by Ashley Logsdon

What is Balance?

I went on vacation this week.  Ah, blessed vacation, and all the rest and rejuvenation it brings to mind.  How about getting shingles the week we are to leave town?  Yes, when my high D personality choose to barrel through to get to the end goal, my body gave me a sucker punch to the stomach, quite literally.  If you have ever experienced shingles, you know first-hand how painful it is.  And for those of you who haven’t, you can be absolutely certain you never, ever want to get them.

This is why I’m breaking from my unschooling series to give you this public service announcement to save YOU from getting body-checked when you try to muscle your way through stress without taking a moment to breathe.

I have seen Olympic athletes force themselves to the finish line despite punctured lungs, broken bones, and all sorts of physical damage that will last well beyond their Olympic years.  Is the end goal worth it? I know this is debatable, but wow, I’m through with pushing myself to the limit to the detriment of my body.  Shingles is awful, friends.

Watch this.  Soak in the words.  Balance.

Balance.  How is it measured?   Is there a perfect weight in life to carry all our burdens, responsibilities, and still manage to embrace the joys that make it all worthwhile?  How do we manage this balancing act?

I’ve been guilty of taking on too much.  If only could fritter away our responsibilities and obligations like a squirrel and simply soak in the riches for a full season.

I’ve worked myself to illness by barreling through to the end goal of vacation…  How much do we muscle through before it breaks us?  Unfortunately, we don’t actually know.

I’ve learned that working myself to the ground is not a badge of honor – it simply breaks me down, and I start to live in survival mode.

I’ve learned that “rest” is different for each of us, yet it has a common theme – finding peace and joy in what is.

Vacation.  A reboot.  A reset.  A time where doing nothing and simply being is justified.

It’s a time to let go.  No make-up.  No to-do lists.  No agenda.  It’s beautiful sunsets we race home to see.  It’s hours of imaginative playtime with cousins who are instant best friends.

Vacation is reconnecting to my soul, and forcing myself not to finish the book, paint my nails, or clean the kitchen.   It’s to sit down and write with pen and pencil – no computer.   It’s listening to giggles and screams from the girls with their daddy and summer storms that roll in like mighty waves.

It’s fourth of July celebrations in a small town, sneaking girls out of bed to watch fireworks over the lake, and late nights of festivities and fun.

Is life about timing these vacations right before breakdown?  If it is, we’ve missed the mark.  Thankfully our vacations have caught us when we felt we could go no longer – but why wait until exhaustion?

Why do we push so hard that we risk not even making it to respite?  Why do we place our significance in the martyr badge of doing too much?

Balance is not in the doing.  You have to make time to rest.  Add in a vacation to your daily life.  Fifteen minutes of quiet – no agenda, no to-do list.  Simply be.  It’s amazing what you hear and how your soul rejuvenates.  You find the peace within…and you recognize that light in others.   Namaste.

What is does your mini vacation look like?

What soothes your soul?

About the author, Ashley Logsdon

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Ashley Logsdon is a Family and Personality Styles Coach and Lifelong Learner. She and her husband Nathan are RVing the States and unschooling their 3 girls. Her mission is to shift the mindsets of families from reaction to intention, and guide them in creating the family they love coming home to. Looking deeper than the surface, we assess the strengths, triggers, and simplifying your lifestyle so you truly recognize how the uniqueness in each of us strengthens all of us.

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  1. I was just looking at the verse during my daily reflection. I really love that translation. I especially like, “Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Thank you for sharing, Dan.

  2. PERFECT response, Holly! Love that you were firm in your confidence that to give your best, you need to be at your best, which requires self-care. Great job with that, and I love your daily essentials that keep you going!

  3. Oh wow, that IS beautiful! Thanks for sharing! I’m looking forward to a weekend of “rest” through playing and connecting with family!

  4. Really great piece Ashley. Very soothing and a gentle reminder to rest when we need it.

    I just had a gentleman from England send me a note with this scripture reference as a response to hearing my presentation:

    Matthew 11:28-30The Message (MSG)

    28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

    I love that phrase – “the unforced rhythms of grace.”

  5. I LOVED the video, Ashley.

    I couldn’t agree more. Taking time daily to reset is essential. We’ve made daily exercise, cooking and eating real food, prayer/meditation and at least 7 hours of sleep a daily priority. Sometimes (most of the time) our other projects take longer, but long term, I know we’re making the right choice for our lives.

    This is reminding me of a time I had this argument with a former boss. Our “business hours” were 8 am to 6 pm and they were trying to make me start my days earlier and end later so that my meetings would begin at 8 and end at 6. That would mean the days I was out having meetings would go from 6:30 to 7:30. I refused, saying that I can’t be my best unless I take care of my own needs first. Haha, I realized at that point I’m just not cut out for the corporate world. :)

    Great message and reminder!

  6. Bob, I love your mini vacations! Definitely convicted of having a “need to finish” attitude with yard work -ack! I have a huge to-do list today and am going to use some of your suggestions to keep me chill – the weeds have taken over! It is therapeutic for me to be out in the yard, so eliminating my end-goal mindset and just enjoying the process is wonderful. And yes, I feel you – although I don’t care to ever experience shingles again, I’m grateful it wasn’t anything worse! Thanks for reading and commenting!

  7. I am so sorry to hear that you got shingles, Ashley. I hope that they’re gone by now.

    Your points are so wise. We really do need to give our bodies a break, or they really will break. As in your case, we can get away with it for a while, then WHAM! At least your case was not a heart attack or cancer, which are both caused by stress also…and they change lives for a long, long time.

    To answer your question, my mini vacations are a daily nap of up to an hour of total disconnect. I also walk for fun do yard work with an attitude of what gets done, is done and what doesn’t get done will patiently wait until I come back, on my own terms.

    My soul get soothed by listening to mellow instrumental music and counting my blessings.

    Many blessings to you,
    Bob

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