Weighty Matters

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Balancing Act

on May 18, 2013

Hey, this is the 350th post on Weighty Matters!  I’ll blow a virtual noisemaker and toss a few streamers.  Thanks for being part of the blog.

This week I keep thinking that so much of life and successful effort depends on how well we keep ourselves and our lives in balance.   For those of us old enough to remember the Ed Sullivan Show, they used to feature an act where a guy had a bunch of plates spinning on wobbly poles.  While frantic music played, the man ran from pole to pole, keeping the plates spinning so that they didn’t fall off and crash on the floor.  I can relate.  There are days when it just feels like I have too many damn plates spinning and I’m charging around trying my best to give each plate enough attention to keep it up so it doesn’t shatter.

Right now I’m finishing up a morning protein smoothie (pineapple, green apple, kale, coconut water and protein powder) and getting ready for my Saturday  morning Tai Chi class so it sort of synchs.  My food plan requires a careful balance of protein, veggies, fruit, carbs and even some fat.   I have a job that means I spend a significant part of my day at my desk.  I need to balance that with a good amount of exercise.

Tai Chi, with its slow, methodical movements is a terrific way to improve balance.   When you watch it being done, the moves flow and seem easy, but believe me the art takes real effort.   Over the last 16 months, my balance has definitely gotten better and it’s a constant transition.  As my body reduces in weight and size, my balance points shift so I’m continually readjusting.  I like feeling in control of my motions and establishing my own balance.

Then there’s the whole emotional and mental need for balance.   Over the last month, as you know from my frequently mentioning it on the blog, I’ve been in the middle of a boatload of stressful stuff.  Too much stress is bad for our health.  I’ve really had to work hard for balance in this area too.  I’ve developed some methods and used different tools.  For example, I set my phone to Do Not Disturb when I go to bed.  It can still function as my alarm clock, but I don’t hear email notifications or text message tones when I’m sleeping.  If something comes up in one of the situations, I sit and breathe through it instead of immediately reacting.  This is something that I think of as Dialing Back the Drama.

I also make the time to do things that I enjoy and build in “me time” so that I can restore my emotional and mental equilibrium.

I don’t like teetering on a high wire so shoring up my foundations is the equivalent of making sure that I have a safety net beneath me so that, if I lose my balance, I won’t fall splat on the ground.  I can hit the net and bounce back up onto my feet, then climb back up to the high point, regain my balance and continue to move forward.

Today’s going to be the kind of day that originally had the potential to get out of whack, but I saw that coming and took action.  There are some things that I need to do and time I must devote to other responsibilities.  I’m okay with that happenings since it’s all part of a well-rounded life.  However, I also have plans for myself.  Tai Chi in the morning is for me.  Later on today, I have a DIY project that I want to do after I take care of something for work and for one of my other involvements.  Looking ahead to the day, I believe I have things in good balance.  Just knowing this settles me into a good emotional place.  I’m starting out the day with a smile and positive attitude, ready to enjoy it all.

I wish you all a happy day, in balance, with a good shot of “you” time included.  Enjoy!

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8 responses to “Balancing Act

  1. KimCz says:

    Ugh, the spinning plates, I totally get that. There are days that I wake up thinking that I am just going to let all of the plates fall because I don’t have the energy to keep them going. Of course, I never really let it happen, sometimes a plate will fall but not because I stopped trying.

    Do you have any recommendations on Tai Chi DVDs?

    I hope you got to have your personal time. Today was full up with a dance recital for Boo (my daughter). Tomorrow I am going to carve out some time to do some belly dancing with the new DVDs I got last week.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Unfortunately I’m not familiar with any Tai Chi programs on DVD. My personal feeling is that it would be difficult to study by only watching. There are many subtle aspects. Plus, the energy of practicing with a group is an added benefit. There may be classes in your area. Tai Chi has many forms. I study Taoist. http://Www.taoist.org.

      • KimCz says:

        That makes sense. I thought I read that you practiced at home with a DVD, I am guessing that I assumed that the DVD you referred to was Tai Chi. That’s what I get for assuming. 🙂

        • Mary Stella says:

          I have DVDs for Zumba if I can’t make class, a walking program DVD and a Valerie Bertinelli exercise routine. Just no Tai Chi. Definitely confusing.

    • Mary Stella says:

      Belly dancing? I hear that’s terrific exercise. How long have you been doing it?

      • KimCz says:

        It is great exercise. Years ago, I saw a show on Fit TV called Shimmy. I recorded a few and really enjoyed it. I put both seasons on DVDs and worked out to those inconsistently for a year. In the spring I was able to take a class and found it to be a very natural movement for me. Some family medical issues caused me to give it up. In the last year I’ve bought a few DVDs to keep it up until I can find a local class.

  2. Skye says:

    I am inspired by your wide range of activities. I am slowly working up to having a normal amount of activities, from a long time of having few if any activities. And I want to find a Tai Chi class I like and go for regular walks and return to my regular exercise routine. Plus, this house has both a treadmill and a recumbent bike!

    I am working on starting the day out with a smile and a positive attitude! I think that matters a lot.

    I hope your day is lovely and give you everything you need for the day!

    • Mary Stella says:

      While I’m physically more active than I have been since I was a kid, I find I sometimes still struggle with the mental aspect. It’s too easy to talk myself out of exercise sometimes.

      I’m really working hard on my brain and making myself get up and moving even when I don’t think I want to.

      I hope you find a Tai Chi class that you like, Skye, and that you can get out and enjoy walking around Seattle!

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