What part of life is sucking you in, and what part is sucking you down? I’m sure you’ve heard all about balance. But seriously, how can you balance it all when parenthood is enough to send you over the edge? Pay attention: life is not compartmentalized. I wrote last week about the burden of overwhelm, and I’ve written in the past about balance. Today I’m going to break up the sections of our lives into compartments, and then show you why that’s completely pointless. Stay with me.
Life has a lot of moving parts
If I were to break life up into different components, it would go something like what follows. Yet even in separating this out, you will see that life simply is. In our unschooling world, we don’t split subjects up into math, English and science; we incorporate it all into life skills that blend them together.
Think of this concept as we dive in – here are the areas of our lives again that I brought up last week:
- Personal Development
- Life Tasks
Let’s cut straight to the chase – this is the big kahuna that seems to dictate our lives. Work sucks all our energy. I’m talking about what pays the bills and keeps the lights on. This area of our lives can dominate everything else, especially when it’s lacking. When work is sucking the life out of you, and when you are struggling to make ends meet, this can become the focus of everything.
Yikes. We can’t ignore this and only set aside a tiny bit of energy to work – work needs to go beyond paying the bills and give you some pleasure as well. My father’s business mission statement is to “release dreams into purposeful and profitable work…in 48 Days” – his whole business is around finding work you truly love, and planning your work around the life you want, not the other way around.
The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Find work you love -this sounds simplistic, but for something that is the fuel to get your basic needs met, don’t let it suck all the life out of you. You are your own boss regardless of what job you have – take responsibility for this and make sure this aspect of your life isn’t soul-sucking. If you need help finding – or creating – the work you love, my other role is within 48Days.com, where my father has written books and created valuable resources and coaching around helping people find work they thrive in.
This takes up a large portion of people’s lives – even if you are a stay at home parent, this affects you – it affects your spouse who is working, and it affects the dynamics at home.
Finances are stressful – add in debt and you can feel like your life is ruled by it. You become a slave to work simply to keep your head above water. It’s easy to fall into the mindset of every time you see a dollar sign, it becomes a “can I afford it” scenario. I had a huge shift in mindset when I played the game Cashflow.
I’ve experienced the fear of finances, feeling like there were expenses everywhere and I couldn’t afford to really enjoy anything. I know what it’s like to be a slave to work and stress about how we’re going to pay for everything. We got intentional with our money and we worked to get out of the hole. The biggest shift, however, came from a simple game that changed my way of thinking.
As Nathan got into the world of real estate, his mentors and coaches invited us to play this game with them, and I had a huge paradigm shift. Cashflow is an intimidating game, especially if you aren’t a realtor. In the game, you switch from being in the “rat race” to being an investor, and the light bulb went off as I went from “can I afford this” to “is this a worthwhile investment?” When I shifted my perspective to that of abundance vs. simply what I could afford, I viewed it differently and created a different concept of money being my friend vs. my enemy.
Give from a full cup – be abundant in your life and your mindset
Money doesn’t have to be our downfall. We don’t have to make it an acrimonious relationship. Money can be a tool to allow you more time, energy, and resources to give back and serve. My father has an incredible analogy here on giving from a full cup:
Get out of debt. Easier said than done, especially with a growing family. More mouths to feed (that oh my gosh get hungrier and hungrier as they grow), more and more day-to-day living expenses. When you don’t have the surplus, it can be very difficult to move to a feeling of abundance in this area. My friend Derek Olsen has some excellent resources and advice on getting out of debt over at his site How Do I Money. It is essential to get out of the “can I afford it” mentality and look, instead, at what is a worthwhile investment. Come to this with a feeling of abundance, and remember that riches go way beyond just your income.
Nothing bleeds over into every area as much as finances. It affects our work and our feeling a slave to it, it affects our relationships, it affects our overall mentality on life. Finances are the least compartmentalized out of everything because of it’s ability to dictate our psyche for every other aspect of our lives. Let’s switch the perspective on it and get on top of it. Let’s switch to abundant thinking and living, and be stewards of our finances in a way that allows us to do more, be more, and give so, so much more to others – beyond the finances to the time and energy it affords us as well.
Ah, here is where the riches lie – it’s all about the family, right? And, if you have children – especially young ones – you know they can suck every bit of life and energy out of you. It can be hard enough to keep things straight with one person – add in a family members and this is beyond a full-time job, and it can be super intense. How do you set aside time to enjoy family when you can’t take a breath from working just to support the family? (Working from home can be a bit overrated – have you heard about the myth of multitasking?) How can you take the time to play and cuddle – you have to keep the family afloat!
Simply put, how can you not? The people under your roof – the ones you have chosen to be in communion with day in and day out – they are the human connection. Part of life is human connection – it is essential to our well-being. We can’t ignore this part of our lives – we must invest in it. What is your family vision? How are you being intentional about the relationships in your life?
Prioritize your family as your VIPs
How can you make your family a priority when you are living in reaction to what life is throwing your way? Our relationships suffer when we push quality family aside for the to-do list consistently. I wrote about having your Family VIPs with some tools on how to prioritize your family. Know that this part of your life is critical.
You can spend all your time working and focusing on the money. You’ll end up hoping that “one day” you’ll have the time to relax and play with your family. When you finally think you’re ready, your children are grown and gone. Or, it may be that the distance between you and your spouse has become irreparable. Spoiler alert – you’ll never be perfectly ready, no more than you are “ready” for having a child. Life is a constant curveball. This is not a compartmentalized component of your life. Your family is your fuel for connection, and that is where we thrive.
We can’t disregard the need for peace. Taking care of yourself emotionally and spiritually is essential. We can’t fake our way through lives, and if we have divine discontent at a soul level, we are simply a shell with no heart. How do you keep your emotional and spiritual soul alive? Are you allowing for rest, recuperation, and self-love? Every relationship you have can suffer when you are empty and depleted. Clear the clutter in your heart and soul to give way for love and regeneration. I wrote a three-part series on how to do this cleanse and allow for peace and clarity for real connection. It starts with the tangible stuff you see, and it quickly moves inward to that which weighs our souls down:
- Less Is More: Its Time To Declutter!
- Clear Energy, Clear Mind
- Chaos of the Heart – Rawness Equals Connection
We can get the work stuff rolling, our finances straight, and our family in sync and happy – but if you are an empty shell of depression, anxiety, anger, etc. all the rest just pales in comparison. There are legitimate issues you have to deal with, and I am a firm believe in body/mind/spirit connection. You cannot disregard the emotional, mental and spiritual aspect of your life. This is not narrowed to a religion or an exact belief you have to adhere to. It has to do with recognizing your own self worth, your significance in this world, and how much your energy impacts all around you, not limited to your own physical health. If you are emotionally distant, none of the surface even matters.
In the same lines of the heart/soul component, challenging and pushing yourself in personal development is an important part of life. My education did not stop when I got my diploma. I am a life-long learner, and need to invest in this process to keep from becoming stagnant, complacent, and small-minded. There is so much growth everyday in all of nature. You can see it as a flower blooms and a toddler transforms into a teen – but it is a part of all of us. I am so thankful I don’t think and live the same way I did when I was eighteen. As we get older, we tend to set this on the back burner, or choose for the doom and gloom of the news media to be our way to grow and learn about what’s going on.
Be intentional about what you put into your mind, and what you choose to push you in learning new things. Go beyond the negative sensationalism and look for the help to shift your mindset. Focus on abundance, love, and that amazing connection with those people that make this life worthwhile.
Check out these resources
Here is an excellent course Nathan and I went through to push ourselves and our mindset. We have really learned a lot and are experiencing “quantum love” at a whole new level. I highly recommend it!
Additionally, I’m going through another free course right now to push me in my personal development:
My sister-in-law read my latest blog post, on the burden of overwhelm (http://www.mamasaysnamaste.com/eliminate-overwhelm/) and immediately sent me the link to this.
Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom, written by Dr. Christiane Northrup rocked my world. I’m thrilled to support the #DoLessExperiment with her daughter, Kate Northrup! This push to do less yet be more is happening everywhere. Join me for this free experiment and see how it may rock your world as well!
January 19th, www.DoLessExperiment.com
Check out Training Your Inner Warrior as another free course going on right now!
I still have three more aspects to address – the physical, social, and life tasks components of life. Next week I’ll carry this over – but for this week, focus on these areas. There isn’t a perfect time allotment for how this lays out. Like unschooling, we don’t separate life into subjects or categories. Life is messy and intertwined. There isn’t a perfect balance to it all. Use these resources and look at how you make time for all of these in your life. Don’t get overwhelmed. Seek enjoyment in all aspects of your life.
How are you doing in these areas? What are you struggling with?
*This post contains affiliate links. I’m a stickler for never putting an affiliate link for something I haven’t gone through personally and recommend!