoes need our support.  Support comes in many ways.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have a potential to turn a life around. It's overwhelming to consider the continuous opportunities there are to make our love felt.”—Leo F. Buscaglia

BELONG

In a culture that features being independent, it is easy to lose track of how important relatedness is. We are connected as human beings to each other. We exist in webs of family and friends.  We have networks and communities.  Deepening our connections increases our sense of belonging. And that creates better balance, both for the good times and the hard times.

 

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