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The Balancing Act

When I think of balance, I imagine a teeter-totter with two people about the same weight on each side of the long balancing seat, not being able to go anywhere but exactly in the center. The truth about life is that we don’t often have times when we are completely centered on anything. Something or someone always seems to be weighing us down to one side or the other.

I got inspired to write this blog because my friend Steven, who is a heart specialist, was telling me about how busy his life is. I hugged him the last time I saw him and said, “You seem like you have really been working out.”

His answer, “Just don’t squeeze too hard! It’s all an illusion.”

We laughed as he proceeded to tell me that his life has kept him from his desire to get to the gym 2-3 times a week. He said that after he worked 10-12 hours a day, not even taking a lunch most days because patients were waiting for his time, he never felt like taking care of himself.

Isn’t this the quintessential story about taking care of everyone else and simply not parsing out the time for your own essential health?

Caregivers are good at avoiding the ever-important task of taking care of their bodies. Often they are overweight and some of them will even smoke or drink to avoid the task and awareness that their bodies are temples for their spirits.

We must recognize this fact every day. If you don’t take care of yourself, you have no self to help anyone else. There is nothing selfish about taking care of your body first and then taking care of someone else’s needs next.

When you are on a plane and the steward or stewardess begins the spiel about putting on your oxygen mask, what does he/she say? “If you have a child, put your oxygen mask on first.” I know that’s a hard thing to understand, but if you don’t have the strength or breath to be alert and alive, you can’t take care of your little ones.

Your body is a like having your own child. You must take care of the body like you take care of a child. You will hear that (inner) child say things like “I want to eat something sweet before I want to eat dinner.” Any fully-grown adult knows that if you eat sugar first, your body is not going to be able to assimilate and desire the vitamins it needs from whole food. Even though we know that, that inner child’s voice inside seems to lure us into giving in way too often.

We must act from the cognitive side of our brain when the child’s voice tries effortlessly to trump us. We must become the observer of self and talk to the body as if it were a child. “No, you are going to do what it takes to get healthy, because you are an important person. You are worthy of health and people are depending on you today to be healthy and alert. You can’t be at your full potential if you continue to let yourself diminish because of other people’s needs.”

I write this on Mother’s Day because mothers are the worst at taking care of everyone else but themselves. I had a friend who decided when she divorced and her child was three that she was going to not date until her daughter was in college. What is that about? It was as if she was saying that she had no right to be happy and intimate as long as she had someone to take care of and who needed her help.

I think this is a bad idea. I believe we need to develop self-worth, not because it is just essential for our physical health, but because mentally we must have a sense of self awareness and self esteem to generate the most positive energy we can in our lives.

So, balance today asks, “What are you doing that is taking the place of something you need to be doing for yourself?”

If you are putting yourself last, think again—this time from your adult, frontal cortex of your brain—the observer mind!

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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com.

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