Michele Waterman
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Why Balance Matters

Making time to enjoy small, simple pleasures is part of living a balanced life. We have a beautiful rose collection in our backyard. I frequently cut fresh flowers and place them throughout the house, where I can see and enjoy them. Recently, my kids and I were doing a fragrance comparison between the different varieties and it occurred to me that I was indeed taking the time to smell the roses.

Balance didn’t become a priority for me until I got sober. A few years into my sobriety, I went to a 12-step recovery retreat in Malibu. I remember the speaker shared about the importance of seeking balance. He explained that we can evaluate how balanced our life is by considering how we work, love, and play. That sounded simple enough. Yeah, right.

In early sobriety, I knew a lot about how to work, but I really couldn’t say much about balance when it came to love or play. Actually, I couldn’t say much about balance period. And who would want to. Before getting sober, I took pride being on the roller coaster ride of life. I did everything to the extreme, which created major highs and lows.

Today, balance is a priority because it keeps me grounded and away from experiencing the extreme highs and lows that used to lead me to drinking. Living a balanced life isn’t easy and it takes intentional effort for me. When I feel balanced, I am usually practicing self care, I am getting enough sleep, I’m eating well and exercising, I’m getting time in nature, I’m making time for meditation and getting centered, I’m spending quality time with my family and friends, I’m nurturing my spiritual life, and I’m being productive with my work. Some days I’m in the flow and balance seems effortless. Other days, I work too much and exercise too little. Or meditation and getting centered somehow don’t make it on the to-do list or perhaps people-pleasing becomes a higher priority than self-care. At this point, I have surrendered to the fact that I am perfectly imperfect, which is why I beat myself up less and less when I catch myself getting out of balance. I’ve come to accept that balance is more like an endless journey, rather than arriving at a destination.

When do you let yourself enjoy life’s simple pleasures? How much energy do you put into making meaningful connections with people you love? How do you know you have balance in your life?

To learn more about how personal development coaching can help you live a more balanced life, visit www.michelewaterman.com